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In which I get my head scanned and learn something from an Occupier - Tactical Ninja

Oct. 28th, 2011

09:34 am - In which I get my head scanned and learn something from an Occupier

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Dear weather,

You suck. Also, please stop messing with me.

No love, Tats

I don't think I'll be shearing any sheep this afternoon. I doubt I'll be shearing any tomorrow either. I am kind of tired of this already because I have to act as if I'll be shearing right up until the last minute when the weather alters my plans. This includes going and getting my car from Brooklyn. At least today I have another car-related mission.


I got a letter a couple of weeks ago from Hutt hospital. You see, the MRI waiting list at Wellington is quite long, so they are outsourcing to the Hutt. Hutt had space for me within a couple of weeks.

US readers take note, this is how socialised healthcare works. This is all free to me and I'm being seen within a month for a non-urgent MRI. If it were urgent I'd be bumped up the list and seen immediately.

Anyway, so yeah. This afternoon I will remove my piercing for the first time since 2005, lest the MRI machine rips it from my skull and out through my left nostril or something. Then I will stick my head in a tube and try to remain completly still for about 20 minutes(?) while they MRI mah brainz. I am not sure how swallowing will affect the pic of my ear - I don't think I can go that long without doing it, you know?

I have Grouch's latest album which they will play for me while I try not to freak out due to, you know, having my head in a tube. I am hoping this music will be textured enough to distract me.

After that I was going to be shearing sheep but well.. *looks out window* Nah. Instead I will probably be at Fidels.

Okay, today's Occupy roundup goes like this:

Interesting piece by a war veteran on the use of force in Oakland.

David Graeber on playing by the rules - on the success of the Occupy movement.

This:



The Economist on income inequality in the US.

Evidence of the weapons used by police in Oakland.

SFBay Guardian on how Occupy doesn't create social ills, it showcases them.

You see, people are talking about it. We are achieving something here and it's worth sticking with.

And closer to home, the result of discussion with the council in Wellington is that the Occupiers will remove their tents from Ilott Green on Monday for the Halloween party (but not from the upper grass area). They will replace them afterwards. This is a compromise and I for one am glad that the council is still willing to cooperate and that our Occupiers have managed to maintain that good relationship through a couple of potentially difficult situations. Their view - "We don't want to be the grinch that stole Halloween." So instead, compromise and participate. Because we're citizens and that's what citizens do.

This weekend, the Occupy Wellington Community Education Initiative is running "Occupy Your Mind", a series of lectures and workshops on a variety of issues including the TPPA, economics and the environment, understanding money in the social network, and social justice and food. I'm told there will also be a workshop on creating and maintaining safe spaces. You should go down and have a look, you might learn something!


Yesterday I sat in on a workshop on group facilitation run by a young man named Scatty. Now I'm a trained facilitator and have participated in quite a few facilitation courses over the years. I have to say, Scatty's course was as useful as any of them - he covered the necessary things such as watching body language, ensuring voices are heard, recognising consensus and when it hasn't been reached, when to take control and when to sit back and listen, how to ensure a discussion stays within timeframe, what to do with issues that need further discussion in future, and seeking feedback. The only difference between his course and the ones my employers have paid a lot of money for is that his took an hour and we did it sitting cross legged on the ground in Civic Square using handouts scribbled in Vivid on cardboard.

Scatty is not trained. He's waiting for the fruit picking season to start so he can travel and work. He's fucking good at facilitation and he's busy teaching other people how to do it so that the Occupy democracy can work better.

These people are not useless bums. Please remember this and tell everyone you know.

Comments:

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From:pombagira
Date:October 27th, 2011 09:04 pm (UTC)
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yeah i so would of liked to stay for the whole workshop.. i hope that he dose another one.. i found it very interesting, but had to leave for work.. (yup occupier and has a job O.O) so i hope that he runs another one. *nods*

*smiles*
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[User Picture]
From:arkham4269
Date:October 27th, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC)

"Socialized" Medicine

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One of the biggest issues of healthcare is about cost. Many people cite various countries (Canada mostly) as having problems while citing many European countries as having good care.

There are, however, two related issues involved here. Demand/Cost and Distance.

Many people do not realize that the VA system is pretty much the NHS in England. Why does it seem to work better in the UK than here? Well the truth is it *does* work here to a degree. I, for example, live in Vancouver and have access to the Vancouver clinic as well as the Portland VA hospital. However, if I lived across the Cascades, I'd have to drive a long way to get here or go the other way to Boise. The UK doesn't have that problem as much because the UK is dinky compared to the US.

This is the same problem Canada has. You have mandated health care (just like veterans do in the US) but people live where they live and often you have small groups way out in BFN. So is it cost effective to run a clinic for those in BFN? No, so those people (like vets in the US) have to go to a central location and this often leads to long waits.

This problem is fundamental to health care whether it is state sponsored or not. You rarely hear about people in big cities complain about long wait times for appointments because the population is big enough to support all the patients. Go out to a small place like the entire state of Wyoming and between the small population and distances involved, you tend to have a small specialty clinic because the demand just isn't there.

How this issue is used to say 'socialized medicine' can't work is beyond me because it applies to what we have today. What's worse is this problem would still be there under a universal payment system. However, that would create massive savings which could be used to fund more clinics in out of the way areas to lower wait times.

Beyond that, long waits for specialty care is usually about demand to cost. If something is expensive (like an MRI) yet they aren't doing them 24-7, they will reduce cost by having less of the expensive machines and skilled technicians. Bingo, you have long wait times.
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[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 27th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)

Re: "Socialized" Medicine

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New Zealand has a similar problem with specialty services. When my Mum needed a Whipple procedure, she had to fly to Auckland (1000km-ish) for it because that's where the facilities to do it were. However on the upside, this was covered (and a seat for my brother as support person) under public health funding because it was a necessary procedure.

I think if you look at countries by population density it gets interesting for this issue, since population governs tax intake which is what pays for things like plane flights for specialist treatment.

Canada, where publicly funded healthcare works - 3.4/km2
New Zealand, where publicly funded healthcare works - 16/km2
United States, where they are terrified that publicly funded healthcare means those in Wyoming will get written off by death panels - 32/km2

With a decent system in place, the US could easily afford to fly ranchers to Cheyenne Hospital for their Whipples.
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[User Picture]
From:arkham4269
Date:October 27th, 2011 11:12 pm (UTC)

Re: "Socialized" Medicine

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Is it bad that I LOL'ed at Death Panels in Wyoming? =0

I often point out to people about the oddity that people complain about a system which has long wait times to our system were 40% of the population has no wait times because they have no insurance.

Like I try to point out to my brother, it IS in his interest that everyone have health care. That guy in the transit train next to you might not have gotten sick (or felt he had to go to work while sick) if our system was better. Bottom line, the virus involved doesn't care if you have health care or not.

Sadly, my tea bagger brother still seems offend that somewhere, someone might be taking advantage of HIS taxes. I try to point out that this happens everywhere. However, people who scam the system are CRIMINALS and we have a procedure for that.
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[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 27th, 2011 11:28 pm (UTC)

Re: "Socialized" Medicine

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S'ok, I LOL'ed at your teabagger brother.

There's a large body of research out there that indicates giving healthcare to all at cost to the taxpayer actually saves the taxpayer money in the long term through increased productivity and reduced cost of curable ailments that have not been treated.

And I'm gobsmacked at how many people in the US have insurance, only to not get their healthcare covered because of some loophole. Meanwhile I'll be over here with my 1-month wait for a non-urgent MRI and my ignorance of what copay means.
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[User Picture]
From:arkham4269
Date:October 28th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)

Re: "Socialized" Medicine

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I used to work in the insurance industry before I went to Afghanistan. I try to tell people all the time that the rule of insurance is the bigger the pool of people paying in, the cheaper it gets. Thus if everyone in the United States paid in through some form of payroll tax (or stock tax for the 1% types) then everyone's rates would plummet.

Again I never understand how we pay taxes for things like roads which we all use and it benefits everyone but people freak out over doing the same thing over something basic (and moral) as health care!

The U.S. system pretty much says if you do not have a job, you are not valued enough as a citizen to be allowed the care to keep you alive. That is not the mark of a moral and civilized nation. Worse is how so many people who seem to believe this spout that the U.S. is a Christian nation. Well I'm pagan but I know my Bible well enough to know WWJD and that wouldn't be to deny health care to the needy.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 28th, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC)

Re: "Socialized" Medicine

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Blaming the unemployed for unemployment seems to be some kind of unwritten tenet of the Unsupported Ideology of Free Marketism.

I'm pretty sure Jesus would have a fair bit to say about the state of Christianity in most countries these days. Poor bugger must be spinning in his grave.
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From:t_c_da
Date:October 28th, 2011 10:50 pm (UTC)

Re: "Socialized" Medicine

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Poor bugger must be spinning in his grave.

I suspect not...

But I'm fairly sure he's shaking his head in disbelief at what folk have done with his teachings...

Actually Jennie Breeden of "The Devils Panties" has some interesting cartoons on that topic that I quite like. Start here to waste an hour or two splitting your sides...
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From:n3m3sis42
Date:October 30th, 2011 12:47 am (UTC)
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Why are you gettng the head scan? Hope you're okay.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 30th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)
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I'm going deaf in one ear. It's to rule out the possibility of a tumour.

I'm ok - even if there is one, apparently 100% of inner ear tumours are benign.
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