Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Public health: the new terror threat

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  • BenWilson,

    I find it hard to think of any demographic less likely to become terrorists than doctors. They have a lot to live for, and live to heal.

    What a quack. Need any more really be said?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Boden,

    Time to ramp up the smoke machine against "socialized" medicine again... Bill and Hillary had the temerity to suggest moving to such a scheme, and look what it got them.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 96 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    I'm more worried about how good they are. Any fifteen year old with internet access should be able to make a bomb. Boy scouts would do it. A wacko like McVeigh could do it.
    These guys dump some petrol and gas cannisters in- yeah, two mercedes, just to prove they're really doctors- well, with planning and executions skills that slip-shod, I'm glad they're not looking after my health!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    McVeigh was trying to make a point about the injustice of the 1st Gulf War, admittedly in a wacko way.

    Interesting the fear that foreign Drs will import their problems with them (problems largely exported by the west).
    Contrast this with the Yarpie at Waikato DHB looking to exclude 'ineligible' patients. A bit of Race based health care?

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    and to perpetually perceive threat.

    and then there is the "new" threat to Bali and Indonesia as per the new MFAT travel advisory from Australia. I was told yesterday by a neigbour from their consulate that there is no new information or threat, just a worry that too many Australians are coming here (btw you are twice as likely to die violently in Australia as you are in Indonesia).

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    That's a great piece by Craig. But I did enjoy the irony of his "and pay careful attention" admonishon to his listeners :-)

    Any fifteen year old with internet access should be able to make a bomb.

    This was the case even before the advent of the internet. Could even be the subject of one of Russell's monthly story gathering initiatives.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • nic.wise,

    Must. Leave. America. Now.

    (where Now == 16 days, and counting)

    I almost got the cable people to put a block on FoxNews, 'cos I was starting to throw things at the screen when I surfed past.

    Of course, my next major stop after the US is the UK..... (sigh).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    I seem to remember trying to give "The Devil Dared Me To" guys some money when they were selling patches on Dick's suit.

    It was a very hard transaction to complete, unsurprising when you see the 20/20 segment.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Could even be the subject of one of Russell's monthly story gathering initiatives

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, open science classroom window, hey presto - gunpowder. 70% carbon, 20% sulphur, 10% potassium nitrate (memory hazy). 1987 I think...

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Any fifteen year old with internet access should be able to make a bomb

    I tried hard and only managed to singe my eyebrows. It's the KNO3 that's hard to get. Plus the right grade of sulphur and charcoal. Plus your proportions are wrong - read Clive Ponting's book "Gunpowder" for the details.

    I read in some wingnut rag, the Guardian I think, that it was likely that furrin anaesthetists would kill their patients as an act of terrerism. Secretly. I'm not sure how marginally increasing the death rate under anaesthetics would help the cause though..

    I do have a better suggestion, which would be for the "Al" to pretend that they have hundreds of activists in key positions in the NHS, London Transport, the power utilities, etc. Then, after they're all sacked, the resulting staff shortages would lead to death and dislocation on a scale that would far outweigh anything they could do by the "self-immolation in carparks" method.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    That's a great piece by Craig. But I did enjoy the irony of his "and pay careful attention" admonishon to his listeners :-)

    Fair cop, you could almost hear me waggling my finger in a school-marmish way. :) But, really, if you're going to use the plural form of 'group' in your lead and headline, then you better come up with more than one. I actually agree with Russell - you can have a serious argument on all kinds of level about whether trying to import our health sector workforce like flat-screen TVs is anything more than a quick fix patch. I'd be thankful if the only daily newspaper in New Zealand's largest media market would contribute to it.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I find it hard to think of any demographic less likely to become terrorists than doctors. They have a lot to live for, and live to heal.

    I'd like to think so. But Ben Goldacre dug up a rather disturbing factoid, in passing, in the column I linked to in the last thread,:

    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.

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

  • Terence Wood,

    Well there you go. Silly old me. I'd always been in favour of a health care system where the state plays a core role for the simple reason that it is demonstrably more efficient (if you want to guarantee provision in any way). But I'd never thought about those Jihadis (why do they hate us so?).

    Gasp! we could be a target. Heck we'd better scrap the system pronto: party vote ACT this election. That's what I say.

    Since Nov 2006 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    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.

    I'm wondering if the high percentage of doctors joining the Nazi party might have had something to do with the widespread acceptance of eugenics in western societies during the early twentieth century. Was there some kind of warped healthy-sciencey rationalising at play?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Gasp! we could be a target. Heck we'd better scrap the system pronto: party vote ACT this election. That's what I say.

    Well, if you're that worried about dirty furriners prodding your nethers before they strap a bomb to Granny's new hip -- and judging from the accents and skin tones of the folks who treated my partner when he had his heart op done at Mercy, there's just as many of THEM in the private sector -- you better put your vote elsewhere.

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

  • Hadyn Green,

    I'm wondering if the high percentage of doctors joining the Nazi party might have had something to do with the widespread acceptance of eugenics in western societies during the early twentieth century.

    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.

    However, being a doctor doesn't make you ethically above everyone else. Remember those "no you can't have any birth control" doctors in the states? And I was told some similarly awful NZ doctor stories by a friend recently.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Frankly, there are valid reasons for concern about having to constantly import doctors doctors trained in other systems.

    Not the least of which is that it implies that the local education system is failing. If you can't channel the money going into the education system (not an inconsiderable amount) into production of trained people in the areas we actually need them, then you need to "fix" the education system.

    It gets worse. Doctors are highly regarded and generally one of the better paid professions. A decent number of the bright young things actually want to become doctors both for the money and because they want to heal people. But we aren't producing enough and a lot of what we produce just leaves NZ.

    But there are other parts of the tertiary system that are doing even worse. The sciences are never as popular as medicine and the pay is worse at the end too, and none of your friends have any clue what you do. If it's bad in medicine it's worse in science. Finding good bright graduates in the sciences is getting very hard.

    Mind you it does seem as though the Government doesn't really care. It's Ok to import doctors, it's Ok to import scientists to do research in NZ. And ultimately if you can't get research done in NZ you can always import discoveries from overseas.

    But don't worry we will have more than enough middle managers trained to manage our way out of any problems that such a policy might cause. Because if there is one thing the tertiary system in NZ does produce it's middle managers.

    cheers
    Bart

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    This link I guess Craig: http://www.badscience.net/?p=442#more-442?

    A lot of scientists joined or supported the Nazis (von Braun and Heisenburg, for instance). I'd suggest that early 20th century scientific training was pretty narrow and that, combined with German attitudes to authority, led to them accepting Nazism without too much thought (for one thing, it gave them lots of funding).

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

  • Don Christie,

    Terence, surely this cannot be true:

    Efficiency: On indicators of efficiency, the U.S. ranks last among the six countries, with the U.K. and New Zealand ranking first and second, respectively.

    What about all the money wasted on faceless bureaucrats and unnecessary form filling by our GPs?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Terence Wood,

    Sorry Craig my last post was missing a tag. It should have ended with
    [/sarcasm] (which is a pity really, it would have been quite fun to have you out flank me from the left :) )

    Don,

    Just in case your post doesn't end with the same tag: bureaucracies - they created an even bigger one in the US, with insurers trying to avoid paying, hospitals trying to make them pay twice, and the whole adverse selection thing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    What about all the money wasted on faceless bureaucrats and unnecessary form filling by our GPs?

    Stories told to me by friends about their experiences with the US health system, insurance companies, etc, make our system look sane and efficient in comparison.

    Seriously, monkeys on acid could design a better health system than some of the moronic things I've heard. It'll be interesting to see what Michael Moore's Sicko movie has to say and the reaction to it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I think I read somewhere that the NHS had a substantially smaller admin overhead than other organisations of similar size and complexity.

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

  • InternationalObserver,

    "if one of your guys is a jihadist, if one of your doctors is spending all the time online reading Osama bin Laden fatwas, someone's going to notice that. But the National Health Service is more like the Post Office, you know there's a lot of anonymity, it's easy to hide in the bureaucracy."

    Oh yes, I was in London only last year and had to wait 17 hours at the local NHS while Dr Zawhahwiwwiiaa and his chums plotted their revenge on the West. And when I finally got in he made me show him my passport to prove I wasn't Australian, and wouldn't treat me until I placed my hand on the Koran and shouted "Allie Akbar" three times.

    Being a kiwi I considered it a "cultural issue" and best not to mention it to anyone.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Smith,

    Terrorists look for loop-holes in any system. They found one in the Bristish immigration checks for medical physicians. They used it. Simple as that.

    Since Jan 2007 • 150 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    when did anyone start taking Fox News - esp. Neil Cavuto seriously?

    In this recent vid, Tommy appears on FOX News' 'Your World' show to talk about immigration with the painfully smug Bush apologist Neil Cavuto, who doesn't quite know how to react to Chong's repeated assertion that President Bush is a "moron."

    Best moment: Tommy's reaction to Cavuto saying with a straight face that Bush "is overseeing one of the strongest economies this nation has ever had."

    youtube link

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 368 posts Report Reply

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