Monday, January 08, 2007

Not to say I told you so, but...I told you so

Fan-tastic. Now that Saddam Hussein is dead, they've taken him off the list of accused in the Operation Anfal case. Of course, it would have been moderately futile to try the man for crimes, but I can't see as it would have done any harm, and it might have done good. Precedent? Closure? Do these words mean anything to anyone?

In other scary-ass news, Israel might be planning an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. They claim not, but they've done it before at Osirak, and since Security Council Resolutions have never meant much to the government,* I can't see the backlash from Osirak being enough to dissuade them. Don't get me wrong, every new member of The Club scares the bejeezus out of me, but given Israel's sketchy attitude to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its non-signature of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it probably shouldn't be throwing the first stone. Why does Israel need nukes, anyway? I mean, aren't all of its enemies so geographically close that --even in the absence of retaliation--any meaningful nuke would do horrific damage to Israel's own territory?

So they've finally come up with a vaccine for cancer.** However, this vaccine (which last pretty much your whole life) is most effective if given before the girl is exposed to the virus, so it should definately be given before she becomes sexually active, and probably the younger the better. Nevertheless, some parents seem to have a problem with this. Because it might encourage the children to have sex at a younger age.

What the hell? Why is this argument raised whenever there's an innovation (practical or informational) that allows for safer sex? Do condoms increase the amount of sex or age at which people start having it? Diaphagms? Spermicide? Dental dams? No no no no no. Few enough women know that HPV causes cervical cancer, or genital warts, or sterility, and plenty of women don't even know they have it or have had it, because the active infection often has no symptoms. Also, it can be passed through non-intercourse sexual contact or intercourse with a condom. In short, it is the stealth-jet of venereal diseases. Personally, I'd want my kids vaccinated in utero.

* E.g. 242, 338, 446, 478
** Well, okay, it's a vaccine for human papillomavirus, but that's practically the same thing.

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