Monday, August 17, 2009

Nicola Roxon

Nicola Roxon.

I'm not sure who she is, but her name sounds very familiar to me.

Well, I guess it should, since I am the one who added her to the list. Still, there are names on the list that I don't recognize much. I guess I add the names, and then they exit my short-term memory. So when I see the names again, it's like I never saw them in the first place.

Let's start on this Roxon person....

Lord Wiki says she's a politician.

She's kind of the opposite of Kate Ellis, or she has the opposite job. Ellis is the Minister for Youth. Roxon is the Minister for Ageing...actually Health and Ageing.

Ah, this is the perfect topic for today.

My mind is totally occupied with thoughts of health and know with all the health-care stuff going on in my country.

Here's a dilemma. Australia and America spells aging/ageing differently. Which spelling do I go with? Well, I think I'll stick with the American one. But if I'm using an Aussie Ministry title (or something like that), I'll go with the Australian way.

Lord Wiki says baby Nicola was born on 1 April 1967. She's an April Fool baby! How fun. I wonder if she ever had awesome birthday parties because of that.

In Astrology, Roxon is an Aries. That's the sign of my brother-in-law. We're emailing back and forth right now. Guess what we're debating? Obama's health plan! But I'm going to get out of it for now. I can't debate and research at the same time.

What is Roxon's numerology number?

According to the birthday website, she's another 1.

Really. What's is the deal with all these 1 people? Oh! But at least Sandilands was different. He was a 7. I think I also had a 6 recently. But besides that, I think the last several posts have all been about 1 people.

Baby Nicola was born in Sydney, but then her family moved to Melbourne.

The school she went to was called Methodist's Ladies College. The young girl on their website looks like someone who should be on a Disney Channel sitcom--probably something about cute witches.

Cate Blanchett went to the school as well.

For university, Roxon went to the University of Melbourne. I guess she studied law, because Lord Wiki says she practiced law.

Roxon and I have something in common. We're both the middle of three sisters. It's like Piper on Charmed! Although Piper stopped being the middle one when her older sister died, and was replaced with a younger sister.

Roxon has a famous aunt. Lillian Roxon. Lillian was a journalist and member of that Sydney Push movement. Isn't that the one that Germaine Greer and Robert Hughes took part in?

Yeah. I think it is.

I need to add Lillian Roxon to my list. Hold on....

Okay. That's done.

Nicola's paternal grandparents were Jewish. They immigrated from Poland in 1937. It's lucky that they escaped.

We have something else in common. Her last name has been anglicized. Our last name has too. Our original last name is very Jewish-sounding. Our new one is not.

Both of Roxon's parents were in the medical field. Mommy Roxon was a pharmacist. Daddy Roxon was a microbiologist. So, she does have some background in health least a family background.

When Roxon was ten, her dad died of cancer. This was very hard on her. That's understandable.

Lord Wiki seems to be saying that this might have been what influenced her to go into politics. Her experiences of losing her father made her feel that government needs to help people in circumstances they can't control - either through their health failing or an accident.

I agree.

Tim and I talked about this last night. The idea we get from some right-wing people is that it's not the responsibility of the financially successful to help the government help people in need. Jack and I have been learning about evolution, all that Darwin and survival of the fittest stuff. The idea is that successful creatures will live on and breed. The unsuccessful will fail, die, and disappear. To me, that viewpoint seems to gel quite well with the Republican viewpoint. We don't need to help people in need. Let nature take its course. Those who are meant to survive will survive.

What's funny to me is that the Republican Party seems to be dominated by Christians. Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe that's a stereotype I have.

Still. Let's say I'm right. Aren't a lot of Christians against the idea of evolution? It seems funny to me then that their philosophy of helping others fits so well with Darwinian ideas.

Although. I did listen to the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack many times. I remember Jesus singing something along the lines of there will always be poor and suffering.

Well, here we go. I found the lyrics.

Surely you're not saying we have the resources
To save the poor from their lot?
There will be poor always, pathetically struggling.
Look at the good things you've got.
Think while you still have me!
Move while you still see me!
You'll be lost, and you'll be sorry when I'm gone

Was something like that in the Bible? Was Jesus against charity? Although he WAS singing in response to Judas singing:

Woman your fine ointment, brand new and expensive
Should have been saved for the poor.
Why has it been wasted?
We could have raised maybe
Three hundred silver pieces or more.
People who are hungry, people who are starving
They matter more than your feet and hair!

Maybe Jesus (at least the Tim Rice version) wasn't against charity. Maybe he was just saying what I once said in a past post. We can give, give, and give. But we don't need to feel guilty for not sacrificing every damn thing.

I know some Republicans are terrified of Socialism in any form. For some, there's this idea that the rich won't be simply taxed a little extra....they're going to lose ALL their wealth. Once Obama gets what he wants, there shall be no more wealthy people in America. If there's no promise of potential wealth, people won't want to work. Who wants to work, when you can't get rich? Who wants to work when all your money will go to lazy people who simply don't want to get off their ass and help themselves?

Yeah. Guess what. I wouldn't want to live in such a country either. I'm not a communist. I don't have a problem with some people having more than others. I think it's part of life. I agree with the Jesus Christ Superstar Jesus.

But I AM against a society where some people are SUPER wealthy while other people are sick, struggling, and starving. I'd like a society where rich people stay rich, but maybe a little less rich. Perhaps they buy a few less designer purses and dresses per year. Maybe they can do without a Golden Opulence Sundae. Would it hurt for these people to sacrifice a few extravagances? Perhaps if they do this, the poor will suffer a little bit less.

Yet, if someone believes that all poor people are poor because they're lazy and good for do you argue with that?

I don't know.

I do know that this post is probably going to be extremely long and full of crazy tangents.

I have a lot on my mind.

In the early 1990's, Roxon worked as a Judge's associate in the High Court. Is that like being an assistant? Yeah. Well, at least according to Lord Wiki, it is.

Roxon became involved with trade union stuff.

From 1996-1998, she worked for a law firm called Maurice Blackburn and Co.

Their website says they were involved with the BIG waterfront dispute. That was in 1998. I wonder if Roxon left before or after that.

I think the reason she left the law firm is she went into politics. Lord Wiki says she was elected into Parliament in 1998. Her division is Gellibrand. They've been Labor people since 1949. They're located in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

The area is named after Joseph Gellibrand. He was the first Attorney-General of Tasmania. I love learning stuff like that.

In 2001, Roxon joined the Shadow Ministry. She had various shadow positions. When Rudd became leader of the Opposition in 2006, he made her the Shadow Minister of Health. Once Rudd became Prime Minister, Roxon came out of the shadows.

The Minister of Health under John Howard was Tony Abbott. In 2007, Roxon and Abbott were supposed to take part in a debate. Abbott was late. Roxon had joked to the media that she could impersonate Abbott and play his part. When he arrived, she said he could have been on time if he had wanted to. Then he swore at her. Fun. Drama!

That's it for Lord Wiki.

I'll look at other stuff now.

Here's Parliament's Website for Health and Ageing. They have a bunch of news stories. I'll look at some.

The Rudd government has invested 5 million dollars for helping mothers suffering from baby-related depressions. They're going to have a 24 hour hotline for mothers to call. These mothers might be ones suffering from Post-Partum Depression. Other mothers might have lost a baby during pregnancy, or later by SIDS. They'll also help mothers who are depressed DURING pregnancy. I think we hear more about post-natal depression than during-natal depression.

A few days after I found out I was pregnant, we were congratulated by a young doctor friend. But then he gave us a matter-of-fact warning. We had a twenty-five percent chance of miscarrying. He tried to make this sound normal....nothing to be concerned about. It just happens. No worries. I don't care how normal and common it is! It's not a casual thing that just happens. It HURTS. It's devastating.

That's what worries me about doctors. Sometimes they seem so heartless and lacking of compassion. Did he even need to warn me?

When someone shows me their engagement ring, I don't say Congratulations. And hey! Don't worry about it, but I just want to warn you. Almost half of American marriages end in divorce.

Anyway, if the doctor was people-smart, he'd know that most pregnant women buy and read a pregnancy book before their embryo is the size of a sunflower seed. I'm sure I already knew all the scary statistics. I didn't need an education or a reminder.

New mothers need intelligent compassion. I hope they get that through the phone hotline thing.

I don't really see any other articles that interest me that much. I'm going to move onto Roxon's main Parliament site.

I'll read her first speech. This was done on 11 November 1998.

She talks about how Gellibrand is very Labor. She also talks about how the area is very multicultural and has a lot of immigrants.

Many of these migrants came here to Australia escaping oppression and extremism in Europe, like my father's family, or they came from South-East Asia, and more recently Africa and the Middle East. Australia offered not only a safe and prosperous country to resettle in but also a strong democracy supported by an independent and accessible legal system.
America is the same way. We're proud of that Statue of Liberty poem.

Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me

I lift my lamp beside the golden door

That is SO beautiful. It's too bad a lot of people don't truly agree with it. It's too bad there are Americans who are so against immigrants.

She says Gellibrand is an industrial area. People of different national origins work together.

Roxan says, The constant blending of new cultures in Gellibrand has strengthened, not dampened, the essential spirit of the western suburbs—that spirit being to protect and support each other, to have pride in our Labor and industrial heritage, to believe vehemently in fairness, equity and independence, and to share a pride in our families, their education, hopes and aspirations.
I think she may be exaggerating the positive a bit. I think whenever you have people coming together from different backgrounds, you'll have at least some conflict. But I do think they can overcome that conflict for the most part, and get along.

Roxon talks about the attitude that some people face from their employers. They should be grateful for ANY job, so stop complaining about the conditions. You take what you can get. I bet that's going on a lot right now. There's a lot of competition for jobs. If you think you're being treated unfairly, no worries for us. We can easily find someone to replace you.

I find it annoying though also when unemployment is very low. I mean I think it's GREAT to have low unemployment. But sometimes businesses struggle to hire people. They can't find anyone good, so they'll hire ANYONE. Then the workers treat the customers like crap. They have the attitude of We can treat you like this because no one is going to fire us.

I wish employers, employees, and customers could all be nice to each other no matter what the current unemployment rate is.

Roxon talks about a speech she heard done by a Vietnamese refugee. He had talked about how it felt so amazing to be able to finally vote. Roxon says, It is funny that we must look at our country occasionally through the eyes of others who have suffered through war or tyranny to truly appreciate what it is that we have.
The problem with SOME Americans is they too often think about these oppressed countries and compare America to them. That IS important to do, of course. But I think Americans also need to look at the countries that are doing BETTER than America. They need to realize that America is NOT perfect. They need to realize that there's room for improvement.

Here's Roxon's own website.

It has her resume.

At the University of Melbourne, she did her honors thesis on Women in the Textile Clothing and Footware Industries. That's pretty cool. She seems passionate about work-related issues; unions and all that stuff.

I'm going to look at Google News now.

Roxon is dealing with Swine Flu stuff. She says vaccine trials are going well. I don't know if I'm more scared of the Swine Flu or the vaccine. Well, maybe I'll just be scared of both. Life would be too easy if we only had to fear one or the other.

The article says 28, 987 people have had the Swine Flu. I assume she's talking about Australia. 102 people have died. What's the percentage there?

284? Shit. I've forgotten how to calculate percentages. I need to learn because I'm probably going to have to teach Jack soon. I divided the big number by the small number, but I guess you divide the small number by the big number. I got .0035. But then you have to move the decimal to the right. I can't remember if I move it two spaces or one. So it's either .03% of flu victims have died, or .3%. Either way, it's pretty low.

The main worry about the vaccines is that Guillain-Barré syndrome. Lord Wiki says that it occurs in 1 out of a million flu vaccine participants. However, it seems the rate of the syndrome was higher than that with the 1976 Swine Flu vaccine. The CDC says that GBS has a fatality rate of five or six percent. That's not too high. If you get the Swine Flu shot, you're very unlikely to get GBS. If you get GBS, you're not likely to die. If you refuse the shot and get the flu, you're also likely to survive that as well.

All this worrying and debating....we're much more likely to die in a car accident.

This article scares me a bit. It talks about how more and more patients are needing to go into Intensive Care. Swine Flu does bad things to your lungs. I worry about my mom because she has bad asthma. I'm sure she'll be one of the first to get the flu shot though. She always gets the regular flu shot.

Roxan talks about how flu vaccine trials have started around Australia; some of them with children. I know this is selfish of me, but I wouldn't want to do it. I'm usually okay with most vaccines, but it would scare me to experiment on my child. I'd be more okay doing it if my child was in a life and death situation. You know when there's that feeling you really have nothing to lose. Either way, you're likely to be screwed. But other than that, it would bother me to inject my child with something that has not yet been fully tested on OTHER humans. It would especially bother me knowing the past Swine Flu vaccine history.

It's selfish though because SOMEONE has to do it. And I'm guessing the scientist people do what they can, to make sure it's as safe as possible, before injecting it into human guinea pigs.

Enough of the flu. If I think about it too much, I'll think I have it.

Here's an article about Super Clinics. The clinics are going to be opened in three towns: Portland, Wodonga, and South Morang. I didn't know Australia had a Portland.

I'm looking at Google Maps now. Portland Victoria is about five hours west of Melbourne. And there's also a Portland in New South Wales. I'm actually not sure which one will have the super clinic.

Anyway, the purpose of the clinic is to help people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes. They hope by having these clinics, hospitalizations will be reduced.

It sounds like a fine idea to me.

Here's an article about Roxon's involvement with homebirth. I don't fully understand it, actually. I THINK it might say that Roxon doesn't support homebirth, although she does support one-on-one midwife care. The government is requiring that midwives be insured, but the insurance companies (both private and government) are refusing to insure the midwives. If you want to have a homebirth, you have to go underground.

I PERSONALLY would prefer the hospital birth with the midwife. I think that would be awesome compared to what I did have. I had one of those doctors who was so anti-natural birth. I told him I had a birth plan, and without even seeing it, he got annoyed. He talked about how he once had an Eclampsia patient have a stroke. I do understand his concerns. I'm not supportive of these mothers who risk the health of their child and themselves just so they can have a holy shmoly natural birth. But I'm also not supportive of these medical births where mothers lie on hospital beds in unproductive positions. I strongly dislike patronizing male doctors who treat pregnant women like their ignorant and ill.

I support a family's choice to have a homebirth. There are things about it that might scare me a bit. But I think it usually can often be healthy and safe. Two children I adore came from healthy and safe planned homebirths.

I think the most dangerous thing to do is make homebirth an illegal and/or underground type thing. It won't be regulated. People might do risky things.

It reminds me of vaccines. A medical person told me that her doctor's office banishes families who refuse vaccines. This person is VERY pro-vaccine. She's one of those who strongly dislikes Jenny McCarthy. She refused to watch Eli Stone because it once had an episode with anti-vaccine sentiments. But she told me she wasn't sure banishing these families was a good idea. What if some of these families become very extreme and anti-medical? What if they become one of those families that NEVER get medical care for their child?

To me, it seems like a better idea to allow people to have their homebirths, but make it as safe as possible.

All right. I've read enough.

I'm going to do some learning with Jack. Then I'll see if YouTube has any Nicola Roxon videos....

Here's a song dedicated to Nicola Roxon. It's about homebirth.

I guess it's good as far as protest songs go.

This is my body, my baby, my safety
How dare you tell me that I can't stay home.

This is my body, my baby, our safety...
How dare you tell me
that I have no choice?

The song is a little too angry hippy for me...personally. But I think it does make some very valid points.

Here's the infamous scene of Abbott swearing at Roxon. Oooh. Wow. If Godric was there, he'd tell them both to retract their fangs.

Here's Nicola Roxon doing a little public service announcement. She said her name. It's not how I imagined it to be pronounced. Australians are always surprising me with the way they pronounce things.

It turns out the video is an election thing, promoting Labor over Liberal. The way she describes Howard's health policies makes it sound a lot like America.

I would love to hear from any Australians who are reading this. If you're willing to share....How do you feel about health care in Australia? Are you satisfied with it? Are you dissatisfied? What are the pros? What are the cons? Also, do you know much about American health care? Do you think our system is okay, or do we need improvements? Is there anything you feel we could learn from Australia?

This video is one of Abbott and Roxon debating. I'm not sure if it was the same occasion in which the other incident occurred.

I think Tony Abbott looks like Tony Blair.

I didn't watch the whole video. The sound quality bothered me.

This video is about the Swine Flu. It's from April. Roxon talks about the government having the power to detain people if they're suspected of having the Swine Flu. I think this is mostly regarding people at the airport. I think it means if they think someone has the Swine Flu, and that person says No. Go away. Leave me alone. I'm going home, the government can say. Sorry. No you're not.

That scares me....government having so much control over people. But it scares me more to have sick people wandering around and coughing on everyone.

Here's another homebirth video.

I'm going to play critic here. The video starts out well. It has some persuasive statements. But then the rest of the video is made up of photos taken at a protest. I think it goes on for way too long. I started getting bored.

I think if DoulaDevotion cuts her video down to thirty seconds to one minute, she'll have something really great.

Here's another video of the day Abbott was late. Maybe it will show Roxon saying she could impersonate him.

I think she puts a little too much emphasis on the fact that Abbott was late. I don't know the whole story, but maybe he DID have a good reason. She is hardly gracious about the whole thing. She talks about how the Howard Government is out of touch with medical stuff, and Tony Abbott's lateness helps to prove this. I probably agree about the Howard government. And making a habit out of lateness is RUDE. But we all have times where we get detained for reasons outside of our control. Abbott may not have had good reasons, but Roxon couldn't have known that. She should have found out his reasons, and THEN bitched him out about it.

This post is probably long enough. I shall quit now. I hope some people leave comments. I want to hear opinions about health care....from Australians, and other people as well.


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  2. You're becoming such an authority on what's going on down here ... well done ... some Aussies need to take a leaf out of your book ;)
    Roxon like all other pollies started out with good intentions, you know "by the people for the people" but like the rest she got caught up in the politics ... I know, I know, sounds wierd but so is the fact that these elected bludgers get $70 a day "food allowance' ... that's another story.
    The average Aussie and the media will tell you health care sucks. From someone who spent a third of 2008 in the system the only complaint from me was the food. If people want private care then join a health fun, otherwise if you're in the public system shut up and co-operate! Based on other countries, ask or read Michael Moore, Aussies are generally well cared for ... the whole system would improve if the pen pushers went back to their desks and lightened the paperwork load thereby allowing medical professionals to do what they do best ... that's another story too!
    Big Hugs,
    C xoxo

  3. Redness,

    70 dollars a day for food? Wow.

    As for health...I've heard the same complaints in America about the paper work.

    I think Australia must be better than America in terms of health.

    There are going to be problems no matter what though.

    When people we know fret about long lines and government paid for health care, we try to explain that Australia has a private option. If you have the money and the resources, you can choose to get higher service. So, what is so wrong about offering free (or low cost) service to those who can't afford it?

    America is basically going through yet another "red scare". You talk about providing health care to those who can't afford it and people immediately think of Communism.

  4. I will try to keep it short. Redness is pretty much on the money. While we have private health insurance, it is only recently and we are yet to make a claim. Our private seems to be different to yours. There are clear cut things that can be claimed. None of this insurance companies trying to dissuade people from having procedures. You go ahead and either the fund must pay or not.

    I have had quite good treatment in the public system as has my partner. But there are waiting lists for some things, sometimes unacceptably long.

    One aspect of fear in the US that I understand is that when people are old, they won't get certain treatments, such as, you have a bad heart but because you are old, we won't do it. Well, even without a good public system, I doubt the present system would work. Here, and in the UK, it is up to the doctors to decide. They take into account general health, lifestyles, chance of an acceptable outcome etc. Private or public, they will not be giving an eighty year old a transplanted heart, especially when there is a waiting list of much younger people.

    Yes,there is too much bureaucracy, but I am sure your present system is too.

    I can fairly confidently say, if you have a heart attack here, you will be whisked straight to hospital and receive first class treatment, public or private. Financial aspects will be sorted out later.

  5. Hi Dina,
    I had Swine Flu about 3-4 weeks back, and it wasn't pleasant, I haven't been that sick for a long time. I was bed ridden for 3 days with a constant fever and am only now just getting over the cough from it and was worried i might get Pneumonia.
    I would say that we have a reasonably good health system here with the main problem being waiting times.

  6. Andrew: I really have a hard time understanding the heart transplant issue. People have mentioned things like "Well if there's a forty-year-old and an eighty-year-old who need a heart, then...."

    They act as if it's horrible that the eighty-year-old won't be chosen.

    To me, it's OBVIOUS that the younger person should get it. The 80 year old has already lived a long life. If he dies, he's robbed less than the 40-year-old.

    Now if there's hearts for everyone...let the 80-year-old get the heart.

    Tim reminded me though that it's not just about age. There are other factors. If the available heart is a match for the 80-year-old and not the forty-year-old, it's the 80 year old who will get the heart.

    There's also...who is the most sick? Who will benefit most from the transplant--take care of themselves and stay healthy.

    If the 40 year old drinks a lot, smokes, and never exercises, and the 80 year old takes good care of himself...the 80 year old should get it.

    But if all things are equal (except age) and the heart is a match for both...I definitely think the younger person should get it.

    Matt: Sorry you were so sick. It sounds AWFUL. I hate being sick!!

  7. I think medical staff phrase it as clinical outcomes, which would take everything both you and I have mentioned into account.

  8. Andrew,

    Well, I guess it's good to have two words to sum up all the paragraphs that we wrote ; )

  9. I really like your point about Christians not believing in evolution, except when it comes to healthcare-- then they believe in survival of the fittest. With so-called "family values" it's still not important to them that healthcare be available to every person. Especially when they think it somehow would affect themselves in a negative way. It's pathetic.

    And I would say that the healthcare system i Australia works-- I rarely hear major complaint about it. Aussies who complain about it may have nothing to compare it to. Healthcare in the U.S., for those who can get it, is marginal at best also.

  10. Laura,

    Yeah. The "family values" stuff gets me so mad. Why don't they just call it "Jesus Values". But from what I know of Jesus, I doubt those would be his values either.

    I don't think there's any perfect health care system....well, maybe France and Sweden.

    But America is HORRIBLE. I think it's out of control.