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December 04, 2009


To be serious for a moment, I find it fascinating that the media jumped all over the Tiger Woods story as soon as it broke, in stark contrast to the way it refused for months to report about John Edwards' love child once that story had been broken by the Enquirer. I wonder, was that because being beaten to a story by the Enquirer is so embarrassing that the MSM prefer to pretend the story doesn't exist, or was it because of Elizabeth Edwards' medical situation, or was it because a scandal involving John Edwards was somehow less interesting to the MSM than a story involving, say, the mother of Sarah Palin's daughter's baby daddy?

Why doesn't the Denver School Board meet in Denver? What a waste of money!

No doubt the School Board members are looking forward to spending time in the expensive Broadmoor resort. It's described as a "retreat", so it probably involves staying at this 5 star hotel for several days, including lavish meals. It's all paid for with taxpayer money that might have gone into educating students.

I suspect that one reason the Board opposes opening their counseling session is that they don't want the public to realize what a boondoggle it is.

I suggest that Sarah Palin should start an in-home day-care service by accepting the Edwards' love-child as one of her first responsibilities. Then Edwards will be able to bask in the glow of the shared media attention.

It ought to goose her book sales too.

I'm sympathetic to the view that screening may not always be the best idea. My biostatistician wife explained that mammograms result in a lot of false positives. Each of them has to be followed up with additional tests, that may be expensive and uncomfortable.

In a way I agree with Hutchinson's point that the individual, rather than the government, ought to make the trade-off decision. However, any woman is at liberty to have a mammogram if she wants to pay for it herself. I think it's reasonable for the government and insurance companies to limit their coverage when the gain is tiny compared the costs.

Bob the Builder says:

Can we do it?
Yes, we can!

Afghan Foreign Minister Spanta sounded more like:

Can we do it?

At a Congressional hearing, Dr. Diana Petitti (no pun intended), vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, testified that the task force's report had been "misconstrued." I believe her point was that the panel hadn't recommended against mammograms for women under 50, they'd recommended against sending telegrams to your mammy if the temperature is under 50. It was all just a big misunderstanding.

Dr. Petitti (whose name my wife tells me is pronounced peteetee) explained that the panel had not recommended routine mammograms for ages 40 to 50. The word "routine" was not intended to mean that nobody in that age bracket should get a mammogram. Rather, it meant that a women in that age bracket should get mammograms if her doctor believes there are particular circumstances warranting it.

For women age 40 to 50, there are approximately 1000 false positives for every true positive. So, 999 out of 1000 women whose mammogram is positive will go on to have various other tests but will turn out not to have cancer.

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