Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Public health: the new terror threat

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  • Jason Kemp,

    Craig - Don't you think those old number from the 1930's might be be for reasons others than being a doctor.

    There would probably be a correlation between wealth and party membership that might be more insightful or any number of other clues.

    Just no sure you can drwa the bow that long.

    Medical education and general literacy - not to say anything about political debate might also have changed the groundrules in the past 60-70 yrs.

    "Doctors had been active participants in the Nazi project, and joined Hitler’s National Socialist party in greater numbers than any other profession (45% were party members, compared with 20% of teachers)."

    I'm not trying to get this thread Godwined, but while it would be nice to think putting your kids though medical school would act as a vaccine against being a religious fanatic or a murderous ideological bigot, it doesn't work like that. Bugger.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Terrorists look for loop-holes in any system. They found one in the Bristish immigration checks for medical physicians

    Yes, they were obviously ultra-sophisticated international terrorists. Clearly the one and only gap in their skills was not realising that petrol isn't an explosive

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Terence Wood,

    Paul Krugman,

    Has a good go at the terrorists and socialised health care thing in the NYT. open link

    Since Nov 2006 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Terence Wood,

    aaarrgghhh...worst typo thus far. I'm talking about Paul Krugman, not to him, and the link's meant to be for the rest of you.

    Sigh....time...to.....switch....to......backup.....brain.......

    Since Nov 2006 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Only the names have changed really.

    http://www.lyricsfreak.com/p/pogues/streets+of+sorrowbirmingham+six_20109737.html
    Pogues lyrics of Birmingham six still have a ring of truth to them.


    Christy Moore Scapegoats

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I had a similarly weird experience discussing socialised medicine with an American the other day. His key objection seemed to be that some hidden group of people would become crazily rich if the US instituted such a system. He wasn't able to explain who these people would be, except to say that wherever government intervenes someone becomes rich. Perhaps the corporate socialism practiced in the US has made him crazy?

    I don't find it surprising that many Nazis were doctors or highly educated - I believe Germany was an early world leader in training university graduates, Nazis targetted students early on, eugenics was popular (and acceptable) back then, there was political/economic instability (hitting salaried professionals hard) and a lot of these people had served in a terrible, long war. I am reading Vikram Seth's biography (Two Lives) of his (Indian) uncle and his (German Jewish) aunt who met in the 30s while the uncle was training at medical school in Berlin. There was plenty of reference to Nazi doctors and medical students, and I believe this was before and during Hitler's assumption of power.

    Besides, I've met plenty of people with really stange views and beliefs who are university educated. Having a degree doesn't always make you less crazy, it just gives you a wider range of arguments or examples to defend your particular nutty theory. I learnt this truth when a Biology major tried to convince me of the soundness of Young Earth creationism.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1025 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Wilson,

    That Fox clip was magnificent because no one laughed and said 'just kidding!' I don't know how they do that...

    Aberdeen, UK • Since Nov 2006 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Bronwen Joyner,

    All I ever hear about when I talk to colleagues and friends in Virginia is about 'oh but aren’t there horrible waiting lists', and ‘isn't the medical care really bad?' This issue seems such a no brainer to me and no matter how good the medical care is here (if you can pay for it), you will never ever convince me that private health care is better.

    I have had very good experiences with the health care system here, but it has cost me through the nose, even with pretty good health insurance.

    I think that Fox news thing taps into two great fears Americans have, immigrants and anything government controlled.

    Norfolk, Virginia • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    His key objection seemed to be that some hidden group of people would become crazily rich if the US instituted such a system.

    As opposed to the in plain sight crazily rich HMO's ???

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    why wait? see it here:
    Michael Moore's Sicko

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    (which is a pity really, it would have been quite fun to have you out flank me from the left :) )

    Heh... but I'm beginning to feel more and more sympathy with the historian Robert Conquest, who once said what was really needed on the political scene was a United Front Against Bullshit. Four decades later, and twelve thousand miles away, I don't think anything has changed.

    I would imagine it was more of a high-society thing. When certain members of the community join the party it would be join or be ostracised. Peer pressure is a powerful tool.

    In many cases, I'm sure you're right -- after the War, there were plenty of opportunists with party membership who paid dearly for the sin of being moral cretins who would go along to get along. Which throws into starker relief, I think, those who did show real moral courage and wouldn't have a bar of Nazis - and lost their jobs, or found their careers stalled, from academia to the arts.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    His key objection seemed to be that some hidden group of people would become crazily rich if the US instituted such a system. He wasn't able to explain who these people would be, except to say that wherever government intervenes someone becomes rich.

    I can understand how an American might get that impression. Greg Palast probably keeps a master list of social interventions actually designed to make somebody rich. I'm sure it's not beyond their ingenuity to rort a socialised medical system.

    The point that leaps to mind is that if you were going to fix it so people were happy to provide healthcare free when they hadn't before, they'll cheerfully take all the money you have. For some reason private preschool care leaps to mind as a comparison.

    I can't see a US government getting away with "here's what we think is a reasonable price - take it or we'll nationalise you".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Ego is a nasty little thing at times.
    Denounce your superior or colleague as a Jew/Socialist/Homosexual (although not many we in this camp)/Slav and you are embraced by the Party and promoted in your profession.
    As most of these professionals were middle class with ties to defunct nobility. The ego stroking went to super human and ultimately inhumane ends.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth,

    why wait? see it here:
    Michael Moore's Sicko

    Because that is one of many illegal copies flooding the internet after a video file was stolen by someone working in the post-production studio (several weeks before the film received its cinematic release). Call me old-fashioned but I feel we should respect Michael Moore's efforts by at least paying for a ticket to see the film in a cinema.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Call me old-fashioned but I feel we should respect Michael Moore's efforts by at least paying for a ticket to see the film in a cinema.

    His efforts might have deserved respect had his motivation been anything other than money and self-aggrandisement.

    His recent conversion to the cause of health reform is in marked contrast to when the last serious reform attempts were made by the Clintons. At that time Moore was waging a vendetta against Bill and Hillary. He may not have had as much of an effect as the Reps in making sure the Clintons didn't succeed but he sure tried.

    He also completely ignores the real world reforms proposed by the leading Dem presidential hopefuls. Hillary Clinton is putting foward a reform package that is an updated and improved version of the one she tried to push thru in the 90s. But don't expect to learn about that in Sicko.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Buy Snow Crash, go to a decent second-hand bookshop (Browsers if you're up this way) and just buy it. You'll be reading it more than once anyway.

    Pity the last third is loses the plot and the 'facts' about linguistics are complete crap.

    I made the mistake of the starting the heaving, turgid mess that is his Baroque Cycle. Neal Stephenson must be the smugest, most self-satisfied, and hugely over-rated sci-fi author working today. I find his cult even more annoying than Dan Brown's.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    D'oh. Wrong thread. Administrator, hope me!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    why wait? see it here:
    Michael Moore's Sicko

    Because that is one of many illegal copies flooding the internet after a video file was stolen by _


    Call me old-fashioned but I thought it was an official site! Surely Mr Moore coulda/shoulda had the site shut down by now if it was bogus? The Weinstein Bros are awfully powerful ...

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Absolutely Outrageous.
    Stay with your cousin 2yrs ago & when you left you gave him your cell phone.
    Now you face 15yrs behind bars.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/articles/2007/07/14/1184438112407.html

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Outrageous, but also 'modern justice'. Here's another scenario:

    You buy one of those 'Pressie Cards' at the PostShop, load it with a $50 value and give it to your mate for his birthday. Your mate buys fertiliser at the local hardware shop and makes a bomb. The Police find the bomb and trace the fertiliser back to the shop, and trace the payment back to you. You explain you gave it as a gift to your mate, so they go and arrest him, but detain you further because you're friends with an alleged bomber, and they charge you with financing terrorism.

    Next thing you know, your neighbours are on TV saying "he was always very quiet, kept to himself, you never know do you?"

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Anyone donated to GreenPeace lately?

    Labour introduced the new Terrorism laws where any activity that hampers business is Terrorism (wee exception for employee based union activity).

    Save Happy Valley are Terrorists under Phill Goffs law.
    You know those guys saving snails (dying to tie this to the French & Rainbow warrior - all too delicious) on the West Coast (AKL doesn't have a westcoast it is in the Sth Isaland & the East Coast is in the North).
    I kind of have a softside for Solid Energy - they have done a lot of good here.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Ozzy Ozzy Ozzy Oi Oi Oi
    The cops made the shit up and the sim card was left in Liverpool!
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22117157-601,00.html

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Yeah, I read the Herald story this morning and it looks like a clear cut case of making shit up. I wonder how many ppl in Gitmo are there for the same BS reasons? Like all good Gulags they only let you out when you sign a confession admitting your guilt - which exonerates their decision to detain you in the first place!!

    The Herald story finishes with

    But yesterday News Ltd newspapers carried new allegations, quoting senior Government and police sources, suggesting that Haneef was part of a conspiracy to attack Australia, possibly on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States.

    The reports said that police were examining images of a Gold Coast building and its foundations found in documents and photographs seized during a raid on Haneef's apartment after his arrest on July 2. The reports also claimed that Haneef was allegedly one of a group of doctors who had been learning to fly in Queensland.

    Which is disturbing. Until you remember that these are same sources who said his SIM card was in the burning car ...

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    The cops made the shit up . . .

    Haneef gave his sim card to a stingray - or maybe a dingo.

    As someone once said about 'Honest John' Howard, he's called honest just like red-haired people are called Blue.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    The reports also claimed that Haneef was allegedly one of a group of doctors who had been learning to fly in Queensland.

    Ah yes, only pilots should be allowed to learn to fly. I've always been suspicious of Paul Holmes' motives for learning to fly. I mean, why would a broadcaster need to learn how to fly? And evidently he crash landed a lot too - obviously he never paid much attention to the lessons on how to land. Just like the 9/11 Hi-Jackers!!!
    Surely someone must have reported him to the SIS? I bet he's just biding his time, waiting till they stop following him ...

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

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