Healthcare

Greens leader blames Merkel’s trembling on climate change

It is amazing that the leader of the Greens, Annalena Baerbock, can link Angela Merkel’s trembling health issues to climate change. She eventually retracted the false nature of the claim and apologized.

Let’s hope that Frau Merkel finds a cure to her health issue and makes a speedy recovery without any climate emergency nonsense to be drawn.

Perhaps Baerbock might link CM’s itchy scalp to climate change too? Or is that just from the chlorine in the public swimming pool (which CM might add was pretty warm because it was so cold outside)? Maybe that hangover from CM’s 30th high school reunion two weekends ago was due to the weather? Or did CM just fatally mix the house red with pale ale?

Merkel trembles uncontrollably

German Chancellor Angela Merkel puts her shaking fit in Ukraine down to dehydration. Not sure if such a medical diagnosis would be made. Three cups of water with very strong medication would seem the more likely scenario. CM hopes she is alright. Undoubtedly under a lot of stress.

Climate change to cause more murder, rape and burglary

The only climate grief CM is dealing with is moving out of a warm bed this winter. The Extinction Rebellion (XR) is now trying to link climate change to mental health. Perhaps it should link it to education instead. “Let our grief move us to action” is the call Perhaps XR should channel Orson Welles to spread panic.

Depression and resignation about the future caused by the effects of global warming? NBC reported a mother of teenager daughters in Salt Lake City (where they held the Winter Olympics) who read a copy of an October 2018 U.N. report saying the climate catastrophe could arrive by 2040. It lead them to the following:

The emotional reaction of my kids was severe…There was a lot of crying. They told me, “We know what’s coming, and it’s going to be really rough.

The American Psychological Association (APA) need their own heads read in its report.

Some human health effects stem directly from natural disasters exacerbated by climate change, like floods, storms, wildfires, and heatwaves. Other effects surface more gradually from changing temperatures and rising sea levels that cause forced migration. Weakened infrastructure and less secure food systems are examples of indirect climate impacts on society’s physical and mental health.”

Rising sea levels? Forced migration? Weakened infrastructure? Less secure food systems? Not to worry the APA suggest the following to ease the mental burden:

1.) Physical commuting enhances a sense of well-being. Choosing to bike and/or walk (assuming it is safe and practical to do so) is one individual step that can help reduce the use of climate change–driving fossil fuels.

2.) Public transportation invigorates community mental health. Moving people from individual cars to public transit also results in lower greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, several studies have shown that using public transportation leads to an increase in community cohesion.

3.) Green spaces diminish stress. More time spent interacting with nature has been shown to significantly lower stress levels and reduce stress- related illness. Interestingly, this evidence is supported across socioeconomic status, age, and gender.

4.) Clean energy benefits lung function in children and can help prevent symptoms of anxiety and depression that are brought on by pollution.

Did you know?

The psychological impacts of warmer weather on aggression and violence have been extensively studied. The relationship between heat and violence may be due to the impacts of heat on arousal, which results in decreases in attention and self-regulation, as well as an increase in the availability of negative and hostile thoughts.

Is the APA confusing merely being hot under the collar? Rarely do we meet people who say it’s not a beautiful day when the sun shines. Conversely it is not often we see people, outside of farmers, celebrate rainy days.

It goes on,

Rising levels of frustration in society consequently lead to interpersonal aggression (such as domestic violence, assault, and rape). Ranson (2012) calculated that between 2010 and 2099, climate change would cause an estimated additional 30,000 murders, 200,000 cases of rape, and 3.2 million burglaries due to increased average temperatures.”

Will a court show leniency? Instead of claiming insanity in a murder case, why not claim climate change?

Perhaps the best way to stop the psychological impacts of climate change would be just to dial down the hysteria and indoctrination of children.

The APA shouldn’t complain. It should embrace climate change as the easiest way to fill their members’ appointment books. If they manage to convince patients onto public transport they’ll have a quicker run into work every day.

Hypocritical Sadiq Khan embraces feminism

Sadiq Khan and feminism. What a laugh. His latest “Elle” sponsored video speaks volumes about his double standards. Since when did  we turn to Elle and Vogue for in-depth political analysis?  The mainstream media has left a void but to think fashion mags have filled the void! Does Khan honestly think that any American voter gives a damn what he thinks about domestic policy? One could be mistaken for thinking he has been watching Gillette commercials on a loop. What a surprise his video has received a 3:1 dislike rating on YouTube.

Did he not see the irony of fawning over a Pakistani political delegation to London at the time Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi was facing execution for blasphemy? Did he fight for the rights of women or Christians or diversity? Did he challenge the visitors? Not a peep.

Why was he silent when prominent Iranian human rights lawyer and women’s rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh was given 33 years in prison and 148 lashes? She was only fighting for the rights for these women not to wear the hijab. Sadiq uttered not one word.

Where was his defence of comedian, John Cleese, for saying he doesn’t like cultures that believe in female genital mutilation? Yep, you guessed it.Nowhere.

Yet he feels vindicated to make a video about Trump’s views (shared by many Americans) on abortion, which is much more about late term than anything else. Don’t be surprised if pro-life people are disgusted that NY Mayor de Blasio happily lit up monuments and buildings to celebrate terminations right up to point of delivery.

Maybe Mayor Khan is upset with states like Georgia which want heartbeat bills when it comes to abortion. People could still go to another state that practices late term abortion to have the procedure? Did he think of that?

What about the rights of females in the womb who in certain countries get terminated, not because of medical emergencies but the cultural preference to have males? Are you for that?

Let’s look at the stats on abortion because CM guarantees Khan hasn’t a clue even though he professes wokeness.

Let’s look at the stats.

c.700,000 fetuses are terminated in America each year. Down from 1.4 million in 1990. Hardly stats to cheer about. Of course the arguments for a woman’s right to choose will always be thrown at pro-lifers. Yet allowing termination until birth?

Eurostat statistics on abortion reveal that Germany, France, UK, Spain and Italy alone terminate a combined 760,000 fetuses per annum. Across the EU-28 there are 1.25mn terminations. Without getting into a debate on abortion rights, the pure statistical number points to 20.4% of fetuses never make it out of the womb alive.

According to the Guttmacher Institute some 56 million abortions occur annually. Every. Single. Year. Think that WWII saw 50 million deaths in 6 years of conflict with wide spread use of lethal weapons. So abortions kill at a far higher rate than global conflict.

Then he follows with a closing comment that “men and boys should be feminists” and discusses the disproven “gender pay gap” myth suggesting if you believe in gender equality then one is a “feminist“. CM believes in equal opportunity but don’t consider it feminist to believe in fairness. Kristina Keneally doesn’t believe in fairness! She’s happy for men to take a hit to progress her career despite her well known shortcomings.

Sorry Mayor, the data doesn’t support your theories and Trump has never once had a policy platform that discusses the gender pay gap because America focuses on equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. Maybe you should watch Oprah, the highest paid TV host globally. Maybe then see whether Dr Phil has a right to complain why he is not getting equal pay for equal work?!?

NZ Wellbeing Budget? Kiwis still better off in Australia

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NZ PM Jacinda Ardern’s Wellness Budget is receiving lots of accolades. A true leader! Champagne socialist Sir Richard Branson also praised her saying other countries should take note. The idea that a budget should be solely based on economics is not progressive and more should be directed at “well-being”. That is not to say this budget is not “well-intentioned”. However, the statistics compared to across the ditch do not fare well on relative terms.

Comparing her newest policies versus Australia reveals the kangaroos get better access to social services than the kiwis. How surprising that none of the mainstream media bothered to look at the budget numbers on a like for like basis? Just praise her because she represents their ideal version of a socialist leader.  CM has looked through both budgets and adjusted for currency to make for easier like-for-like comparisons.

When it comes to health spending per capita (currency adjusted), Australia is expected to climb from A$3,324 in 2019 to A$3,568 in 2022. NZ is expected to go up slightly from A$3,516 to A$3,561 respectively.

On social security and welfare, Australia is expected to pay out A$7,322 per capita in 2019, growing to A$7,977. NZ, on the other hand, is forecast to go from A$5,573 per head to A$6,489.

On mental health, Australia forked out around A$9.1bn exclusively on these services reaching 4.2m citizens last year. NZ is planning on spending A$45.1m in 2019 with a total of A$428m by 2023/24 to hit 325,000 people on frontline services for mental health. While the move is a positive one, NZ will allocate A$1.78bn to mental health as a whole over 5 years. On an annualised basis, Australia will still allocate 5x the NZ amount to mental health per capita. So much for wellbeing.

On education, NZ plans to increase per capita spending 7.9% between 2019 and 2022 whereas Australia will lift it 12.5% over the same period. NZ spends around 2x Australia per capita on education although PISA scores between 2006 and 2015 are virtually identical (and both heading south)

On public housing, Ardern can claim a victory. Australia is expected to cut spending per capita from A$240 in 2019 to A$194 in 2022 when NZ will go from A$137 to A$282. Although let’s hope Ardern has more success than her KiwiBuild policy. The Australian’s Judith Sloan rightly pointed out,

“Ardern also has stumbled with other policies, most notably KiwiBuild. The pledge was to build 100,000 additional affordable homes by 2028.

It has since been modified to facili­tation by the government to help build new homes. Moreover, the definition of afford­ability has been altered from between $NZ350,000 ($340,000) and $NZ450,000 to $NZ650,000.

What started off as an ill-considered public housing project has turned out to be an extremely unsuccessful private real estate scam. The government estimated that there would be 1000 homes built last year under KiwiBuild; it turned out to be 47.”

In the process, NZ’s national debt per capita will grow from A$21,550 in 2019 to A$25,206 by 2022. Australia will climb from A$22,764 to A$23,293.

Look at page 119 of the NZ Wellbeing Budget, we can see the government is forecasting the economy to slow and unemployment to rise.

As we wrote several weeks ago, the statistics that Aussies are about to pack their bags and head of to NZ are not supported. CM wrote,

“According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are 568,000 New Zealanders in Australia, or more than double the total 3-decades ago. Therefore more than 11% of the Kiwi population lives in Australia. At last census count, 35,000 New Zealanders migrated to Australia in 2018.

According to the New Zealand Statistics Bureau, 38,700 Aussies live in New Zealand. In the January 2018 year, 24,900 migrants arrived from Australia and a similar number departed for Australia.

Stats NZ stated, “Over half of migrants arriving from Australia are actually returning Kiwis who have been living across the Tasman for more than a year…The number of migrants going back and forth to Australia in the past year almost balanced each other out – the net gain was just 40 people in the last 12 months.”

As socialists love to point out, “feelings matter far more than facts“. Just goes to show how easily people will fall for a catchy headline, rather than judge it on its merits. Time the “woke” wake up from this slumber. By all means, celebrate more recognition of higher mental health spending but best put it in perspective. Jacinda Ardern is ordinary.

Gillette – from toxic masculinity to transgender & morbid obesity

Gillette is free to advertise how it wishes. After the monster backlash against the toxic masculinity campaign which wiped 6% in value from the brand and caused a 22% fall in the following quarter’s profits, it is hard to see how the radical social justice warriors in the marketing department have not been fired. To shareholders, it was a massive fail. A YouGov poll of household grooming products before the campaign saw Gillette fall from 7th out of 45 brands to dead last after it. Yet the company has chosen to bet the house on more virtue signalling hoping it will eventually cut through to the masses. Get woke, go broke.

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with a transgender kid shaving for the first time, most will likely see this ad as nothing more than Gillette doubling down on the roulette wheel of “identity politics”. What point is Gillette trying to prove? The bulk of society is growing tired of being told how to think and what to say.

Yes, there are serious transgender issues in America. 130 transgender people have been murdered since 2013. It is a damning statistic. However, it is unlikely that anyone small minded enough to commit such a heinous crime will be swayed by a Gillette ad featuring a trans actor. Why does Gillette seek to force feed its version of socially acceptable behaviours on the 99.9% of its clientele that does not require it? It is patronising in the extreme. It is like attacking NRA members as murderers.

The only company in the world that can treat its customers with disdain is Ferrari. It wields so much power that it selects customers if they are deemed worthy of owning some of its limited edition offerings. Sadly Gillette is not Ferrari.

Gillette is rife with double standards. It has brazenly sponsored a Dutch racing car series with the brand embossed across the backsides of supermodels.

Chick-fil-A, on the other hand, was established on its Southern Baptist principles. It has never hijacked a social movement to boost sales.  That is why it has seen sales treble on a doubling of stores to become the third largest fast-food chain in America. It never rams its beliefs down the throats of others.

The toxic masculinity campaign should have been a big enough lesson for the marketing team to stay in its lane. The consumer spurned Gillette at the supermarket cash register. It would have been better coming out and apologizing and praising men for all the good things they do, like the Egard Watch company.

Virtually no customers will see that trans ad and think to buy Gillette razors out of a sense of moral guilt at the treatment of this minority. Consumers buy razors to groom – period. When will the company get it?

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It wasn’t so long ago that Gillette promoted a morbidly obese woman to push female shaving products. There is a difference between standing against fat-shaming and being realistic about the many chronic health issues and massive costs related to obesity.

The American Medical Association (AMA) wrote, “the nation’s obesity rate is approaching 40% after holding around 34–35% between 2005 and 2012, according to data in The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America 2018. No state has had a statistically significant drop in its obesity rate in the past five years...the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that 39.6% of adults and 18.5% of children ages 2 to 19 in America have obesity, the State of Obesity report noted that “these are the highest rates ever documented“…the AMA is working to prevent and control chronic diseases, many of which are associated with obesity…”

We covered obesity in the previous post. Obesity increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, sleep apnea, liver disease, kidney disease, gallbladder disease, and certain types of cancer yet Gillette wants to celebrate it as something to be proud of.

Corporations that pursue woke marketing risk alienating their customers. There is no upside to it. Consumers are not stupid and the more companies run campaigns that fly in the face of their intelligence, will only get a backlash at the point of sale.

Don’t forget that the toxic masculinity campaign had a 10:1 negative response ratio on the millions of views it had. One can be sure Gillette will try to massage a positive response on this latest campaign. Yet, like most polls, the most accurate measure is consumer response. If sales aren’t arrested, no matter how many positive clickbait statistics they can show their bosses internally, the sales and profit figures won’t lie. That is all that ultimately matters to P&G shareholders.

Obesity in America

The American Medical Association (AMA) has updated the latest State of Obesity 2019 report which tabulates a damning trend. West Virginia is the worst offender. It has seen obesity rates surge from 14% in the 1990s to 38.1% of the adult population.

The state has the highest rates of diabetes at 15.2% of the adult population, up from 6.7% in the 1990s. Of the 191,000 diabetes sufferers in WV, by 2030 there is expected to be over 282,000 with the disease.

Hypertension is also expected to surge from 24.2% in the 1990s to 43.5%. To that end heart disease is also forecast to jump from around 138,000 to over 659,000 people.

According to the most recent Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data, adult obesity rates now exceed 35% in seven states, 30% in 29 states and 25% in 48 states.

The AMA notes,

Race, ethnicity, gender, income, education levels and where an adult lives all make a difference in how likely he or she is to have obesity. For example, the report found that:

  • Obesity rates are higher among Latinos (47%) and blacks (46.8%) than among whites (37.9%).
  • Women are more likely to have obesity than men, 41.1%versus 37.9%.
  • Women are also more likely to have severe obesity, 9.7% versus 5.6%.
  • Adults in rural areas are more likely to have obesity than those in metro areas, 34.2% versus 28.7%.
  • College graduates are less likely to be obese than those with less than a high school education, 22.2% versus 35.5%.
  • Adults with higher incomes are less likely to be obese. The obesity rate is 29.7% among those making 400% or more above the federal poverty line; the rate is 42.6% for those at 100 to 199% of the federal poverty line.

None of this makes for pleasant reading but the AMA calculates $149bn in extra medical costs annually and $66bn in lost productivity.

According to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 18.5% of children and 39.6% of adults had obesity in 2015–2016. These are the highest rates ever documented by NHANES.

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The underlying causes of obesity are complex and interconnected, ranging from economic and policy dynamics to environmental influences, social norms, and individual and family factors.

High-calorie foods are less expensive and more available in some neighbourhoods; many communities lack safe, accessible places to walk, bike, and play; and children and adults are inundated by advertising for unhealthy foods and beverages.

Many Americans eat too few fruits and vegetables and consume too many calories in the form of highly processed foods, and fewer than half meet national guidelines for physical activity.

Obesity increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, sleep apnea, liver disease, kidney disease, gallbladder disease, and certain types of cancer.

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Seems like the pharmaceutical companies will continue to do well in America. Aussie company ResMed, which makes CPAP machines to treat sleep apnea is crushing it.