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Believe in Bolt? Not For a Second

Mike Wilbon has a column today on Usain Bolt's insane 9.58-second world record dash in the 100 meters. Mike is very judicious in his wording. He doesn't accuse Bolt of being on the juice, but he does touch on the obvious fact that it's hard to escape the suspicion that Bolt has been conducting some kind of chemistry experiment in his body.

Should we be suspicious? Yes -- because we've been burned repeatedly when we've suspended disbelief.

I don't know anything about Bolt. He may be clean as a whistle. But don't ask me to believe he's clean the way I believe, for example, that the Earth is round (actually it's a little pear-shaped, no? But there I go undermining my point.).

Bolt was a star at the Olympics last year and was truly thrilling to watch. He blew away the competition. But now he's pushing the 100-meter record into such improbable territory that I'm not sure I'd feel clean watching. The temptation is to be like grim-faced, hands-in-pocket Bud Selig as Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's home run record.

A-Rod used the juice. Rafael Palmeiro swore he never touched it, then failed a test. I can't remember the status of the Roger Clemens controversy -- but does anyone BELIEVE in Clemens?

We suspended disbelief in 1998 when Sosa and McGwire chased the Roger Maris home run record. Somehow we thought Sosa's 66 and McGwire's 70 were legitimate. Now there's not a soul in baseball who thinks those guys hit all those home runs just by eating Wheaties.

Speaking of which: Marion Jones was on a Wheaties box back in her heyday. She cheated.

[By the way, did you know that the word "gullible" doesn't appear in any dictionary?]

Now we've got this new controversy over Caster Semenya, the medal-winning sprinter in women's track who dang sure looks like a guy. Look for yourself. What do you think?

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 20, 2009; 11:26 AM ET
 
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Comments

I don't think she's particularly looks like a women. But I also know that sex selection is way more complicated than XX and XY.

Posted by: tidalwv | August 20, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I find it fascinating the way modern medicine and technology are stretching our understanding of the human body. It was quite clear, for instance, in the last Summer Olympics that Michael Phelps is a fish.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 20, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

And I've always questioned why Marion Jones appears to be the only athlete who went to jail/prison for her "enhancement" and not any of the boys (white or black or in-between) did (not including the non-athlete enablers). Say, couldn't be because she were a woman. Just asking.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 20, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

But I do love to see the Kenyans and the Ethiopians (both men and women) run the long races. Wow -- what bodies on them!

Posted by: -ftb- | August 20, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Just to be pedantic, ftb, I recall Marion Jones pleaded guilty to lying to the Feds who were investigating the use of steroids. She freely admitted her steroid use before the cameras prior to serving part of her term, but the crime was perjury, no?

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 20, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, technically Marion Jones went to the slammer for lying to federal agents during the BALCO investigation, not for doping herself, and several other people did time for that one. Most of those who avoided prison terms did so only by cooperating with the investigation. Her ex-husband, for example.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 20, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, Scotty. Great minds...

Posted by: bobsewell | August 20, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

And those Twitter readings are GREAT! *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 20, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I am reading a lot of blanket statements about sex being determined by more than chromosomes but no details are forthcoming. Any enlightenment to be had? For the record I am up-to-date on the standard literature for hermaphrodism, dismorphism, in utero hormonal developmental anomalies, etc. XX ≠ XY, however.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 20, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Robert Wright was on the Charlie Rose show last night:
http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10564
I caught most of it, but can't remember much at the moment. He was a lot more serious than he was with Colbert - or Joel.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 20, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Re: Liz Kelly video

I recently saw something to the effect that 40% of twitter messages are "pointless babble." All I can think is, "Why so low?"

Either Sean Combs is way too caffeinated or he has some sort of tremor in his left thumb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: kguy1 | August 20, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

It is an amusing synchrony (to me, anyway) that I was researching this
http://www.snopes.com/sports/baseball/ellis.asp
right before this kit appeared.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 20, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

What a tool -
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/19/AR2009081904125.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: seasea1 | August 20, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmmmm... Interesting factoid I just heard --

If you speed up Jimi Hendrix's "Third Stone From the Sun," the distorted voices are actually Jimi and another band member doing faux "Star Trek" dialog.

*L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 20, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Grassley just took himself out of the game.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I would highly doubt congenital adrenal hyperplasia, because that tends to make children stop growing early-- she'd have developed fast, then stopped short.

Androgen insensitivity syndrome could produce a tall, skinny woman that is genetically XY male, but highly feminine in all other aspects-- or so most recorded instances go. (The lack of menustration and incomplete development inside is generally how such women first get diagnosed).

There's an equalivent form in horses, though, that produce "stallion-headed mares" which behave like stallions and need to be kept like stallions. While often very good performers, often such mares need to be castrated (not an easy prospect as their testicles are in the abdomen).

So that suggests that androgen insensitivity syndromes may have a wider range of effects.

However, I'm inclined to believe that Caster is a XX woman-- which might be why they're doing further testing.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 20, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

My question is, why do they bother banning the drugs when almost every athlete takes them? why not just let them do what they want to do... who cares. It's their body. We allow smoking and drinking. Isn't it all the same thing?

Posted by: MissToronto | August 20, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

And Slate answers a few questions, anyway:
http://www.slate.com/id/2225810/

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 20, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod_Gnome raises an interesting point about androgen insensitivity syndrome. What if Caster Semenya turns out to be genetically XY, but developmentally (mostly) female? Should that disqualify her from anything but the hermaphroditic division of the Olympics?

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 20, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

A fantabulous NASA press release just came out:

"NASA TELEVISION RECEIVES PHILO T. FARNSWORTH PRIMETIME EMMY AWARD",

which raises an obvious question: how come only baseball players get names like Philo T. Farnsworth these days?

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 20, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"Gullible" is clearly included in the dictionary on my MacBook?

Posted by: jtlynagh | August 20, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think Joel would get any takers on the 'gullible' joke; I am *delighted* to see that I was wrong.

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I can't decide which is more like the doping scenario: 1/Wow! Did you see that science project? Her dad must have done it...doesn't he work at Goddard? 2/I can build this Ponzi scheme no problems. I've got a plan....

Maybe the science project kid goes on to win a Nobel prize. Maybe some lowly clerk gets busted for percocets, and flips the Ponzi guy. But sooner or later, the truth comes out (except where the heck is Jimmy Hoffa?)

Posted by: LostInThought | August 20, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh Señor Achenbach; it seems we are prisoners of our cultural values of beauty and gender, but let's take a look at the DNA Ms. This quest to be standard or normal in a society that values individuality so much. Found this on a London website:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/athletics/article6803483.ece
May the gods bless the Internet fairies!

Posted by: RUBENMORTIZ | August 20, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Menstruation is at least somewhat dependent upon body fat levels. This is the body's defense against a pregnancy in cases (think famine) where the mother could not produce enough milk (in part from fat) to sustain a child. Female athletes with very low body fat very frequently do not have regular periods or none at all and have to stop training to get pregnant.

Posted by: kguy1 | August 20, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

In the Jayson Blair working as a life coach article (another "I didn't think I'd ever get caught" cautionary tale), he's quoted as saying "I don't really think too much about the long term."

Duh.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 20, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I would think Blair's primary coaching credo would be: "DON'T BE LIKE ME!!!"

Thank you.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 20, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

As far as I know, nobody has insinuated that Usain Bolt is actually a woman, but has anyone tested the possibility that he may be a pronghorn or a cheetah?

Posted by: bobsewell | August 20, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Bolt in training, taken with special camera equipment-

http://brainwagon.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/bolt-revealed.jpg

Posted by: kguy1 | August 20, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Yes, and they can be more prone to bone fractures due to low estrogen levels, kguy.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 20, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I like that Bolt's name is an aptonym. Perhaps, so is Semenya.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Achenbach,

Your background in track and field is...?

Watching Usain Bolt's Olympic final and its 9.69 time, did you notice how he let up at the end, got out of his sprinter's posture, spread his hands wide? Ato Bolden said at the time he threw away a possible 9.59.

Then compare the start that Bolt had in Beijing with the start he had in Berlin, and you'll note a significant improvement in how low he comes out, and maintains that as well as the other sprinters do. You can can actually see that he stays as low as Tyson Gay in the next lane, despite their height differences.

And what of Tyson Gay, he of the second place 9.71 in Berlin, a mere .02 seconds behind what Bolt ran in Beijing? Is he on the juice, too? Did you note that Bolt did not break his record in the 200 meters in Berlin? Could it be that he has spent so much of his relatively limited time (between the car accident, the foot injury, and the appearances) on the 100 that he is no longer in top form in the race that prior to Beijing had been his speciality?

Of course Bolt may be on the juice. Same with your or me, so far as either of us know. The mere fact that he has done something amazing over the course of a year is enough reason to put your doubt in print? What of Michael Johnson, who smashed the 200 meter record and held it for two decades? Was he on the juice at the time, too? Because his lowering of that record was just as spectacular as what Bolt did in the 100 meters, what is the basis for also not questioning his achievement?

Posted by: josephtimko | August 20, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Just spoke with a good friend and old time music promoter about some web sites and I asked about Roy Carrier. I had helped updated his website earlier this week w/ info about how folks can help Roy who has experienced some tough health issues which have him on the 60 day disabled list for sure.

FYI, he is a zydeco legend and here is a little snip that someone took:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gehTvY_biA

Think some good thoughts for Roy, may he have a speedy and full recovery and get back on the road or at least playing locally.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 20, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Timko:

Your background in critiquing [lighthearted] journalism is...?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Front Page Alert...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 20, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Sniff-- warm woo arrives.
Woof, woof, all hands to bunker;
(Don't sit on art, Mudge!)

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 20, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

A Temple University alum makes good: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/20/AR2009082001867.html?hpid=artslot

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Juiced or not Usain Bolt is a pleasure to watch, a very likeable character. If he is on the juice he would join a very long list of sprinters. His speed comes from talent and training.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 20, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

That was a piece of art? I thought it was your doggie bed, Wilbrodog. http://www.arthursclipart.org/pets/pets/doggie%20bed.gif

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Well, I don't know about Mr. Bolt, but utterly without the benefits of "the juice," I finished a mere one hundred and forty-five seconds behind his 100m time. (Note to self: next time, wear lucky socks.)

Posted by: byoolin1 | August 20, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

In your sour leg calf
I must etch art history lessons.
Have mercy-- wash first!

-WIlbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 20, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Yep and FINALLY, Bill Cosby gets the Mark Twain Prize this year. Sold out crowd (I'd love to see it live, but won't, alas) -- but it will appear in early November on the ubiquitous PBS.

I remember seeing a show of his on HBO in the very early years of cable, when occasionally HBO was aired on "regular" TV to entice people to pay, pay, pay for the privilege. I also remember laughing until I cried. The one and only time that has ever happened to me. Man! What a funny guy!

Posted by: -ftb- | August 20, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

He done did it again!!!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/20/AR2009082002657.html

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 20, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Womens' athleticism is weird and scary and shouldn't, in my opinion, be encouraged.

None of them look like women. None of them have breasts. None of them menstruate, and none can have children - even the ones (if there are any) who don't take performance-enhancing drugs.
I'm not making this up. Beyond a certain extreme level of fitness, women stop menstruating.

Mine is not a sexist opinion. Women should definitely do competitive sports. Football (soccer to you), basketball, skiing, etc. Great. But not the stuff that stops them being women. I would say the same about any male sport that mutated men.

How can it even be called women's athletics, when not one of the contestants is actually a natural functioning woman?

Posted by: Bud0 | August 20, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

ftb? Ivansmom? dbG? dmd? Do you want to, or shall I?

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Er, a lot of male athletes are infertile because they took so much steroids their testicles shriveled up.

And I consider weightlifting, bodybuilding, etc. to be sports that mutate men.

The problem isn't in being athletic; it's that people will do anything to win.

And many women athletes, once they stop being in training, are perfectly able to gain a little body fat and have children.

Just like how many women, after a certain age, stop menustrating or having children-- but still remain women.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 20, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Of all the days you thought the woo detector would get a rest...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 20, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Go ahead, Yoki. Be gentle with your steel claws.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 20, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Nope, Bud, not sexist at all. The very picture of calm reason, you are.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 20, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Hoo boy.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's a "weird and scary" pole vaulter for you, Bud0.

http://www.sports-wired.com/women/showPhoto.asp?ID=960

Posted by: kguy1 | August 20, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Averting my eyes.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I would have to put my head back together to respond, just had a small explosion.

As someone who grew up with elite swimmers - I cannot respond rationally.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 20, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I wish they had had women's pole vault when I was young - of course being an extreme klutz it may not have been pretty - but fun to try.

Great link kguy.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 20, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

dmd - Why on earth would you think that a rational response was called for? Or even desired by the commenter, for that matter?

Posted by: bobsewell | August 20, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

The Jimi-Star Trek experience:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWKwBfTHRMM&feature=PlayList&p=0889434305CF3077&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=3

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 20, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Just trying to rise above Bob :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | August 20, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I look forward to your rejoinder.

I would gently ask Bud why the ability to menstruate and have children, or the presence of secondary sexual characteristics such as breasts, are necessary to womanhood. Are old women, who can neither menstruate nor bear children, not women? What about women who have had a hysterectomy? Women whose reproductive processes have been interfered with or stopped by the progress of disease? What about women who have lost breasts to cancer or other diseases? Girl children before the onset of puberty? Is there a sliding scale - that is, are you a woman if you are physically capable of bearing children but never do?

I was born a woman and confidently expect to die one, despite the onset and ravages of age and the possibility of disease or physical calamity. I would never deny that breasts, reproductive organs and childbearing ability are a part of my status. It has never occurred to me that they actually define my gender.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 20, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I think Bud might have a point. Here's why: http://www.theonion.com/content/video/gymnast_shawn_johnson_put_to

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I think Bud would like this, perhaps the woman he is looking for,

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/police_still_searching_for

Posted by: dmd3 | August 20, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

You did good, Wilbrod!

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

You did good, Wilbrod!

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, you took the words right outta my mouth.

So, Bud, assuming that your "definition" of womanhood were truthful, would woman who genetically have larger breasts than other women be the REAL women and those with genetically smaller breasts not be the REAL women?

Hmmm, is that why men typically carry a tape measure in their pockets so that when they get into the locker room (or, indeed, the Board Room) they can, um, take "measure" of their male counterparts' "parts"?

hahahahaha

*snort*

Go get him, Yoki! Pile on!

Posted by: -ftb- | August 20, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Hello, friends. BudO, that comment smacks of everything that would make a head explode. I saw the picture of Caster, and read the news piece wherein they question her gender. Her father and grandmother say she's a girl. I feel akin to her somewhat because of my looks, at least in the face, and the lack of hair. Of course, I'm always in the barber chair. I do have boobs, last time I checked, if that's a distinguishing trait.

I guess with athletes taking everything they can swallow to get an edge, gender lines do cross or become hazy.

We're studying the verb "to be" here. The g-girl watching television now taking a short break. And it's raining here. Just a little ease in the humidity.

Have a great day, folks. Slyness, what's it doing up your way?

Wouldn't it be something if Hurricane Bill ended up in New York or the District?

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 20, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Mudge -- I just looked at the Onion video. Hysterical!

Posted by: -ftb- | August 20, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Ni hao, Mudge! That is priceless.

Posted by: kguy1 | August 20, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Hehehe, you folks are being very polite to the new poster. Yoki, I too look forward to your response.

Cassandra, I had lunch uptown with Mr. T and a friend of his. We were a couple of blocks from his office and my car. Of course a storm came up just about the time we were finished, so we had to wait 15 minutes to make the walk back. And of course I had lowered all my windows half an inch so it wouldn't be quite so hot when I got back. Fortunately not much rain got in. The sun came out about an hour after I got home, and the humidity is about 250%.

Posted by: slyness | August 20, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Ni hao, kguy. Ni hao, ftb.

And I am soooooo laughing (quite fondly) at certain Boodlers who have oft counseled us to play nice and let passing trolls alone. Ladies, this Bud's for you.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

That damn Onion site is addictive.

Must.

Stop.

Listening/watching.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 20, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Holy Sweet Mother of God!!!

Posted by: rickoshea0 | August 20, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I made an earlier comment, but it was "held for review."

Posted by: rickoshea0 | August 20, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, last I checked, a lot of skinny teenage girls don't develop hips until later on. I hope the results come in soon.

I like this picture.
http://d.yimg.com/a/p/rids/20090819/i/r2206899114.jpg

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 20, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I suppose if they found a series of drugs that literally turned people into the Hulk of comics fame, some people would do it. Even if it essentially took 30 years off their lives, made them borderline crazy, sterile, and violent. If a whole lot of people got together and paid them a whole lot of money to do it, I bet even more would start taking the drugs.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 20, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I just got my latest AARP magazine. Startlingly enough, Bruce Springsteen is turning 60. But that ain't the coolest news. Oh, no, fellow boodlers.

Get this -- Grace Slick is turning 70!!!!! Holy Jefferson Airplane!!!!!

Do you want somebody to love
Do you need somebody to love

Etc., etc., etc.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 20, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I think we should give up on fighting performance-enhancing drugs. Throw the doors wide open, and develop either better performance-enhancing drugs, or evolve a class of human beings who can use them most effectively. Evolution at work!

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 20, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Bolt captures 200 as well, in world record time.

http://www.thestar.com/sports/article/683894

Posted by: dmd3 | August 20, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

dbG's dogz can be Eagles fans!

http://consumerist.com/5342069/personalized-jerseys-available-for-michael-vicks-canine-fans-if-he-has-any

Posted by: -TBG- | August 20, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

To me, roid robots would be (are?) even less entertaining than Transformers II. And I heard that was rank.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 20, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I think it's more likely that she's biologically a woman (whatever that means) than that Bolt is clean.

Posted by: kindathinker | August 20, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I am confident Bolt is as clean as the rest/most of the sprinters in the final. Being clean would be the exception.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 20, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Clean? After running that much? I'd say they'd all pretty much need a bath or shower. So sweaty and all.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 20, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Vast complexity
or model simplicity,
which is it, "to be"?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 20, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you guys seem lonely. I should look in more often to brighten up your days.

I suppose my comments were a bit over-the-top, and poorly phrased to boot. I feel bad that anyone with a mastectomy might think I was suggesting they weren't a real woman.

"I consider weightlifting, bodybuilding, etc. to be sports that mutate men."

Actually, I agree with this comment.

I admit I am horribly bigoted, but not against women. I really detest Olympic-style sports and athletics because they're duller than watching paint dry.

But when I said it "shouldn't be encouraged" I didn't mean "let's ban it". I meant it more in the sense of "why would anyone watch this crap?"

I also dislike sports that lead people to juice themselves up or become freaks.

If I'd said that baseball was a farce and a waste of time because it was no longer being played by "natural men", I bet not one of you would have given it a second thought.

Anyway, I don't mind. Maybe I'll dip my toe in your piranha pool again sometime.

PS I had no idea the Onion now did videos, so I did learn something.

Posted by: Bud0 | August 20, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Graciously put, Bud0. More of a guppy-bowl, but welcome anyway.

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Bud... great response! But don't leave and don't think of us as piranhas... you must admit your words were a little harsh.

I still must disagree though, on one point: baseball is not a waste of time because of the steroids. It was already a waste of time long before steroids came into use.

*ducking*

Posted by: -TBG- | August 20, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

To change the subject slightly. This was sent to me by my older right wing nut doctor friend who usually sends me extremely stupid paranoid rantings of the intellectually challenged. (Actually, now that I think about it, this too is paranoid.)

http://aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

Posted by: rickoshea0 | August 20, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I think it would be difficult to find any sport where at least some athletes were not looking for ways to gain an advantage, not unlike the business world - there are those who think the ends justify the means, actually applies pretty much to everything in life, suddenly Fox News springs to mind.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 20, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Bud -- we welcome you, really we do.

I do agree with you about baseball, even though I was a rabid fan when I was a child. Hmmm. Maybe that's a signal. Now, I think it is beyond boring.

As for the Olympics, I've always held a bias against it, once I learned about the IOC's infatuation with dictators (including Hitler in the 1936 Games in Berlin). God forbid the massacre of a few million people should come in the way of a good game, eh? Another reason is that I represented a client in a trademark opposition where his company was sued by the USOC for likelihood of confusion of (get this) between the Olympic rings and a Venn diagram with an intersecting arrow within the interlocking circles. We won, of course. The USOC is extremely predatory and act like bullies -- particularly against small businesses. And, um, guess how many Audi cars I drove behind or parked behind during that time???? Hey, no prob. Audi is a big cheese and my client was a baby cheese.

I told you we won, right?

Stick with us, Bud. We're really pretty friendly and most of the time very funny. But you've already found out that we push back. And we don't bite unless it's called for.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 20, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

rickoshea - That pizza-order video was pretty funny. Spending too much time worrying about it is funnier still.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 20, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Piranhas nibble
toes in New York for a fee;
here, pedicure's free.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 20, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm..... Bob... I see you're boodling from home. Would you like your pizza delivered to your [redacted] address?

:-)

Posted by: -TBG- | August 20, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

It's just one of those facts of life that information is available (for anyone who wishes to collect it, really) that was inconceivable outside the realm of fiction in Orwell's big year, 1984.

I doubt that there are any magic answers. Them that wishes to do so can live as much "off the grid" as they can arrange to do so, the rest of us can discourage in various ways the misuse of all the info. There's no stuffing the genie back in the bottle.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 20, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I chimed in on this before: The David Goldhill article from The Atlantic that Joel recommended last night should be mandatory reading for everyone who's involved in planning health care policies, and strongly-encouraged reading for all of us who consume health care.

I've tried to make some of the same points before (never so well thought-out, and certainly never so well-written) here and elsewhere, and seldom gained much traction. But ultimately, we've got to get away from a model where the consumers of the service have no incentive to give a damn what it costs.

The link again:
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200909/health-care

Posted by: bobsewell | August 20, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I also highly recommend the Atul Gawande piece in The New Yorker to which Goldhill refers and links:
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/12/10/071210fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=all

-- -- --
On a completely different note: The recent uproar over the column by Whole Foods' Mackey got me thinking about "Junk Food Junkie" by Larry Gross. For a silly little novelty song popped off in a single afternoon over thirty years ago, I think it's held up pretty well.

Lyrics (& some background):
http://dmdb.org/lyrics/junk.food.junkie.html

Recording:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKKUTW65PK4

Posted by: bobsewell | August 20, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Cable guy bitten by green mamba in Hollywood

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/hollywood/sfl-snake-bite-hollywood-bn082009,0,1431615.story

Only in Florida do cable guys fall victim to snakes from Africa.

Makes swimming a half mile in the ocean (cheating--with fins) look utterly safe by comparison. Not a trace of hurricane swell, so far.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 20, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Larry "Groce". (embarrassed)

Posted by: bobsewell | August 20, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

rickoshea0 -- that pizza shop "thing" was sent to me by my oldest kid. I really did think we taught him to think for himself, but I guess not.

Posted by: nellie4 | August 20, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Bob S. I do give a "damn." I've gone without health insurance and had health insurance.

I raised some quibbles with his assumptions last night, because not everywhere is the same, but overall, yes, the system rewards inefficiency and poor service.

There has been a debate on whether putting doctors on salary without kickbacks for tests etc. means overall savings and better service. I think so, too.

But when doctors graduate with 100K in loans and are forced to work inhumane hours, money and efficiency will be an issue no matter what.

I'm surprised he didn't rant about how his father died because the overnight doctor was an intern who had gone without sleep for 36 hours. It so easily could have been.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 20, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Bob, I reread that article again and I still don't get it. My own reaction to not having dental insurance anymore is that I won't go to the dentist every 6 months to get my teeth cleaned. So I don't see why having to pay for medical procedures would have any effect other than making it more of a "best health care money can buy" type of thing. Which isn't right. It's in our interest as a society to have pregnant women get prenatal care, to have babies checked and vaccinated, etc. I don't understand how HSA's would be funded for people who can't afford them, or how the govt could force me to set that money aside.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 20, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

TBG, as long as when I get home dinner is on the table and the house is spotless, I don't care what the dogz do in their spare time. :-)

How many other people spend 10 hours working on their last day at a (now) ex-job? (hint: only the stoopid ones)

I plan on sleeping in tomorrow and meeting friends for lunch on Saturday.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 20, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

You are done dbG, Hooray!!!

How good does it feel?

Posted by: dmd3 | August 20, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

At least one other. And that was just stoopid. But, burned no bridges. And demonstrated that they should have been paying attention all those years!

Such satisfaction, to discard a bad employer. Really. And to find a good one.

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Was about to post a link to that famous Country song, "Take this Job and..." but better judgement prevailed.

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

seasea - I really believe that your question has several parts that have to be addressed separately.

Why don't you have a pool of money (no matter its source) to pay for dental care, whether insurance or government program or the sheer kindness of strangers? Because your employer doesn't provide it? Because you don't currently have an employer? Because you don't make enough money to feel that its cost is comfortably within your means? I suppose the easy answer is: Because you were unlucky (not to be born wealthy or closely related to a dentist) and short-sighted (not to have been saving for this moment since your first newspaper route or baby-sitting gig).

But the real answer is that because for more than half a century, many of us have been weaned away from the idea that we pay cash money for medical services. It's just some faraway transaction wherein our "insurance" deals with the doctor's "billing", and nothing so crass as an actual purchase of services is taking place. If you don't have the magical insurance, and might actually need to take into account the price tag, then you're basically a crass interloper.

Horsefeathers, says I. Nobody considers it strange to save up for, or compare the prices of various providers of, food and housing. Nor is it considered particularly remarkable that folks with more money have wider options available to them in those areas of consumption, even though most of us would be aghast at the idea of denying adequate food & housing even to the utterly penniless.

[Part 1 of what may be an all-nighter. This subject actually interests me quite a lot, and I'm always open to strongly-worded dissent, as long as something resembling defensible logic is in play. I fully expect that my occasional displays of illogic will be pointed out to me in humiliating detail! :-D ]

Posted by: bobsewell | August 20, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

The Onion does radio too:
http://www.theonion.com/content/radio_news/county_officials_call

Posted by: Southwester | August 20, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

bobs-the pay as you go and save up for the big things approach seems highly workable, and at times holds a certain appeal to me- with safety nets for those who can't pay or save. But what of those who won't? It seems that we'd have a hard transition period, and those who push hardest for making markets work don't appear to be willing to mandate HSA contributions or any other scheme for universal coverage.

Jon Stewart is chewing up the "death panel" lady (not Palin, the first nutjob who appears to have coined the term).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 20, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Bob S.: I probably could fly to India, get dental work done, and fly back and it'd be cheaper than going to a dentist locally.

Because dental insurance is not something most people, in fact nor expect coverage for... I do not think the expense of a dentist is directly due to medical insurance inflating costs everywhere.

If we saved at the rate necessary as suggested by that article, this country would actually go into hyperdeflation, which can trigger economic crises.

If people are saving up in case their kid needs a 40,000 dollar operation next year, that's 40,000 dollars that cannot be invested in the economy right now. That money is doing nothing.

And don't tell me that people should play the stock market with their health care money, either. It's bad enough that we did it with our retirement funds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deflation

So while his attitude is refreshingly sensible, it's also not going to work economically for a good number of Americans.

I do like the idea of catastrophic insurance, but what we really need right now is affordable insurance for the working poor. That's folks who earn $6 a hour and are making ends meet by a razorthin margin every week, or folks who earn a little more but are living in an expensive area and have families to support.

It doesn't take a 40K surgery to put them in a debtor's hole where they have to pay credit in addition to their daily bills. It can take only 150 bucks for a doctor's visit.

And um, schools require vaccinations for kids, so say you're making ends meet, you can just afford that because you know it's coming along.

But then your kid gets sick, or you break a leg and you need X-rays, bone setting, cast put on, and then to go back to get the cast removed.

I have been in economic situations where an injury just that very month would have been truly catastrophic. I could have risked losing my car or my apartment because I had no insurance.

Luckily, I didn't get hurt (or psorasis-- poor Martooni, what a horrible experience).

I looked around and I couldn't find insurance I could afford just for really catastrophic stuff. What he's suggesting, does not exist, or if it does, they find ways not to pay for actual needs, leaving you down the money you paid for the insurance AND also the full cost of paying the doctor.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 20, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Nut job is right. She misinterprets a provision paying doctors to tell patients about how living wills work into a program giving every doctor soylent green machines and assigning them quotas.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 20, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Bob, I would say that the medical profession has benefitted greatly from being paid by the insurance companies, no longer do the doctors have to worry about how many chickens they will receive for a visit, if the patient will pay.

Say we go back to the old system, how many would be able to afford any medical care, how long would doctors be able to continue making their current incomes, could hospitals really survive?

or perhaps people would take out the equivalent of a mortgage to pay for medical expenses?

Would seem to me that since the we have begun to rely on the current system of insurance paying for medical fees (or here paid through taxes) there have been enormous gains in medical knowledge, expertise and technology - how much of that would have been possible on a pay for service system?

I have not given this any deep thought so if this is illogical, please keep that in mind.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 20, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Hello, Boodle! Just stopping in to say hi after months of Achen-hiatus. The new job has me busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kickin' contest. It's grrrrrreat!

I'm a paralegal at this firm. Funny thing is, I fell right back into actin' like a lawyer. As a result, many opposing counsel mistake me for the real deal and start arguing with me. When they realize their error ... oh, it's rich! We like to think we're a classless society, but we're not. I highly recommend jumping several rungs down the success ladder. You can't pay for this kind of entertainment.

Many thoughts re: women looking like men (since I have often been thusly mistaken), health care reform, baseball, etc., but ... too tired.

Cheerio!

Posted by: KBoom | August 20, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod,
No need to go to India. There are plenty of dentists in Tijuana. I've seen them. And if you need some painkillers afterwards, there are lots of reasonably priced pharmacies right next door.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 20, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Er, I prefer my painkillers without dead worms in them, yellojkt.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 20, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

The problem with "save up and pay for the big expenditures on your own" is that medical problems do not have the good grace to wait until I have the money before they crop up. I have a friend who is a survivor of cancer in her late teens, an illness that tends to be expensive to treat. Is she supposed to have enough money on her own? Are her parents, many years older and more likely now to have the illnesses of older folks, supposed to spend away all their money in treating her, leaving nothing for the inevitable illnesses that will come to them? Or should she just go ahead and die, like in the good old days? Insurance is not just a mechanism to save money for you or to even out your lifetime health costs. It's about shared risks, so that when rare but expensive things happen, one person does not have to shoulder the whole burden or simply die.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 20, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Hi, KBoom - glad to hear you're having fun.

This is a Mayo Clinic take on HSA's - has some good pro's and cons:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/health-savings-accounts/GA00053

I think a basic level of health care should come from the govt. It works for most developed nations, why not us?

Posted by: seasea1 | August 20, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

KBoom!!!!

Posted by: Yoki | August 20, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

What SciTim said. One person might only need $10,000 worth of care (or less) in his entire lifetime, while another needs $3M worth of care or more.

I'm pretty sure Stephen Hawking's health care would cost millions and millions under the US system.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 21, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

For you, dbG:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rf0Vd7dmsJI&feature=related

Posted by: -jack- | August 21, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Boom goes the dynamite lawyer. Welcome back Kboom!

Bill Clinton went to the Caribbean to stop Hurricane Bill. After freeing those women in Korea, he's on a roll.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 21, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod,
They got the good stuff too. You just need to make sure it stays in the bottom of your purse when you go through customs.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 21, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if that guy really is on the juice, but his big orange buses really go fast.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 21, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back Kboom, hope you find the time to post more often.

I am off to bed, if anyone has cool breezes in their area it would be most appreciated. It seems all the rain we got with our storm only intensified the humidity. Steamy, steamy, steamy out. Hopefully the people without power tonight will have it restored soon and those with damaged houses are able to return to their homes in a short time. To the parents who lost a child so very sorry.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 21, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

KBoom!!!!

Posted by: Yoki | August 21, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

What I want to know is, is there a Boodle-index? If any comment by me is held for review after two-consecutive, why on earth does Yello (I love you, buddy) get four-in-hand. I don't even use strong language. At least, not very often.

Posted by: Yoki | August 21, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

salty language, Yoki?! oh my...

Posted by: -jack- | August 21, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Ah, yea, she's a salty lass. Grand, really. A grand girl.

Posted by: Yoki | August 21, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

I've definitely come to the conclusion that this won't be an all-nighter. Unlike the impatient folks who seem to believe that all of their concerns can and should be answered in one loud town hall meeting, I figure this subject deserves careful consideration of rational concerns. And, though I'm loathe to admit it, some time needs to be spent even on irrational concerns.

Yoki - All of your "held for review" comments come directly to me. I laugh and laugh! But I'm under contract to hold them for a VERY long period of review.

dmd3 - It would seem to me that since the we have begun to rely on the current system of paying for telephone services (by individuals choosing among various providers) there have been enormous gains in communications knowledge, expertise and technology - how much of that would have been possible on a pay-the-government-protected single-provider system?

Posted by: bobsewell | August 21, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - Stephen Hawking is one of only a few tens of thousands people in the United Kingdom who need the particular mix of skilled care that he requires in the long-term. [I'm lumping lots of conditions together here for the sake of simplicity.]

Given that his day-to-day needs are covered by mostly by folks who need fairly straightforward patient care training, and his more esoteric needs are met by specialists who can be utilized to care for plenty of other patients in addition to him, the "millions and millions" cost is just an artificial bookkeeping device.

Putting into place a system that can handle the needs of one Stephen Hawking does, in fact, cost millions and millions of (insert currency here). Treating more of them does not, in fact, cost millions and millions of (insert currency here) each.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 21, 2009 2:14 AM | Report abuse

I can use the phone system only because of a government mandated set-aside for telecommunications equality for the deaf, Bob S. This pays for services.

I still have to pay for how much longer my phone calls take through the relay.

But the real cost cutter is the internet making VOIP and such possible.

On an more insulting note-- I just learned that high octane beer and hard cider is called "Canadian Aspirin." Apparently it is a popular "health care export" from Canada among some.

Meh.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 21, 2009 2:20 AM | Report abuse

Bob S.; it's not only nurses he needs.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 21, 2009 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - You can only use the phone system because the highly successful telecommunications industry giggles when it thinks about how little it has to pay for great press it gets while providing the government mandated set-aside for telecommunications equality for the deaf.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 21, 2009 2:30 AM | Report abuse

The first deaf customer probably cost the industry a lot. You, not so much.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 21, 2009 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Bob S, let's assume it only costs 20K a year for his full-time nurses, (hah), he's been wheelchair-bound for 20 years.

That's easily 400K, just for starters.

And he's actually been progressively disabled since 1963.

And again, I repeat, he does not only need nurses. It is possible that such diligent care has reduced his need for serious medical interventions due to dangerous hyperthermia and other risks he runs due to his condition.

That would be highly sensible preventive care, which is hard to get from insurance.

I know of people nearly as immobile who have died because of neglect by their caregivers. A room that's too hot can kill somebody who can't undo their clothes or call for help.

They did not have the sophiscated communication technology tha Hawking has, nor the continuous health care without gaps due to monentary concerns.

The long-term costs of disability or chronic illness can be severe. Millions is not unreasonable, especially when inflated drug costs are involved.

Remember, I'm not talking per year. I'm talking LIFETIME.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 21, 2009 2:41 AM | Report abuse

Do you even know how I might call out for pizza, Bob S.? Get a job interview? Call 911?

I'm not saying I cost the industry millions--

I'm saying that I and many other deaf people were unable to do this until 20 years ago, despite the fact the bleeping phone was invented by a son of a deaf mother who was married to a deaf woman-- and the fact that such an "irresistable PR opportunity" was there.

We had to depend on the graces of neighbors, family, etc. to function in a phone-reliant world. Before 1974 or so, deaf people couldn't even call each other at all, and so had no reason to own a phone.

Now it's so changed completely, there are so many communication alternatives, it's easy to forget what it really was like back then-

--When it wasn't just Ma Bell that had the monoploy, but the whole concept of telephone as THE means of live long distance communication, except for ham radio, and the phone was designed only for one thing, and that was carrying sound through wires.

If you couldn't talk or hear, tough luck.

I think such a narrow idea of health insurance as the author is promoting is going backwards in time to when phones delivered sound and nothing but sound over wires-- no internet, no TTY, no relay, no cell phones.

Nostalgia is nice, but it's bullhockey.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 21, 2009 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - I know you're just being intentionally confrontational, and that's fine. But I think I drew a pretty clear distinction between the bulk of the individual cost for caring for high-needs patients (Hawking just happened to be the handy example), and the special costs involved in caring for the entire class of patients.

The vast majority of money for long-term care for anybody who's seriously ill goes to providers of relatively mainstream services and equipment. Doctors creating new treatments do not get generally get rewarded handsomely for their efforts, and neither do creative inventors of useful medical equipment, nor (typically) do the researchers who develop and test new pharmaceutical products. But the entire system which delivers these innovations does just fine. When someone undergoes one of the amazing multiple-organ transplant surgeries, the combined fees attributed to the surgeons & support staff involved in the procedure(s) is always dwarfed by the associated fees of much-less-specialized care, equipment & supplies.

We all need to be careful about how we personalize this issue. It's great to say that you are so thirsty that you'd be happy with a constant running stream through your yard. But if we all had a constant running stream through our yard, it would be a muddy ole world.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 21, 2009 3:07 AM | Report abuse

Dark clouds are building up in the horizon. If more dark clouds gather and it rains later, like 6:30pm, we might not be able to see the moon. If that’s the case, tomorrow won’t be the 1st day of the fasting month – a public holiday. Instead Sunday will be the 1st day.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 21, 2009 3:13 AM | Report abuse

rainy - I refuse to be bound by the flitting-about of such wispy & whimsical (and hard) beings as clouds. I shall begin my fasting tomorrow, and add on extra days as the situation requires. You may rest assured that an extra day or two of fasting will cause me no harm.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 21, 2009 3:25 AM | Report abuse

It didn’t even wait till 6:30pm to rain. It’s raining now so you might get your extra day, Bob. However, that extra day might not mean you get extra credit for it, though. “Selamat Berpuasa!” to you.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 21, 2009 4:05 AM | Report abuse

...means "safe fasting"...

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 21, 2009 4:08 AM | Report abuse

RF -I might have asked eventually... but probably not until I was weak with hunger.

:-)

Posted by: bobsewell | August 21, 2009 4:13 AM | Report abuse

I finally got around to finishing Braguine's book. I liked it a lot. A soupçon of sex, a generous slathering of skulduggery, fun stuff all the way around. I don't imagine my book project (a somewhat rambling discourse on the societal effects of Darwin's theory, leavened by a good bit of [probably stupid] humor) will ever see print, but if it does, it will almost certainly not be as much fun as Brag's book.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 21, 2009 4:56 AM | Report abuse

Since I'm all alone, I'll toss this out there:

dmd - I was a bit glib (oh, really?) earlier in responding to your point about medical advances in the past half-century. But realistically, medical research isn't funded by insurance money, except in the sense that any business subsidizes its less-profitable endeavors with funds from its more-profitable undertakings - generally in the hope that someday they'll be less not-so-profitable. That's going to take place no matter who's footing the bill.

Yes, I'm sure that an insurance company occasionally funds some medical research. But so do Anheuser Busch (oops, that's AB InBev nowadays), RJ Reynolds, Pfizer, and the National Institutes of Health. And you know what? They will still do so, because ultimately the same people (that would be you and me) who were paying the bills before will still be paying 'em. The only difference is that a layer of cottony swaddle may have been shed, and a slightly brighter light may dispel some disinformation and/or lack of information, on that sunny day when increasing numbers of consumers start requiring dependable info before they part with their hard-earned moolah.

Maybe. (I can dream, can't I?)

Posted by: bobsewell | August 21, 2009 5:48 AM | Report abuse

Not a woman? Have you seen the President's wife. She is also sturdy.

But i do not doubt she is a woman.

I just can not see where I need to see to make that determination with Caster.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | August 21, 2009 5:50 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

I did read the article on Caster S. and looked long and hard at her picture. I saw no evidence of facial hair, which was a comment made in the article by someone in S. Africa as the reason she is suspect. Does she shave? Facial hair just may not show up in these pictures. To me she looks no different in the pictures from the other female athletes, although her running pants look restrictive to me compared to the women's.

Is the facial hair a hormonal thing? I truly hope her tests put to rest the sex controversy, and she can brush off all the negativism and enjoy being an outstanding athlete.

Dry as a bone around here and heavy, hot air. We have had to water the grass almost daily, no drought restrictions, yet.

Breakfast should be fluffy and light. Will begin with fluffy blueberry waffles and whipped butter (more fluff), eggs benedict* and maybe some grilled Bermuda fish, which looked and tasted like flounder to me when I had it in Bermuda. Pitchers of fresh squeezed juice are the lightest part of this meal. ;-)

* Eggs Benedict= one half of a split english muffin, on which is placed one slice of grilled, round Canadian bacon, on which is placed one soft pouched (sp) egg, on which is placed several pieces of tender, steam asparagus, topped with hollandaise sauce.

Posted by: VintageLady | August 21, 2009 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, everybody!

New kit!

Posted by: slyness | August 21, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Bob S., not delibrately confrontional.

I'm making the very good point that "catastrophic costs" don't always show up immediately, but accrue over months and years and could swiftly bankrupt a family for nothing more than "general visits."

While hospital stays often get trumpeted as the most expensive part of health care (and often justly so), any true health insurance designed to protect against the costs of catastrophic illness needs to pay for lower-impact but more frequent needs.

You're lucky I didn't begin to pull out the issues of paying for life-long institutionalization and medical care-- and how some money thrown at the problem prenatally or right in infancy could have reduced those costs, if not eliminated them.

I see your point re class (Thanks, now I feel like the disabled are a "class"-- probably the "underclass"), but I'm saying explicitly that if you allow a narrow, restrictive hospital-stay based sense of insurance (like the author was promoting), you risk insurance that won't cover anybody but very healthy, young people who killed somebody else when driving drunk.

Because this is how most people understand "catastrophe." A friend has a son who was nearly killed by a van when he was 11. He's 31 now and has to be in a group home and take medications daily-- irreversibly brain damaged.

The needs of the brain-damaged far outstrip our present services.

And then people complain about the use of helmets and such as infringements on civil liberty and nannyism. It's a real concern that sooner or later a brain-damaged survivor of a motorycle accident will wind up on public charity and cost taxpayers a lot of money. No HSA can cover the cost of a motorcycle accident.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 21, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Mike, seems to have a problem whenever a non-USA athlete seems to be doing well. He had none of these skeptisms when Micheal Johnson was breaking records or of Micheal Phelphs 8 gold medals. Where would Jamaica a poor developing country be able to get all the high tech and sofisticated know how to outsmart the IAAF testing labs. I would recommend that He take a two week visit to the island to see the gyms and learn about the rich history of athletics in Jamaica. Mike is suffering from a case of "sour grapes" and disbelieve that his golden boys and girls are getting the butts wiped by a small poor country like Jamaica. This was the same reaction when Cuba used to be the US at boxing and baseball.

Winston

Posted by: dmdawes | August 25, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

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