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Obesity, Type II Diabetes, and GLP1RAs

If you have Type II Diabetes, talk to your GP about the possible use of a GLP1RA to supplement Metformin. Recent studies confirm the effectiveness of GLP1RAs such as Semaglutide in glucose reduction and assistance in weight control. They also appear to have positive effects on other systems including renal and cardiac function, and restoration of NK cell functionality leading to possible reduction in the incidence of cancer. These combined effects suggest a significant increase in lifespan is possible.

This was the view a year ago:


Ozempic (Semaglutide) weekly injection

More recent research confirms this and notes additional benefits:


Ivermectin Scam, Again ..

I am horrified to see Ivermectin still being touted as a cure or preventative for COVID-19, usually in company with claims big pharma, governments, hospitals, medical practitioners, universities and research bodies all conspired to hide the evidence so that they could push vaccines on an unsuspecting populace…

It takes a special kind of mentality to believe that millions of people working independently all over the world, all of whom have previously been dedicated to wellness, health and finding cures, suddenly decided, for the sake of $, to hide the real cures for a dangerous illness.

More importantly, the facts show clearly that Ivermectin, valuable as it is in treating parasites, has no benefit in treating or preventing COVID-19.

Ivermectin – Great for worms and lice, ineffective and dangerous for COVID-19

Along with many other possible treatments, Ivermectin showed promise in early trials. Ivermectin was particularly interesting to me because Thomas Borody hoped it might work. Thomas Borody is one of the heroes of 20th century medicine, and anything he says is worth listening to.

However, larger and more rigorous trials soon made it clear that there was no benefit from Ivermectin at any stage of COVID-19 infection, and that it had no positive additional effect when combined with other complementary medications such as zinc.

There is no cover up here, except amongst anti-vaxxers. Comments on health and medical matters need to be based firmly in real science and data, not social media posts or the opinions of fringe figures such Robert Malone or Tess Lawrie. Nor is it the case that one opinion is as good as another. Opinions are worse than useless if they are not based on an accurate assessment of evidence, and in the case of misinformed opinions on medical matters, may be seriously harmful.

Science Based Medicine has a good summary of some of the anti-vax pro-ivermectin arguments, contrasted with what real-world data shows.

Moens, Zimmermann, and Vicki Derderian

I have great respect for Gabriël Moens AM and Augusto Zimmermann. Their research is careful and detailed, and their opinions on Australia’s Constitution and legal history carry great weight.

Their opinions on medical science, however, carry as much intrinsic weight as the opinions on delicate questions of constitutional law held by the nail technicians in the nail clinic at my local shopping plaza. That is not to say that a nail technician could not have opinions on constitutional law that were worth hearing and considering. But those opinions would have to be based on years of intensive reading, of understanding the context and history of Australian law, and have been tested in discussions with genuine experts like Moens and Zimmermann.

Expertise in one area, such as decorative acrylic fingernails, does not necessarily translate into expertise in electrical engineering or law. Expertise in law does not magically translate into expertise in plumbing or immunology.

So I was disappointed to read their recent article in the Australian Spectator https://www.spectator.com.au/2023/05/the-shocking-refusal-of-medical-treatment-to-the-unvaccinated/ decrying the “shocking refusal of medical treatment to the unvaccinated” which they describe as discriminatory.

The article refers particularly to the case of Vicki Derderian. Vicki needs a heart transplant. The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne has declined to perform that surgery until she is vaccinated against COVID-19. According to an anonymous source quoted in the article “they want her to have three vaccines.”  The other two are is not specified, although this likely refers to second and third doses of one of the COVID-19 vaccines. We’ll see why this is important later.

This is certainly discriminatory. But there is nothing wrong with being discriminating. I discriminate in favour of good wines, good music, good books. One of the many disappointments with the Moens/Zimmermann article is that they use a perfectly good word to create a negative connotation where none is warranted.

The question is not “Is it discriminatory?” but “Is it unfairly discriminatory?”

The answer, as the authors would have found if they talked to anyone in the transplant unit at the Alfred, or indeed any transplant surgeon or immunologist, is NO.

Instead, to support their case, Moens and Zimmermann provide a virtual catalogue of medical wackos and grifters.

They mention Peter McCullough as  a leading and renowned cardiologist. He may be called that in anti-vax circles, but nowhere else. There is a discussion here: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/depopulation-by-covid-19-vaccines/  of why the partnership of Mercola and McCullough is so obnoxious, and so dangerously wrong.

There is an analysis here explaining why his paper claiming to have found a link between COVID-19 and dangerous myocarditis had to be retracted: https://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/paper-claiming-covid-vaccines-and-myocarditis-link-is-retracted/  

Here is a list of McCullogh’s articles with discussion demonstrating why they are misleading, mistaken or just outright dishonest: https://healthfeedback.org/authors/peter-mccullough/

Moens and Zimmermann claim “scientists have now discovered that mRNA vaccines, not Covid infection itself, may cause brain and heart damage.”  Scientists have discovered no such thing.

This claim is based on a single study of just one patient, a seventy-six year old with multiple serious underlying conditions, whose autopsy showed minute quantities of COVID-19 spike protein in both heart and brain. The author of the article was not aware of previous COVID infection,  assumed that spike proteins were present because of vaccination three weeks prior to death, and then assumed that these caused the mild observed myocarditis and more serious necrotising encephalitis. There is no evidence other than this article that COVID-19 vaccines are associated with necrotising encephalitis. The best that can be said about this is that it is an interesting article which warrants further investigation.

The article goes on to quote other fringe authors and articles, including one from the Epoch Times. The Epoch Times has as much credibility on complex medical issues as an article from Dolly magazine. No attempt appears to have been made to engage with transplant surgeons, immunologists or any other medical professionals or researchers.

This article is on the same level as an article written by a heart surgeon claiming proof of an advanced pre-ice-age civilisation is absolutely clear, quoting experts like Erich von Daniken and Graham Hancock, and claiming evidence is being suppressed by big archaeology.

Or an article by a dentist in support of sovereign citizenship, quoting such well-known legal experts as Malcom Roberts, Tommy Cryer and Mitch Modeleski to claim Article 61 of Magna Carta was invoked in 2001, so that since that time there has been no legal monarchy, and therefore no laws promulgated anywhere in Commonwealth nations since then have any effect, that Australia now has the status of a corporation on the US stock exchange, and that legal practitioners in Australia know all this, but keep it quiet to safeguard their lucrative positions in the system.

That would be bizarre and obviously wrong to any legal expert. Just as wacky medical conspiracies are bizarre and obviously wrong to scientists and medical researchers.

Why do medical professionals want Vicki Derderian to be vaccinated prior to her heart transplant? Because pre-transplant immunisation is vitally important to the survival of transplant patients. Immuno-suppressant protocols are necessary to ensure the donor organ is not rejected. This means patients have zero resistance to common illnesses.

COVID-19 is endemic in our communities. As I write, Victoria has 6,452 known cases, including 311 currently in hospital, with an average of six people dying from COVID-19 each day. NSW has over 6,600 known cases, and nearly 1300 people in hospital. Research has shown that three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine prior to transplant significantly improves resistance, and therefore survivability,  for transplant patients.

Triage is the process of the allocation of medical resources to those who are most likely to benefit from them. Resources are not unlimited, and some, including organs suitable for transplant, are in very short supply. Giving a heart or a liver to one person almost certainly means that someone else will miss out, and either not receive a transplant organ, or have to wait.

Let’s do a simple triage exercise. You have one liver. You have two patients. One is a fifty-seven year old overweight man, an alcoholic and habitual drug user. He has refused to give up drinking and has a history of non-compliance with medical directions. The other patient is a bright fourteen year old girl with unresectable liver cancer. Who do you give the liver to?

This exercise provides the answer to the question above “Is it unfairly discriminatory?”

It is extremely sad that Vicki Dederian has been convinced, as Moens and Zimmermann seem to have been, by bad faith actors or anti-vax social media posts. She may hold her views sincerely. She may have a vaccine exemption. The article makes much of this. But that simply exempts her from vaccine requirements for travel. It has nothing to do with the provision of health care. None of this alters the fact that her refusal to be vaccinated severely impacts the likely success of her transplant operation, just as the misguided alcoholic’s refusal to give up drinking impacts  the likely success of his.

Vilifying health officials and accusing them of unfair discrimination because they choose to give a heart to someone who has a greater chance of benefiting from it is not the answer. The answer is for Moens, Zimmermann and Vicki Dederian to spend less time talking to and reading medical charlatans, and more time talking to genuine medical researchers and practitioners.

A week ago, the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 no longer an international public health emergency.  This was not because COVID-19 has been eradicated. Far from it. And certainly not because it was never really a threat, as some antivaxxers have claimed. Nearly seven million people have died. It is because over 13 billion doses of COVID vaccines have been administered, with over 70% of the world’s population having received at least one dose. In addition, there are now effective treatment regimes for COVID. Together, this means you are less likely to get COVID-19. If you do, you are very unlikely to become seriously ill, will be infectious for less time, and will be given treatments which have been proven to work.

That is something worth celebrating.

Australian Federal Budget 2023

I haven’t read through the entire Federal budget document, but there are a couple of issues that are obvious.

The budget includes a great many handouts to people who are likely to vote Labor: people in public housing, people on benefits, people who want someone else to pay the bill when they go to the doctor. These look good – let’s be a generous and caring society, etc. Except that it is very easy for governments to be generous with other people’s money, and tempting to do what looks good without adequate regard for long term consequences.

These handouts have to be paid for via either taxes or inflation.

Increased taxes necessarily apply most heavily to people who don’t rely on the government for income; those who produce useful things, provide useful services, and employ others. Increased taxes mean less money to buy new equipment, to buy stock, to pay wages. When governments make harder it for people to run a business, fewer people will try, more businesses will go bankrupt, fewer people will be employed, more businesses will move overseas. All of this results in higher unemployment and even more demand on benefits, which means more demand on taxes.

The alternative is simply printing money to pay for handouts. But this has an almost immediate push effect on inflation which will cancel out any benefit for those most in need within a year or so.

The second concern is the almost complete omission of major infrastructure projects or maintenance, or rural services.

Although most people live in cities, Australia still relies hugely on its primary industries for export income and economic stability. Neglecting rural and remote Australia is a recipe for long-term decline.

Neglecting infrastructure and maintenance means the much touted (very small) surplus is an illusion. It is actually creating an infrastructure and maintenance debt which will have to be paid with heavy interest in future years.

Anti-Vax Ghouls – No Thanks

Ghouls are the worst. No, I don’t mean like Tokyo Ghoul, which is pretty good.

I mean anti-vax ghouls. The ones who who share news stories of young people who have died suddenly, and falsely claim that the death was caused by the vaccine even though they have no knowledge of either the cause of death or the vaccine status of the deceased.

Sadly, this is a regular tactic. Anti-vaxxers will pass on anything, no matter how far from reality, without checking, as long as they think it supports their case. They have no choice but to pass on nonsense and distortions, because there are no facts that do support their case.

More on this from Dr Susan Oliver, a real scientist and medical researcher:

Reparations for Slavery

Demands for reparations for historic slave trade and ownership have been timed to coincide with the coronation of King Charles III.

This article from the Australian version of Spectator magazine is worth reading in full. It is behind a paywall. I have copied it below, but a digital subscription to Spectator is well worth the investment.

I would add to the article that the Christian West is the only civilisation in history voluntarily to have given up slave ownership and slave trade. It did so at great financial cost. Slave ownership continues in some Islamic nations, and in some countries in Asia and Africa.

I agree that slaves everywhere should be freed, and their owners obliged to pay compensation. But none of those claiming reparations in the current bout of demands have ever been slaves, and none of those from whom reparations are being claimed have ever owned slaves. Nor have their parents or grandparents. Now read on …

The calls for slavery reparations seem to be growing louder every day. This week, indigenous representatives from 12 Commonwealth countries called on King Charles to begin the process of paying reparations. The King has personally expressed sorrow for the suffering of slaves and Buckingham Palace has said that it is taking the issue of reparations ‘profoundly seriously’. Earlier this year, a former BBC journalist committed to sending £100,000 in aid to the Caribbean to atone for her own family’s historical links to the slave trade.

The voluntary role that many Africans played in the transatlantic slave trade is ignored

The central thesis of slavery reparations is that white majority countries owe money to ethnic minorities as their ancestors may have enslaved others or benefited from a slave-system economy.

There is a problem with this though: ultimately, the great evil of slavery was practised by all inhabited continents and all races. And there will be almost no one alive today in the world who doesn’t have an ancestral link to the slave trade. This fact collapses the modern-day reparations argument.

Take the Afro-Omani slave trader Tippu Tip, who in 1895 was reported to have seven plantations and own 10,000 slaves. He was one of the largest slavers in all of East Africa.

African slave trader Tippu Tip

Tip, alongside countless fellow indigenous Africans, would capture slaves in village raids or as prisoners of war, and they would be sold at the African coast to outside traders or fellow Africans within the subcontinent. Tip’s own home country Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania) was, although small in size, a large trading empire. In 1859 alone, 19,000 slaves were imported there from the East African Coast.

Long before the transatlantic slave trade began, slavery was commonplace in many parts of the globe. As Al-Tabari, the Muslim scholar, showed in the mid-ninth century, the Basra port at al-Ahwaz alone had about 15,000 enslaved workers. Even in New Zealand, Maori chiefs enslaved prisoners of war – occasionally going as far as eating them in tribal feasts. The further you go back in history the longer the list of slavers grows, including everyone from the Ancient Egyptians to the Shang dynasty in China.

Given that many of the nations now calling for reparations also enslaved and sold others, the reparations argument when brought to its logical conclusion would have to demand that descendants of African slavers owe reparations to those who may have been the victims of slavery.

This argument could even be applied to the white descendants of the victims of the Barbary slave trade. Though undoubtedly far smaller than the transatlantic slave trade, the Barbary trade still saw over one million Europeans captured by North African pirates in slave raids between the 16th and 18th centuries.

So why is this devastating blow to the reparations argument often ignored? Politically, it seems that although we generally accept that slavery was universal in ancient history, we often pretend that only European powers practised slavery from the 16th century onwards, when this is clearly not the case. Meanwhile, the voluntary role that many Africans played in the transatlantic slave trade is also ignored.

Generally the European powers, with the exception of Portugal, lacked the resources to delve deep into the African continent for slaves. They were instead met at the coast by willing traders looking to make a profit by selling their fellow man. Though it is undoubtedly true that the rise of the transatlantic trade encouraged the growth of African slavers, this does not excuse those who took part in the trade.

Nor did slavery end in Africa when European colonialists were removed from the continent. When the Portuguese were forced off the East African Coast in 1699 by the Imam of the Omani Empire, he himself owned about 1,700 slaves.

The same is true for colonies outside Africa. In the early 1820s, Brazil broke away from the Portuguese Empire. Despite its later anti-slavery treaties with the UK, Brazil would continue importing about 750,000 slaves between 1831-1850. In 1844 it refused to renew the Anglo-Brazilian anti-slave trade agreement. Brazil’s slave trade only effectively stopped after 1850 when the UK formed a naval blockade in its coastal waters.

During the age of abolition led by Britain, the King of Dahomey (a West African Kingdom in modern day Benin) reportedly protested to a British officer that:

‘The slave trade has been the ruling principle of my people. It is the source of their glory and wealth. Their songs celebrate their victories and the mother lulls the child to sleep with notes of triumph over an enemy reduced to slavery.’

Some independent African nations and empires continued to allow slavery well after abolitionism in Europe. This was especially true in the eastern side of Africa where it was more difficult for the British to influence local politics and for the Royal Navy to enforce abolition.

From the 1860s onwards, Bemba chiefs in North-Eastern Zambia traded ivory and slaves for guns. As the supply of elephants for ivory depleted, the chiefs moved to selling even more slaves. In Barotseland, the monarch Lewanika was considered king of the Barotses, a South African ethnic group. From the beginning of his reign in 1878 until the region became a British protectorate, oral sources claim that up to a third of his subjects were slaves.

There is no question that the Euro-American trade in slaves – which began with Portugal and later included other colonial powers like France and Britain – was huge in size. This evil should never be forgotten.

But neither should we forget that people from all parts of the world, races and religions took part in what was one of the most horrid systems in human history.

In many parts of the world today, slavery is still rife. Rather than trying to create division by blaming people for the sins of their ancestors, we should instead come together to try and solve the problems we face today.

How Many Handshakes from Hitler?

How many handshakes from Hitler are you?

When I first saw this question on an internet forum I thought it was a silly question. Then I decided it might be interesting, but thought since I am a working class regional nobody from the colonies, in my case it would be many.

Then I worked it out. I have shaken hands with former Australian Governors-General Michael Jeffrey, Quentin Bryce, and Peter Hollingworth. All of them have shaken hands with Queen Elizabeth II. She shook hands with her uncle Edward VIII, later the Duke of Windsor. He met and shook hands with Hitler. I am not suggesting there was anything wrong in his doing so. At that time, in 1937, Hitler was clearly an unsavoury character, but he had not yet invaded Sudetenland, and there was still hope for long term peace.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor on their visit to Germany in 1937

So in reality, there are three people between me and Hitler, handshake wise. If you do not have a shorter or similar route, but have shaken hands with me, there are four people between you and Hitler.

Geothermal Power Dud

A $4 million geothermal power plant built in outback Queensland in 2019, touted as a “game changer” in renewable energy, has never produced any electricity. The plant was built at tax-payer expense of course. Now the manufacturers/installers are demanding over $1 million in “repairs” to get it going.

Winton failed geo-thermal power station
Failed $4 million geothermal power plant at Winton, QLD

Dune Part Two

Part Two of Denis Villeneuve’s interpretation of Dune appears in cinemas in November. If you haven’t seen Part One, and you are even remotely interested in science fiction, or what it means to be human (which is what all science fiction is about), or even just cinema or story-telling, see it now.

The Evil of the Anti-vax Campaigners

Most social media anti-vaxxers are not evil, just ignorant and irresponsible. But those who deliberately misrepresent medical data, who originate the memes and misquotes that the useful obliviates pass on without thought, they are evil. “Dr” John Campbell is one. So is Joseph Mercola. So is Simone Gold. Another is Aseem Malhotra.

One thing most of these have in common is that while railing against the profits of big pharma, they make a fortune peddling alternative schemes, programmes and medications which have no research support, and do not work.

COVID -19 scammer Aseem Malhotra is touring Australia. He promotes himself, and is promoted by anti-vaxxers, as a highly regarded cardiologist. By anti-vaxxers, yes. By other reputable doctors and researchers? Not so much.

You will note that whenever anyone takes an anti-vax view, in anti-vax circles that person immediately becomes “highly regarded,” a “leading scientist,” and “authoritative expert.” Robert Malone, who was a secondary author on two minor papers in the eighties, suddenly became the “inventor of mRNA technology.” Just so for Malhotra.

Incidentally, the so-called Australian Medical Professionals Society does not represent Australian medical professionals, but is a tiny minority group set up to spread anti-vax misinformation. This is the group that is sponsoring, and expects to profit from, Aseem Malhotra’s tour.

Grifters like Malhotra are not just wrong. They deliberately mislead vulnerable people for their own glory and profit without care for the health impacts on those who are taken in. More information here from the invaluable Susan Oliver.

Debunking Aseem Malhotra

Body Positivity

Not shaming people because of their body shape does not mean telling people it is perfectly fine to be anorexic. Nor does it mean telling people it is perfectly fine to be morbidly obese. There is nothing positive, healthy, or attractive about either anorexia or morbid obesity.

The COVID Pandemic is Not Over

I keep seeing people write “Now that the COVID pandemic is over..”

The COVID pandemic is far from over.

Ceasing mandated distancing and masks means far higher infection rates of influenza and other respiratory diseases are likely. Take care, for yourself, and especially for older or otherwise vulnerable people.

Why People Don’t Trust the Media

Are Illegal Immigrants Texans Now?

What would you think about the perpetrator as you read that headline? If you were in the vicinity is there anything that would help to identify and avoid this person? Are illegal immigrants Texans now? When does leaving information out become deliberate deception?

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