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Jan 31 2012

Fischer: Bill Clinton Causes Cancer!

A new report finds that mouth and throat cancers are increasing because of HPV infections brought on by oral sex. And according to Bryan Fischer, it’s all Bill Clinton’s fault. Seriously.

Right. Because no one had even heard of oral sex before Bill Clinton came along.

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  1. 1
    Budbear

    Well, blow me down.

  2. 2
    equisetum

    So he must be for the HPV vaccine, right?

  3. 3
    richardelguru

    I wonder if the existence of cold sores isn’t evidence for ancient oral sex?

  4. 4
    ikesolem

    It’s really not very wise to trust anything that begins with “scientists say a study shows. . . .” without an accompanying description of the study design, the list of financiers for the study, etc.

    This is because many “studies” are designed to give certain results that please the study’s backers – this approach is very, very common when it comes to medical issues. For example, the marketers of the HPV vaccine would like to see these results broadcast, whether true or not – it’s a nice marketing point.

    Unfortunately, the close associations between pharmaceutical corporations, doctors, medical journals and researchers means that this has to be viewed with skepticism – any reader who blindly trusts these studies is a fool:

    http://www.neontommy.com/2010/01/gardasils-broadreaching-market

    But Merck’s marketing strategy has been anything but transparent. Instead, it has dominated the conversation about Gardasil, enlisting physicians and health care givers as covert spokespeople, glossing over difficult information, and allowing their bottom line to dictate the educational talking points.

  5. 5
    troll

    Budbear wins the thread.

  6. 6
    Area Man

    Gosh, if only there was some kind of vaccination against HPV. Maybe we could just vaccinate all public school kids who had reached puberty, and then cancer rates would drop precipitously. Think of all the lives saved!

    I’m sure Bryan Fischer will be completely on board with this plan. Surely he cares about the health and well-being of people, and not just about repressing their sexuality, right?

  7. 7
    Aspect Sign

    Yes because every 16 yo making out with their date is thinking to themselves “What would the President do in this situation?”. I would be happy if more 16 yo’s just knew who the President was.

  8. 8
    lofgren

    I remember when Clinton was telling his famous lies, it was popular to claim that because the president said that oral sex was not sex suddenly teenagers were doing it at the drop of a hat, as if the sex lives of teenagers is at all influenced by Bill Clinton. There was an Law & Order episode where teenagers were exchanging blowjobs for beer and they actually trotted out this excuse. (I would suggest that if your teenager does not know that it is a bad idea to give a stranger a blow job in his car so that he will buy them alcohol, it is a. not the president’s fault and b. the actual sex act is not remotely your kid’s biggest problem.) This was also the time of the “rainbow party” and “sex bracelet” moral panics, which were of course also Bill Clinton’s fault.

    I could rant about people’s stupidity, but instead I’ll just hope that as memories get massaged and records destroyed, Bill Clinton will someday be known as the man who invented the blow job.

  9. 9
    Area Man

    This is because many “studies” are designed to give certain results that please the study’s backers – this approach is very, very common when it comes to medical issues. For example, the marketers of the HPV vaccine would like to see these results broadcast, whether true or not – it’s a nice marketing point.

    Good grief, the HPV vaccines (there are two of them) are not some experimental treatments cloaked in secrecy. There are dozens of peer-reviewed studies demonstrating their efficacy, and they’ve been approved by the FDA, along with the equivalent agencies of numerous other countries. If you think this is all a huge conspiracy, you’re not going to accept any degree of scientific evidence.

  10. 10
    Nibi

    I would have expected an increase in vaginal cancer from cigar use.

  11. 11
    Modusoperandi

    You know the kids these days, always trying to be cool by copying what some old guy did back when they were in diapers.

  12. 12
    Ichthyic

    Bill Clinton will someday be known as the man who invented the blow job.

    LOL

    I mean, that would end up being a duo more memorable than Batman and Robin!:

    Political Power Pair: One who invented the internet, and the other who invented the blow job.

    who could possibly match that?

  13. 13
    JustaTech

    Ah yes, I remember those days well. I was a monitor in the middle school computer lab when some stupid little 6th-graders decided to print out the whole Starr report in hopes of finding the dirty bits. And instantaniously we were all blowing each other! Except not. (Maybe the all-girls school had something to do with that. Probably not.)

    What did we actually learn? 1)You get in more trouble for trying to cover it up, and 2) some women will want to have sexual relations with powerful men, because they are powerful men.

    See, I would think that ol’Fischer would be pleased, because think of all these kids “saving themselves” for marriage!

  14. 14
    Brandon

    For example, the marketers of the HPV vaccine would like to see these results broadcast, whether true or not – it’s a nice marketing point.

    Unfortunately, the close associations between pharmaceutical corporations, doctors, medical journals and researchers means that this has to be viewed with skepticism – any reader who blindly trusts these studies is a fool:

    But Merck’s marketing strategy has been anything but transparent. Instead, it has dominated the conversation about Gardasil, enlisting physicians and health care givers as covert spokespeople, glossing over difficult information, and allowing their bottom line to dictate the educational talking points.

    That looks suspiciously like the start of a pharmashill gambit.

    Is there anything in particular that you’re driving at, or is this a “just saying” sort of post? I can’t imagine any valid reason to be against widespread HPV vaccination.

  15. 15
    Ichthyic

    It’s really not very wise to trust anything that begins with “scientists say a study shows. . . .” without an accompanying description of the study design,

    fair enough; I’m curious about the new throat cancer studies as well.

    the list of financiers for the study,

    irrelevant. Studies stand or fall on their own merit, not on who funds them or why.

    etc.

    ?

  16. 16
    Ichthyic

    Is there anything in particular that you’re driving at, or is this a “just saying” sort of post?

    my conclusion was that he was saying that studies showing a link between hpv, oral sex, and throat cancer might be more show than blow…

    I don’t think he was saying that hpv vaccines didn’t work for hpv.

  17. 17
    Ichthyic

    So… if Clinton’s example was such that the kids all want to do oral sex now, then what will be the end result of W’s “example”?

    Kids wanting to waterboard each other?

  18. 18
    eric

    Studies stand or fall on their own merit, not on who funds them or why.

    But your statement also applies to the studies that show that funding source creates a bias in results. (Here’s just one of many examples.) Making it self-contradictory.

  19. 19
    Mr Ed

    If kids are imitating the president I guess its time I have that talk with my daughter about not invading Iraq.

  20. 20
    Aquaria

    Bill Clinton will someday be known as the man who invented the blow job.

    Odd. A Texas fundie told me that there wasn’t any oral sex before that Linda Lovelace gave people ideas.

  21. 21
    feralboy12

    Hey, we all try to emulate presidents. Remember in 1979, when kids everywhere started going out in canoes and smacking rabbits with the oars? It was like an epidemic.

  22. 22
    Modusoperandi

    And after the Nixon administration, when all the kids were secretly bombing Cambodia.

  23. 23
    Ichthyic

    But your statement also applies to the studies that show that funding source creates a bias in results

    no, no contradiction.

    how was it determined that there WAS bias?

    yeah.

  24. 24
    Dr X

    What about Lewinsky’s knee pads. I blame American baseball catchers for the spread of throat cancer.

  25. 25
    lofgren

    Funding source creates bias in results. This is well known and one of the things that honest scientists try to account for in their studies. Funding source also creates bias by simply not releasing studies that don’t conform to the source’s expectations.

    This is not controversial stuff. That’s why things like the HPV vaccine not only have multiple independent studies to corroborate effectiveness, the results are also carefully tracked for years in the general population (which is extremely helpful but no substitute for a well designed study – although the reverse of that statement is also true).

  26. 26
    paul

    Area Man said:

    Gosh, if only there was some kind of vaccination against HPV. Maybe we could just vaccinate all public school kids who had reached puberty, and then cancer rates would drop precipitously. Think of all the lives saved!

    Doctors have not been recommending the vaccine for anyone above a certain age. While I understand that the greatest benefit comes from vaccinating people before they are exposed to HPV, wouldn’t anyone who has not already contracted one of the nastier, cancer-causing strains of HPV be better off vaccinated? Why don’t doctors recommend the vaccine for adults?

  27. 27
    Ichthyic

    Funding source creates bias in results.

    BIAS creates bias in the results, period.

    This is well known and one of the things that honest scientists try to account for in their studies.

    it’s more than that. It’s the very reason peer review exists to begin with. Honest scientists assume bias always exists, even in their own studies, regardless of who funds them or why.

    the problem is not with the funders, the problem is not with scientists.

    the problem is with people assuming that for some strange reason, we can ignore bias, EVER, such that they think bias from a funding source is somehow different.

    This is exactly why I said studies stand on their OWN merits. Not the merit of the scientists involved, not the merits of the funding source.

    If that isn’t clear to people at this point, not only should you not consider a career in science, you should not even consider JUDGING science to begin with.

  28. 28
    Chuck

    I guess this explains my ear cancer.

  29. 29
    Aquaria

    A new report finds that mouth and throat cancers are increasing because of HPV infections brought on by oral sex. And according to Bryan Fischer, it’s all Bill Clinton’s fault.

    Behold the power of the Clenis (TM).

    There was a cartoon many moons ago with a 20-30ish couple wearing liberal T-shirts walking along and some conservatives berating them for being liberals, saying they’re irrational and stupid. And the guy casually says to them, “Clinton.” And the conservatives go totally gonzo, eyes bugging out of their heads, screeching and heads exploding.

    This apparently hasn’t changed much.

  30. 30
    marcus

    Wait… what?! Like with your mouth? On the naughty bits? Is that even legal?

  31. 31
    Area Man

    Doctors have not been recommending the vaccine for anyone above a certain age. While I understand that the greatest benefit comes from vaccinating people before they are exposed to HPV, wouldn’t anyone who has not already contracted one of the nastier, cancer-causing strains of HPV be better off vaccinated?

    Presumably yes, but as near as I can tell, there has not been that much research done on older populations. One study found benefits in women up to age 45, but they only looked at women who had not been exposed to HPV.

    I suspect that the reason why the vaccine is not normally recommended for people over 25 is that it’s not cost effective. At $360 a pop, routine vaccination only makes sense if the reduction in costs due to reduced cancer risk outweighs the costs of the vaccine itself. It’s going to be much more effective in a population that has not been exposed to HPV.

  32. 32
    Michael Heath

    Bill Clinton marginally increased the popularity of oral sex. I see that as a feature of his legacy, not a bug.

  33. 33
    Dr X

    @Michael Heath:

    Bill Clinton marginally increased the popularity of oral sex. I see that as a feature of his legacy, not a bug.

    True that, but I’m still confused about what the definition of is, is.

  34. 34
    Aliasalpha

    @cainch

    I guess this explains my ear cancer.

    I think you may have misread the directions, its supposed to be ORAL sex, not AURAL

  35. 35
    Ichthyic

    I think you may have misread the directions, its supposed to be ORAL sex, not AURAL

    OHHHH….

  36. 36
    lofgren

    the problem is not with the funders, the problem is not with scientists.

    You’re being unnecessarily pedantic. All I am saying is that some bias can be tracked to the source of funding. Yes, bias always exists. No shit. But identifying its sources and the way that they influence the results of a study is a crucial step for accounting for those biases and hopefully designing more rigorous tests that provide more accurate results the first time around. (No, this will never replace peer review, but it will save time and money.)

    Simply saying “Bias exists, whatever…” is useless. When you say that honest scientists try to account for bias, one of the ways that they do that is by being aware of the sources of bias to begin with.

    At the very least, the fact that funding source has influence on the results of studies is an interesting insight into human psychology. There’s no need to be dismissive ass about it.

  37. 37
    marymallone

    This isn’t my area of expertise, but surely there are benefits of a blowjob that would motivate people to engage in the act regardless of what Clinton does.

  38. 38
    Ichthyic

    You’re being unnecessarily pedantic.

    wtf?

    All I am saying is that some bias can be tracked to the source of funding.

    then you aren’t hearing what I’m saying.

    You can’t prejudge that any research WILL have bias based purely on the funding source.

    research is judged on the merits of the design of the experiment, the analysis used, and whether the conclusions reached are justified based the design and results.

    not on who the fucking funder was.

    we don’t do peer review based on who the funder of a project was.

  39. 39
    Area Man

    research is judged on the merits of the design of the experiment, the analysis used, and whether the conclusions reached are justified based the design and results.

    not on who the fucking funder was.

    Bias of the kind we’re talking about rarely results in poor study design, bad analytical techniques, unwarranted conclusions, etc. That stuff gets caught by peer-review. The bias you need worry about is that which leads to tossing out inconvenient results, fudging numbers, and in extreme cases, making up data whole cloth. That’s the sort of thing that peer-review cannot detect. It turns out that in top journals (Science, Nature, etc.) a depressingly large fraction of results cannot be independently replicated. This is not because the journal editors and reviewers don’t know how to judge good science. It’s because people who are willing to cut corners or falsify data have the best looking papers.

    A good rule of thumb is to be more skeptical of studies in which conflicts of interest exist no matter how good they look on the surface. Once you have multiple replications by independent groups, however, that skepticism is no longer warranted.

  1. 40
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