Politician Calls Out a Dentist Over NHS failures


Rhona Brankin really got her teeth into the election campaign this week.

Rhona Brankin accused the dentist of staging “a political stunt”

Here is an interesting story from the U.K. where a minister calls out a dentist for a Political Stunt. What did the dentist do? He limited his practice to non-National Health Service (NHS) patients or as they call it across the pond – went private.

The story goes on:

She’s the deputy health minister who launched an astonishing attack on a dentist in Stranraer.

Rhona Brankin accused the dentist of staging “a political stunt”

She didn’t actually bite Kenneth Barr but she stood up in parliament and said his behaviour was “appalling”.

His decision to go private – and leave 3,000 patients without an NHS dentist – was “a political stunt”, she said.

Mr Barr says he has been defamed and is consulting his lawyer.

All he’s doing, he said, is giving patients the time necessary for quality treatment.

“There’s been a steady erosion of funding in NHS dental services over the years,” he told BBC Scotland.

We’ve become used to the SNP using question time to drop yet another embarrassing statistic on the first minister’s head

“We are no longer able to maintain and indeed advance our high quality of service.”

He is taking on 1,000 private patients and will continue only to treat children and special needs cases on the NHS.

Ms Brankin was furious and said: “It’s not good enough for dentists to be able to train at the expense of the public purse, to build up an NHS list, to build up the trust and confidence of patients in Stranraer and then walk away.”

The Scottish National Party’s Roseanna Cunningham – convener of the health committee – was able to make the point that Mr Barr was doing what many dentists have been doing all over Scotland, because the fees paid by the NHS are too low.

Only 3% of Scotland’s 3,700 dentists are expecting to increase their NHS work.

Ms Brankin told MSPs that dentists should stay loyal to the NHS. The executive is investing an extra £150m over the next three years in dental services.

There will be 200 more dentists trained, grants of up to £20,000 to help dentists set up in rural areas and “the biggest tooth brushing education programme in Europe”.

Wow, they are doing a tooth brushing education programme! How about some dietary counseling and an anti-smoking campaign? How about some privitization of your miserable healthcare system?

Will these socialists ever get a clue?

Now, they resort to name calling.


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U.S. Senate Hearings on Methamphetamine


On Thursday Dr. Nora D. Volkow, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse testified before the U. S. Senate Labor, HHS, and Education Subcommittee Hearing on Methamphetamine abuse.

Nora D. Volkow, M.D. is the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Before assuming this position on May 1, 2003, Dr. Volkow was Associate Director for Life Sciences at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Director of Nuclear Medicine at BNL, and Director of the NIDA-Department of Energy Regional Neuroimaging Center at BNL. She was also Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook and Associate Dean for the Medical School at SUNY-Stony Brook. Dr. Volkow received her M.D. in 1981 from the National University of Mexico, in Mexico City, Mexico, and performed her residency in psychiatry at New York University.

Her main area of interest is the investigation of the mechanisms underlying the reinforcing, addictive, and toxic properties of drugs of abuse in the human brain. Dr Volkow was the first to use imaging to investigate the neurochemical changes in the human brain that occur during drug addiction. Her studies have documented a decrease in function of the dopamine system in addicted subjects that is associated with a disruption in function of frontal brain regions involved in motivation and drive. Her work has also focused on the investigation of the neurochemical mechanisms responsible for intersubject variability in response to drugs of abuse and its potential link to vulnerability to drug abuse and alcoholism.

Her testimony before the Committe is here:

Her conclusions:

In closing, I would like to say that as someone who has spent almost 25 years studying the effects of psychostimulants on the brain, I am particularly concerned about the methamphetamine problem in this country both because of its powerful addictive potential and because of its high toxicity. One of NIDA’s most important goals is to translate what scientists learn from research to help the public better understand drug abuse and addiction and to develop more effective strategies for their prevention and treatment. NIDA has long supported research on methamphetamine, which is now paying off in the development of effective treatments, and it is critical that these treatments become more readily available to those who need them.

Hopefully, the Senate will take action to limit the availability of the chemical precursors that are used in Methamphetamine manufacture.

And the President must direct the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to enforce federal drug, import/export laws, and immigration laws to eradicate large Methamphetamine Labs operated by the Mexican Drug Cartels on American Soil.

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Lay Off Our Judges

Federal Judiciary

Ted Olson former Solicitor General of the United States has this biting, but learned commentary on our independent judiciary:

….We might start by getting a firm grip on the reality that our independent judiciary is the most respected branch of our government, and the envy of the world…..

…This is not to say that some judges don’t render bad decisions. Arrogant and misguided jurists exist, just as such qualities may be found in the rest of the population, and our citizens and elected representatives are fully justified in speaking out in forceful disagreement with judges who substitute their personal values or private social instincts for sound jurisprudential principles. But the remedies for these aberrations consist of reasoned, even sharp, criticism, appeals to higher courts, and selection of candidates for judicial positions that respect limits on the roles of judges….

…No discussion of the judiciary should close without reference to the shambles that the Senate confirmation process has become. It does no good to speculate about how or when the disintegration began, which political interest has been the most culpable, or the point at which the appointment of judges became completely dysfunctional. That sort of debate is both endless and futile. The only hope for an end to the downward spiral is for the combatants to lay down their arms; stop using judicial appointments to excite special-interest constituencies and political fund-raising; move forward with votes on qualified, responsible and respected nominees so that those who have the support of a majority of the Senate can be confirmed, as contemplated by the Constitution; and remove the rancor and gamesmanship from the judicial selection process.

We expect dignity, wisdom, decency, civility, integrity and restraint from our judges. It is time to exercise those same characteristics in our dealings with, and commentary on, those same judges–from their appointment and confirmation, to their decision-making once they take office.

Hopefully, we will have some votes soon on the appeals court judges (Texas judge Priscilla Owen and California judge Janice Rogers Brown) voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committe last week.

I wonder if North Carolina judge Terrence W. Boyle, a former aide to retired Senator Jesse Helms, will ever get a hearing in the Judiciary Committee?

Come on Senators …… vote yea or nay!

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Berekeley Professor’s Laptop Goes Missing


Did you hear about the UC Berkeley Professor who lost his laptop? La Shawn Barber has the story here:

Did you hear about the Berkely professor (Jasper Rine ) whose laptop was stolen, and he warned the crook that the feds would be looking for him? You can listen to the audio here and read the transcript here.

I’m not a techie (euphemism for nerd), but the warning sounded scary to me. One of Michelle Malkin’s readers thinks the professor is bluffing:

Interesting speech from Professor Rine. And a total bluff. I…have extensive knowledge of data communications, radio communications, radio signal tracking, computer security, and so forth. There are several things that Professor Rine stated that demonstrate that his story is false.

Laptops are stolen all the time, but I didn’t realize laptop stealing at Berkeley was so newsworthy.

Eccentric and absent-minded are the adjectives that come to my mind, Professor. Hope he does not lose any of the genetic code he so deftly manipulates. Heh!

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