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Mars Attacks: Here are the Results of Government Run Healthcare

by Mars ( 72 Comments › )
Filed under Blogmocracy, Communism, Crime, DHS, Education, Europe, Fascism, Free Speech, government, Guest Post, Health Care, Healthcare, Liberal Fascism, Politics, Socialism, UK at March 9th, 2016 - 6:00 am

http://www.buzzfeed.com/patricksmith/make-room-for-matthew#.nxE62kKQq

Buzzfeed is usually reliably liberal, but this article is a huge wake-up call to those who say we must have the government involved in healthcare. Warning to all who have autistic relatives like I do, this article is your worst nightmares come true. We must use our brains this election or our future is Englands present. Unfortunately the solution reached in this article is “more government”, England is doomed. Handing more power to the people who caused the problem in the first place is just asking for more problems.

This Is How An Autistic Child Is Being Kept In “Prison” Under The Mental Health Act

Matthew Garnett, 15, who is autistic and has learning disabilities, has been detained in a psychiatric intensive-care unit for the last six months against his family’s wishes. BuzzFeed News investigates why he and children like him end up stuck in a system they can’t control.
posted on Mar. 4, 2016, at 8:24 a.m.
Patrick Smith

Robin Garnett still has the bite marks from when his son attacked him. On 4 September last year, Matthew, 15, became upset then punched and head-butted his dad and said he wanted to kill him. When the police arrived they found Robin with blood dripping from various wounds. They handcuffed Matthew, who is autistic and has learning disabilities, and took him to hospital.

Matthew’s family agreed with the police and doctors that he should be detained under the Mental Health Act while appropriate treatment for him could be found.

But the mental scars of what happened next will take a lot longer to heal. Since that day, his family say, he has been kept “in prison” against their wishes.
The Garnett family

Friday marks six months since the day Matthew was taken to a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) – essentially the mental health equivalent of an accident and emergency department – in Woking, Surrey, up to two hours’ drive away from the Garnett family home in south London.

Robin and Isabelle, Matthew’s mum, were told he would be in Woking for six to eight weeks at the most while a suitable clinical placement within the NHS could be found. He’s been there ever since, and hasn’t received the treatment he needs or been properly assessed, the family say.

After the Garnetts launched a Change.org petition that’s now been signed by over 140,000 people and Matthew’s plight was brought up in parliament, NHS England confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Friday that he will be offered a place at a specialist hospital in Northampton “in a matter of weeks”, albeit on a date yet to be decided.

Robin told BuzzFeed News the Northampton offer sounded positive but said the family are “cautious” due to their level of trust in the system being so low. “We’ve heard it all before, but I hope this time it’s different,” he said. “Even if that is the case, there’s a long way to go and there are a lot of other Matthews out there.”
Change.org

The Department of Health told BuzzFeed News it was looking into the matter “urgently”.

Despite signs of progress in Matthew’s campaign, questions remain over how and why he was placed in the facility for so long. His parents say he regressed while in the PICU and needs urgent treatment for neurological changes that are taking place.

The family’s petition has joined a growing chorus of charities and campaigners calling on the government and the NHS to do more to stop autistic children and children with learning disabilities getting stuck in a bureaucratic limbo that takes them away from their family and restricts access to treatment.

Matthew’s case has drawn attention to the many other children who have been detained under the Mental Health Act in temporary assessment centres for years due to what campaigners call an unacceptable flaw in the way mental health services are commissioned in the UK. Some 3,500 people with learning disabilities, including 165 children, are currently occupying inpatient beds rather than living in their communities, according to the 2015 Learning Disability Census. However, the number of those who are stuck in assessment centres is simply unknown.

So how does a child with a serious mental illness end up detained in a temporary facility for months or even years and denied the treatment and care they clearly need?
The Garnett family

At first the Garnetts could understand why Matthew was sectioned: He needed help, he needed assessing and treating. Plus they had little choice – it wasn’t the first time Matthew had become violent at home, the family were concerned about the wellbeing of Matthew’s younger sister, and the only other option was for him to be arrested by police.

Matthew’s situation was made more serious by the way his condition has developed in the last few years. Once a bright, chatty boy who loved music and swimming, his IQ has fallen to 55, having been as high as 88 at the age of 7. His family think the onset of puberty has something to do with it, but say there is “something big” happening that’s not being properly monitored.

His family describe him as a 5-year-old in a young adult’s body, and despite the challenges they’ve faced, his dad said he is still an “absolute joy” to be around.

Robin showed BuzzFeed News a video of his son on Father’s Day in which Matthew spontaneously improvises a song. “You’re the best daddy in the world, Daddy,” he sings.
The Garnett family

Sat in the kitchen of the family home, Robin said: “He’s nearly my height [6’3”], he’s a hulking 15-year-old, but he’s a child inside. By that point [4 September] there were seven security people marching him to this thing and he was this lost boy who wasn’t any danger to anyone.

“He’d done a thing that was very violent and that triggered various protocols. It’s basically like putting a confused 5-year-old in prison for six months and expecting him to be fine.

“We had a child who was trying to kill us. In his own words, he was trying to kill us. So we agreed at that point but on the understanding that he was going to this place in the short term as a stepping-stone to the assessment and treatment that everyone is agreed he needs.

“He was not a well child then – he’s an even less well child now. We thought this would be a few days before he was taken to a new place.”

However, Matthew has regressed in the PICU and needs urgent assessment and treatment that the centre simply can’t provide, his family say. He has autistic catatonia, meaning he is at times withdrawn and silent. He is confused and unsure what is happening and when he will come home. He has asked more than once whether he is in prison.

His head has been shaved because he was tearing his hair out, and he suffered a compound fracture in his wrist after a scuffle with another inpatient in the PICU. Matthew’s family say he wasn’t being supported in turn-taking while playing on the Nintendo Wii and was pushed over by a bigger boy. Staff only took him to A&E after 24 hours, the Garnetts say.

Matthew, who also has ADHD, has been given family-size bottles of Coke at night and does little other than play on the Wii, his family say.

“The least well-equipped person in the world to deal with this sort of uncertainty is a child with autism,” said Robin. “He looks to us for certainty and we can’t give him any.”

Robin asked what the outcry would be if someone with a physical health emergency was treated the same way: “Can you imagine them saying ‘you’ve got a broken leg but we won’t get round to it for six months’?”
The Garnett family

Isabelle, Matthew’s mum, is angry, upset, and frustrated. “What crime do you have to commit to be detained for six months?” she said. “What crime? It would appear that you can be detained indefinitely if you have autism. And it stinks.” The family say the whole episode is affecting their own health.

Shortly after Christmas, Isabelle had planned to take Matthew to the cinema. She’d made a lot of phone calls and followed the lengthy protocol that such an off-site trip involves. Yet when she arrived to collect him, a member of staff had booked him a hospital appointment instead. No one had explained the change of plan to Matthew.

“He was in fight-or-flight then,” she said. “He was so agitated that the minute he saw me he attacked me.”

Despite hardly recognising the previously animated and talkative boy she once knew, Isabelle said doctors in the centre have told her: “Oh he’s fine, he’s really bouncy.” This is because his ADHD is going untreated, she said.

One doctor told the family that it costs as much as £1,000 a day to keep Matthew in the PICU, a figure the NHS would neither confirm nor deny when BuzzFeed News asked.

Cygnet Healthcare, which runs the facility in Woking as well as centres in 18 other locations across the country, declined to comment on any specific details related to Matthew’s detention, but said in a statement:

“We support some very vulnerable people to whom we have a duty of care, a key part of which is respecting patients’ confidentiality. Therefore, it would not be appropriate for us to comment on an individual case.

“Our primary purpose is to assist individuals with crisis support, stabilising them ahead of admission to a clinical mental health treatment and support service. Where a placement at a specialist service is not immediately available, a clinical decision is taken which may decide the most appropriate alternative is for the individual to remain in our care until a space does become available.”

In a Care Quality Commission report based on an inspection in February 2015, the Woking centre was found to have failed in four areas, including not having staff “who are properly qualified and able to do their job” and not providing “safe and appropriate care that meets [patients’] needs and supports their rights”.

In the 14 months to 31 December, Cygnet made £118 million in revenue and £31.6 million in pre-tax profits.
The Garnett family

Beyond this family’s personal trauma, Matthew’s story shows the labyrinthine ways NHS services are commissioned and how families can be left confused and concerned.
The Garnett family

Matthew is due to be headed to St Andrew’s hospital in Northampton in a few weeks. The place would have been available sooner if it weren’t for five young inpatients there who have been waiting for a care package to be offered to them in the communities they come from.

Three of those five turned 18 while at St Andrews, meaning they graduated from the child and adolescent mental health services and now face a whole new layer of bureaucracy from the adult services. This is the NHS mental health commissioning merry-go-round.

NHS England confirmed to us that it pays for Matthew’s treatment, not his local NHS trust. Critics say this funding arrangement could be bringing perverse incentives into play where a person is detained even though they could be supported back home in their community.

Tom Purser, community campaigns manager at the National Autistic Society (NAS), told BuzzFeed News that Matthew’s case, and those of the five who were waiting to leave Northampton, highlights a commissioning system that doesn’t serve people with specific mental health needs.

“It could suggest that the local commissioners are happy to leave people in places where they are being supported being paid for out of a completely separate budget,” he said, “and it means they don’t have to worry about putting a package together which will either come from local NHS or local authority budgets.

“This is slightly speculative, but there is no great incentive for local commissioners to bring people back into their communities, because they will require extensive packages to arrange.

“And these things can take a long time to arrange and can be very difficult when you have someone with very specialist needs.”

Purser said the NAS is calling for a full review of the way mental health services are commissioned in the UK in regards to autistic children.

South London and Maudsley NHS Trust said in a statement that it was working with the Garnett family on this case, adding: “There are only a limited number of units in England that can address this young person’s complex needs. These units are not best placed geographically for this family and young person.”

A spokesperson for NHS England told BuzzFeed News: “We have every sympathy for Matthew and his family and we understand that this has been a very difficult time. It has been confirmed that Matthew will be moved to St Andrew’s, where he will be able to receive the specialist care that he needs. We anticipate that this will happen in a matter of weeks but cannot confirm an admission date at this point.”

It turns out six months is not even that long when it comes to children being detained in assessment centres.

Josh Wills, who is severely autistic, was 12 when he was admitted to hospital in his native Cornwall because he was hitting himself so hard he lost a third of his tongue.

There was no treatment and assessment centre available in Cornwall, so he was taken to one in Birmingham. He was there for three years and released at the end of 2015, aged 15.

“We decided we needed some help,” his dad, Phill Wills, told BuzzFeed News. “He was 11 when he really started injuring himself.

“It was during the Olympics, I was with friends watching Usain Bolt doing the 100-metre sprint and my phone went and it was Josh’s mum saying he was in hospital. That was the last time that he stayed in any of our houses.

“He was three months in the hospital in Cornwall. His behaviour was classed as life-threatening and he was only 12. He had some surgery, he lost one-third of his tongue, he lost most of his lip, he had a hole in his cheek, all through what he was doing to himself. Sometimes I wouldn’t have been able to pick him out of a lineup.”

Wills was told Josh would only be there for 12 weeks. But that became six months, then a year. Wills and Josh’s mum drove more than 200,000 miles over the course of his detention.

Like Matthew Garnett’s parents, Wills agreed to his son’s sectioning at first as the only available option, but then became frustrated with the lack of movement and action in finding him a placement in his home county.

And like the Garnetts, Wills started campaigning with a petition on Change.org, which ended up getting 250,000 signatures. That got the story air time on BBC News at Six and BBC News at Ten, as well as This Morning. The then care minister, Norman Lamb, intervened and eventually Josh was offered a residential place with two full-time carers in Cornwall, 12 miles from his family home.

“It was the petition that turned it all around for us,” said Wills. “It went live on 26 March 2014, which was 18 months into his Birmingham stay. We just didn’t feel that we and Josh were being listened to. If you don’t listen to the parents of Josh and Matthew, you’re not listening to the children.

“We never expected to go as public as we did. I didn’t expect to be getting hugs from Holly Willoughby.

“No one should have to shout as loud as we did, just to be heard. I don’t blame anyone locally really. Norman Lamb did everything he could and it still took a long time for the wheels to start turning.

“I hope to god that Matthew’s case moves faster than ours did.”
Phill Wills

But what can be done to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again?

Charlotte Haworth Hird, an associate at law firm Bindmans who has advised on a range of mental health cases, including ones related to detention, said detention under the Mental Health Act “trumps” all other rights that a person might have. Essentially, as long as physicians agree that someone is at risk to themselves or others, they can be detained on an ongoing basis.

The key to stopping children like Matthew being detained for such lengthy periods, she told BuzzFeed News, is intervention in the community to stop young people falling into crisis.

“Children in cases like this end up being detained in the same way anyone gets detained – there can often a crisis point,” she said. “But one of the concerns, and this is often the experience of families, is that crisis point only arrives because of a lack of support being provided in the community.

“So it’s necessary to look further back to see if detention can be prevented by better community support from the local NHS trust or social services. My experience from working with families is that if you look at the bigger picture there are points at which there could have been proper intervention, so it never needed to get to the point where someone goes to hospital.”

Last month a report from Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of charity leaders’ body ACEVO, into the Winterbourne View scandal in 2011 – when undercover journalists documented systemic abuse at a home for people with learning disabilities – recommended that a commissioner be appointed to promote the rights of people with learning disabilities and their families.

Bubb said the 3,500 people with learning disabilities in inpatient care was an underestimate and called for more to be done. NHS England noted in response to that report that “no one should try and defend the indefensible when it comes to outmoded patterns of institutionalisation”.

Jan Tregelles, CEO of Mencap, the learning disabilities charity, and Viv Cooper, CEO of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, said in a joint statement to BuzzFeed News:

“People with a learning disability and their families have endured five years of failure by national and local government and the NHS to bring about meaningful change for the 3,500 people confined to inpatient units in England.

“Despite promises to move people out of inpatient units and ensure they get the right support in their local communities, many people are still stuck in these units, where they are at increased risk of abuse and neglect and often unacceptably far from loved ones. Perhaps most shocking is the fact that 165 of these people are children under the age of 18.”

“The latest NHS England’s commitment to close inpatient beds over the next three years will only be credible if it actually leads to change on the ground for people with a learning disability. Hospitals are not homes. Families need to see the right support developed in their local communities. This means the right housing, staff with the right skills and with the right expertise, who can support individuals, families and care providers.”

The Department of Health said in a statement: “It’s crucial children with mental illness get the right care in the right place – change is already underway to make that happen. We are investing £1.4 billion into young people’s mental health and are working with local areas to improve services so young people get better quality, preventative mental health care as quickly as possible.”
Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Patrick Smith at patrick.smith@buzzfeed.com.

Mars Attacks: The Department of Education Must Go

by Mars ( 146 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Barack Obama, Blogmocracy, Climate, Communism, Democratic Party, Education, Environmentalism, Fascism, Free Speech, Global Warming Hoax, government, Guest Post, Liberal Fascism, Marxism, Political Correctness, Progressives, Regulation, Science, Socialism, Technology at June 16th, 2015 - 7:00 am

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2015/06/09/the-government-is-helping-fund-a-minecraft-style-game-for-teaching-kids-about-the-environment/

The government is helping fund a Minecraft-style game for teaching kids about the environment

Minecraft is a cultural phenomenon. The block-based exploration and crafting game was snapped up by Microsoft for $2.5 billion last year and has helped inspire competitors from giant toy companies like Lego.

Even the government is interested in building on Minecraft’s success: The Department of Education is helping fund a project known as “Eco” that looks a lot like Minecraft, except with a few added twists: There’s a looming ecological disaster and players must band together to make a community — agreeing on laws and living in harmony with the environment.

If they fail, the world dies forever. Strange Loop Games, the company behind the game, describes it a “global survival game” and says failure results in “server-wide perma death.”

Eco is designed to help teach middle school students about environmental science and was awarded a nearly $900,000 grant from the Department of Education last month. It has completed a test phase where 60 students in five classes tried it out, according to the grant contract. The prototype for that test run also received a DOE grant of around $150,000.

Here’s what the game prototype looks like in action:

The latest grant will help build out new features, including a teacher dashboard, and let researchers figure out how effective the game is by collecting data on 150 students in 10 classrooms. Half of the classes will use the normal environmental teaching plan, while the other half will supplement the curriculum with Eco — letting the developers see if the game actually helps boost students’ understanding of ecology.

Minecraft itself is already used by some educators for things like building replicas of ancient Roman apartment buildings and teaching problem-solving.

Understand, Minecraft is a phenomena amongst the younger crowd. It is a huge sprawling creative sandbox that allows the children to experiment with construction and even computer design and programming. This atrocity is something else entirely. It is also designed for programming, programming children to become Eco-nuts. It is developed using a gameplay that the kids are familiar with and enjoy, but adds in all of the Eco nonsense that you could ever hope a future generation of children would need to become good little “citizens of the world”.

Minecraft meets ecology simulation in an open-world educational game

By Charlie Hall on Jun 09, 2015 at 3:30p @Charlie_L_Hall
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Veteran studio Strange Loop Games is embarking on an ambitious project to create a new kind of open world multiplayer game where the survival of every player on the server depends on careful management of in-game resources. With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Eco hopes to become a platform for teaching middle school students about ecology in a communal, cloud-based game world.

Strange Loop calls their project a “global survival game.” In Eco’s fiction there is an impending disaster looming over humanity — an event like a meteor strike, a drought or a flood. The clock is ticking, and players must work together to prevent the onrushing apocalypse or risk “server-wide perma death.”

The tools at players disposal are familiar to anyone who’s played Minecraft. Eco’s world is a lush paradise, modeled after the Pacific Northwest, filled with plants and animals. But unlike Minecraft, real ecological forces are at play in the background.

“Resources are finite,” states the game’s website. “Chop down every tree and fail to plant more? They won’t be growing back. Hunt every elk for food? They’re now extinct. Pollute a section of land with mining runoffs? Your crops are poisoned. This ecosystem is your only lifeline in a race against time.

“You’re facing two existential crises simultaneously: an external threat that you must avert, and the threat of causing your own destruction. A rock and a hard place.”

But the game doesn’t want to be preachy, it just wants to attempt to simulate the real forces at play on our planet, give players a sense of ownership and empower them with the tools the make change.

“In Eco the goal isn’t to save the environment,” said studio head John Krajewski earlier this year in the YouTube video above. “The goal is to build. The goal is to create a civilization.”

In the background the game is constantly keeping track of real complex data, which allows players to see the changes being felt by in-game populations in near real time. While players on the server will be given free choice, the entire community will also have the opportunity to vote on laws that will change how they’re allowed to interact with the environment.

“Every law in Eco needs to be backed up with scientific documentation,” said Krajewski, “that’s based on the actual data that’s coming from the game.”

The game will run on a server in the cloud, which will allow players to access the game from anywhere — including at home or in the classroom. Teachers will be given a toolset to allow them to tailor individual worlds to meet their educational needs, effectively letting them create specific scenarios and influence the game world in real time.

“The classroom time is the chance to have the council meeting. … That’s where we see the role of the teacher is very important.”

The promise of the game has even captured the interest of the U.S. Department of Education, which has given Strange Loop Games a two year, $900,000 grant to develop the game. There is also a Kickstarter expected later this year.

“Eco is possibly the first video game where your character can actually save the world,” says the website, “because the alternative is for once possible.”
http://www.polygon.com/2015/6/9/8752973/eco-minecraft-ecology-simulation-strange-loop-games

The overarching themes of “save the world” is worrying enough, it’s when you get into what the game is designed for is when things get really terrifying. They have actually set it up where you “design laws” for your enviro friendly civilization.

This is blatant programming of children, you take something kids are already enjoying, you change it around to fit an agenda and then you force feed the kids the final result in the school system. If a company tried something this blatant they would be shut down and the heads would probably be thrown in jail. Your federal government at work. Changing hearts and minds, by mandate.

Mars Attacks: Tell a Big Enough Lie: The U.S. Obesity “Epidemic”

by Mars ( 148 Comments › )
Filed under American Exceptionalism, Barack Obama, Blogmocracy, Communism, Cult of Obama, Democratic Party, Education, Environmentalism, Fascism, Food and Drink, Free Speech, Guest Post, Health Care, Healthcare, Marxism, Media, Political Correctness, Progressives, Regulation at May 18th, 2015 - 8:44 am

You’ve all heard it again and again on the news. The United States is number one in obesity worldwide. Or is it number two, with Mexico now taking the top spot? Would you believe it’s none of the above? The United States is number 18. Not a great number but not worth the outrage and panic the left puts forward. This may surprise everyone with the constant hammering by the Left and the Media about America being the fattest country on earth. This is interesting in the face of these facts. This report was released this month, but I have seen this information as far back as three years ago. Yes, they continued to lie to us even with their own WHO and the CIA Factbook both contradicting their narrative and containing the real data for the entire time that they have promoted the lie.

Why would they do this? Actually it’s pretty obvious in the face of Universal Healthcare, Moochelle Obama, and the school lunch program “reworking”. The left is determined to save your life no matter what you want. It is once again about control. As long as the myth is out there, it gives them reasons to limit what you are allowed to eat. They can place limits on what can be sold, they can place limits on what you buy and eat, they can tell your children they are not allowed to bring lunches from home and must eat their Moochelle mandated Kale and Quinoa salad. They are getting more arrogant about their lies lately, even with the true facts out there in print, they will still throw the lie forward again and again, knowing that the press will follow like obedient lapdogs.

Try finding the true statistics on Obesity online. I’ve been trying to find the reports that I originally found, and the search engines are flooded with nothing but the lie. I was lucky this story came around recently otherwise I wouldn’t have had anything to post. Especially since the WHO reports (yes, there are several going back years) and the CIA Factbook report were behind paywalls. I have no doubts there will be thousands of articles about American Obesity posted in the next few weeks in order to bury this CNN report back to where it won’t be seen.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/01/health/pacific-islands-obesity/

How paradise became the fattest place in the world

By Meera Senthilingam, for CNN

Updated 5:44 AM ET, Fri May 1, 2015

“Vital Signs is a monthly program bringing viewers health stories from around the world”

(CNN)They’re remote and beautiful. A place many long to escape to for sun, sea and serenity. But the Pacific islands have another reality for the residents living there — a life based on imported food, little exercise and remote access to healthcare.

The result? The most obese nations in the world.

‘A deadly epidemic’

“One third of the world is either overweight or obese right now,” says Emmanuela Gakidou, professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Gakidou’s recent paper used data from countries across the world to identify the global burden of obesity and trends seen in different populations. “The Pacific islands have a lot of countries with very high levels of obesity,” she adds.

Among the top 10 most obese countries or territories globally, nine are Pacific islands, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), making this paradise the fattest region of the world.

“Up to 95% of the adult population are overweight or obese in some countries,” says Temo Waqanivalu, program officer with the WHO’s Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases department. As a Fijian Native, Waqanivalu has worked on the issue for over a decade and seen the epidemic evolve first-hand, aided by the cultural acceptance of bigger bodies as beautiful. “In Polynesia the perception of ‘big is beautiful’ does exist,” he says. “[But] big is beautiful, fat is not. That needs to get through.”

Percentages for obesity range from 35% to 50% throughout the islands, according to the WHO. The Cook Islands top the ranks with just over 50% of its population classified as obese.

“It’s a deadly epidemic,” says Waqanivalu.

Measuring up

Obesity is measured through an individual’s body mass index (BMI) and a measurement above 30kg/m² is defined as clinically obese.

Pacific islanders tend to have a naturally big build, says Jonathan Shaw, associate director of Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Australia. “With Pacific islanders, their frame is typically bigger,” he explains, “but that still doesn’t account for the obesity we see.”

Poor diets and reduced exercise have become a major public health concern for the region as they are not only a cause of obesity — associated diseases are also rife, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, the latter of which has a known genetic basis among locals.

“This is a population with a genetic predisposition and when exposed to Western lifestyles results in high rates of diabetes,” says Shaw. “[This is] undoubtedly caused by high rates of obesity.”

The epidemic began through the tropical region turning its back on traditional diets of fresh fish and vegetables and replacing them with highly processed and energy-dense food such as white rice, flour, canned foods, processed meats and soft drinks imported from other countries. One of the root causes of the change is the price tag.

“All over the world, poor quality and highly energy-dense food is the cheapest,” says Shaw. As demand for healthier alternatives remain low, their market is small.

This is exemplified by fishermen often selling the fish they catch to in turn purchase canned tuna. “[You] can buy a few meals with what you get selling fish,” says Waqanivalu.

The new food environment locals find themselves living in has accelerated the trend towards consuming processed food. “It’s significantly cheaper,” adds Waqanivalu. “It’s cheaper to buy a bottle of coke than a bottle of water.”

As with other regions of the world, increased urbanization and sedentary office cultures have further aided the rise in obesity among Pacific islanders.

“A lot of physical activity was in the domain of work,” says Waqanivalu, referring to fisherman heading out to sea and others working their land on plantations. “The concept of leisure-time activity is new,” he says.

The tropical climate desired by sun seekers is less attractive to those needing to keep fit. “In tropical countries there is a desire to avoid physical work and even walk,” says Shaw. “We’re all driven to conserve energy.”

All in the genes?

Some scientists believe that Pacific island populations have evolved to maintain their larger build — a concept known as the “Thrifty Gene” hypothesis. For this region of the world, the concept is based on the fact Pacific islanders once endured long journeys at sea and those who fared best stored enough energy in the form of fat to survive their journey.

“We have the remnants of those people … and their metabolism as well,” says Waqanivalu. The increased risk of obesity among native Pacific islanders is shown on the islands of Fiji, where the population has a more mixed ethnicity. The country stands at the lower end of the region’s spectrum with 36.4% of the adult population classed as obese. Just more than half of the Fijian population are native iTaukei, with the remainder mostly of Indian origin, according to the CIA World Factbook. “That explains the lower rates,” says Waqanivalu.

The naturally higher BMI of the people in the region has, however, prompted calls to increase the cut-off for the level of BMI denoting obesity in the Pacific region from 30 to 32 kg/m². A lower cut-off has been suggested for Asian populations based on the same premise, as Asian countries — including Korea, Myanmar and Cambodia — make up the majority of the lowest 10 countries globally in terms of obesity..

Childhood consequences

After the global trends in obesity seen in her study, Gakidou’s real concern is the rates her team saw in children in the Pacific. “The rate for children is high … about one in five children [are obese],” she says. “This has repercussions in the long term.”

Repercussions include diabetes, which is already a burden on health services in the region. “The concern in children would be early onset of diabetes,” says Gakidou.

The WHO has made a series of recommendations to improve the situation and is implementing them through policy changes in the countries. “Type II diabetes is emerging in young children 10-11 years old,” says Waqanivalu, who has also heard reports of a child as young as seven years old being affected. “[It’s the] tip of the iceberg in children.”

But Waqanilu is confident his department is making some progress through recommendations such as increased taxation on soft drinks, improving trade in the region, controlled marketing of products targeting children through schools, and policies to promote healthier diets and exercise.

“The whole food environment needs to be changed,” he says. This has been the ambition of the Healthy Islands Vision — initiated by the ministers of health for the Pacific island countries in 1995 — which aims to combat obesity and diabetes among its health priorities.

Health systems also need strengthening to better handle the consequences of obesity. “We have definitely made steps but need to make strides for this to be sorted in our time,” says Waqanivalu.

Is there an obesity epidemic in the US? Yes, definitely. Does it help to lie about the statistics? No, not unless you have an agenda to promote.

Mars Attacks: Liberals Establishing “Evidence” to Make Conservatism A Mental Disorder

by Mars ( 180 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Bigotry, Blogmocracy, Communism, Democratic Party, Education, Fascism, Free Speech, government, Guest Post, Hate Speech, History, Liberal Fascism, Marxism, Multiculturalism, Nazism, Political Correctness, Politics, Progressives, Racism, Socialism at May 12th, 2015 - 7:00 am

I recently stumbled this article. While the whole thing might seem to be innocent enough and not a direct attack, it’s pretty obvious to anyone who is paying attention that there are a lot more insidious motives involved in the “research” in this article. This is not true research, nor is it a true study, this is pop psychology teaming up with political correctness designed to destroy an opposing ideology. Psychology has been used for years as a bludgeon by the left to attack anything they dislike so this was inevitable. For those who think this is harmless, I would like to remind them that both Stalin and Hitler labeled their political opponents as insane and mentally deficient. It is a long used tactic of the left to discredit and imprison those who disagree. This is a vital step in their drive to impose their views on the rest of us.


http://mic.com/articles/95234/psychologists-discover-the-striking-difference-between-conservative-and-liberal-brains

Psychologists Discover the Striking Difference Between Conservative and Liberal Brains
By Tom McKay July 30, 2014

Psychologists Discover the Striking Difference Between Conservative and Liberal Brains

The news: Are conservatives and liberals really all that different? New scientific research says they are, and it’s all in their heads.

A growing consensus is emerging among political scientists and psychologists that differences between liberal and conservative ideology may actually be hardwired in our brains. Recent research from political scientist John Hibbing at the University of Nebraska and colleagues published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences argue that right-wingers possess what’s called a strong “negativity bias,” or physiological fixation on negative stimuli in their environments.

According to the study, conservatives have a more threat-oriented and reactionary mindset than liberals. If true, then differences between left and right may be just as physiological as they are psychological.

The studies: Hibbings and his colleagues published a comprehensive review of the evidence for their approach in the journal and invited feedback from 26 individual scholars or teams. Here are some of their findings:

– Multiple studies finding that non-political authoritarian parenting styles seem to be significantly linked with political conservatism.

– Evidence showing that the Big Five personality traits (conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness to new experiences, extraversion and emotional stability) are correlated with political orientation. Specifically, liberals tend to score higher on experiential openness while conservatives tend to be strongly conscientious. Other evidence links politeness with conservatism and empathy with liberalism. Hibbings says these findings might indicate that liberals and conservatives “construct and occupy different individual and social environments.”

– NYU professor Jon Haidt found that conservatives emphasize moral purity, authority and in/out-group status while making moral judgements, whereas liberals consider equality and harm avoidance. Hibbings’ team also pointed to studies which have found conservatives to own more cleaning supplies and prefer different cuisine and art. Conservatives, he argues, tend not to enjoy the unfamiliar.

– Conservatives have stronger implicit attachment to traditional values and are more likely to see the world in strongly defined categories.

– Highly experimental but initially promising research linked complex neurological behavior to political ideologies. One paper even found evidence that neural structures may differ between young liberals and conservatives.

– A dramatic 2008 paper by Douglas R. Oxley that found contemporary American political conservatives react much more quickly and defensively to threatening stimuli. Those stimuli included “a very large spider on the face of a frightened person, a dazed individual with a bloody face, and an open wound with maggots in it.”

What does this all mean? The researchers stopped short of saying that conservatives and liberals have fundamentally different kinds of brains and admit ideology is far too messy to categorize into neat labels. But they are confident there’s a link between strong negativity biases and political conservatism and that both are associated with a wide range of subconscious, psychological and possibly neurological factors. Tellingly, just three of the 26 responses by critics rejected the idea entirely.

A “negativity bias” may sound like a bad thing, but Hibbings and his team noted it’s associated with higher levels of satisfaction and life happiness. But Salon’s Paul Rosenberg noted that the study shows conservatism is clearly unsuited for the modern era and its “negatives clearly seem to be growing beyond all control.”

Hibbing is more optimistic, arguing that by acknowledging the cognitive factors involved in the formation of our ideologies, we can move towards a more realistic and functional form of politics.

More realistic and functional politics? Wouldn’t that be nice.

This is evil at work. And it just keeps going. Here’s a new one I found the next day.

http://neuropoly.com/2011/04/05/psychology-sex-dirtyliberals-disgust-morality-politics/

Soap, Sex and the Dirty Liberal
April 5, 2011 dj Leave a comment Go to comments

Do you find Rush Limbaugh more palatable after vs. before taking a bath? Might you be more inclined to linger on the Bill O’Reilly Show while channel flipping in a recently-mopped and cleaned room compared to a dirty and disheveled one?

Perhaps you just might. At least, that’s what recent research from Cornell’s Erik Helzer and David Pizarro suggests. Their just published study showed that reminding people of physical cleanliness made them report being more politically conservative and also led them to make harsher moral judgments when considering mildly perverted sex acts.

The study builds upon work showing links between moral judgment and the subjective experiences of bodily purity and visceral disgust. Recent studies have shown that individuals who experienced disgust in response to foul odors or by sitting at a dirty desk, judged the moral transgressions of others far more harshly compared to controls. The general idea behind these and other studies is that moral judgments are in part based on emotional responses which originally evolved for other purposes. For example, visceral disgust — say, the kind one might experience when smelling rotten meat — likely evolved as a means of detecting and avoiding harmful pathogens. The argument, as it goes, suggests that self-reported moral disgust responses to, for example, a visible display of homosexual affection (two men kissing) could be subserved by the same system from which “visceral disgust” responses emerge. The current study builds on this work with a crafty two-part experiment.

In the first study, participants were approached in the hallway of a campus building and asked to complete a questionnaire, which asked three questions about political orientation. Participants were instructed to stand either near a hand sanitizing station (the experimental condition) or step over to a wall where there was no hand sanitizer nearby (the control condition) to complete the questionnaire. Those who stood near the hand sanitizing station rated themselves as being more conservative than the control group.

In the second study a wall sign commanding researchers to “use hand wipes” before typing at a computer served as a reminder of cleanliness. Additionally, while the moral judgement task was introduced, participants were asked to use a hand wipe before starting. In the control condition, there was no sign and subjects weren’t asked to wipe their hands. First, participants filled out the political orientation questionnaire from experiment 1. As in the first study, participants in the cleanliness condition rated themselves as more conservative. Then participants engaged in the moral judgment task in which they were asked to rate their moral approval of sex-related items, such as:

“A woman enjoys masturbating while cuddling with her favorite teddy bear”
“After a late-term miscarriage, a woman asks her doctors to take a picture of her cradling the miscarried fetus.” (phew!)

Participants who received the cleanliness reminder issued harsher moral judgments of sexual acts than the control group. As a within-group control, both groups were also asked to rate their level of approval of non-sexual but purity related items such as “As a practical joke, a man unwraps his office mate’s lunch and places it in a sterilized bed pan” and non-sexual, non-purity related items that described people lying on their taxes, or forging a reference letter. For these latter two groups of items, there was no difference between control and experimental groups. Only the sexual items were rated more harshly by those in the “cleanliness” condition. In sum, reminders to maintain cleanliness led to increased conservativeness and harsher moral judgments for sexual violations of purity but not for non-sexual and/or non-purity related violations.

The paper adds to the growing body of work supporting the idea that moral condemnation may have evolved by piggybacking onto evolutionarily older systems originally dedicated mainly to survival via “literal” pathogen avoidance and concern with personal cleanliness and only later being adapted for a more uniquely human purpose. One big question that emerges from this work is: what comes first? The cognitive disposition or the ideology? The author’s suggest that the evidence supports a bidirectional explanation. Beyond that it’s mostly speculation.

Also unclear is the question of the relationship between moral condemnation and moral behavior. Does one predict the other? Conservatives often describe themselves as adhering to higher moral standards when it comes to sex than liberals. And they tend not to be supportive of “alternative” lifestyles, especially romantic relationships between homosexuals. Conversely, most liberals take pride in their embrace of a wider range of lifestyle choices and more progressive sexual attitudes. But, this is not to suggest that either conservatives’ or liberals’ attitudes necessarily maps directly on to their behavior. People sometimes say the wrong thing and do the right thing. Or, conversely, say the right thing and do the wrong thing.

Reference

Helzer EG, & Pizarro DA (2011). Dirty Liberals!: Reminders of Physical Cleanliness Influence Moral and Political Attitudes. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS PMID: 21421934

Don’t let yourselves be fooled. This is an attempt to make normal, historically accepted behavior deviant. And make deviancy normal. Very soon, conservative thought and opinion will be either a mental health or criminal situation.