The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has employed the prestigious National Academy of Sciences to whitewash the EPA’s illegal experiments on human beings. Naturally, the sordid activity is all being conducted in secret.
Several years ago, we detailed for American Thinker readers how we had discovered that the EPA was violating virtually every law enacted and regulation promulgated for the protection of human experiments since the development of the Nuremberg Code.
The story begins in the 1990s, when the EPA began regulating fine particulate matter (P.M.) in outdoor air. These regulations were justified on the basis that they would prevent 15,000 premature deaths per year. The supposedly scientific studies underlying the rules could not be challenged at the time because the EPA refused to provide Congress and independent researchers with the key underlying data. Also, the relevant laws and their judicial interpretation did not provide a way to challenge EPA science in court.
Though the EPA got away with issuing the rules, it knew they were vulnerable to challenge because the underlying studies – all dubious statistical correlation studies – didn’t actually show that P.M. killed anyone. Neither did animal toxicology studies, no matter how much P.M. the laboratory animals inhaled. So the EPA decided to back up its statistical claims by testing extremely high doses of P.M. on real, live people.
Over the next 15 years, the EPA began quietly experimenting on elderly subjects (up to age 80), asthmatics, people with heart disease or metabolic syndrome, and combinations of the aforesaid by placing them in a sealed chamber and making them inhale high levels of P.M. as well as diesel exhaust, smog, and even chlorine gas. At one point, the EPA even experimented with children by spraying high levels of diesel exhaust particulate up their noses.
Though none of these experiments produced any biological response indicating that P.M. is in any way harmful, the EPA relied on its statistical studies to make even more grandiose claims about the supposed dangers of P.M. The EPA claimed that any inhalation of P.M. could cause death. It claimed that death could occur within hours of inhalation or after decades of inhalation. In 2011, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson testified to Congress than P.M. caused about 570,000 deaths per year in the U.S., more than 20 percent of all U.S. deaths.
The EPA continued its experiments.
We found out about the experiments in September 2011, when the EPA finally published a report about an alleged health effect caused by P.M. Agency researchers exposed an obese 58-year-old woman with heart disease to a high level of P.M. The experiment was stopped when the woman’s heart began to beat irregularly. She was taken to the hospital, where she remained overnight. The EPA’s report chalked up the event to the exposure to P.M.
Although the EPA’s conclusion was obviously faulty (the woman had a pre-existing heart condition that caused the arrhythmia) and has since been debunked by other research, the report led us to inquire about how exactly the woman came to be exposed to high P.M. by EPA researchers.
After several Freedom of Information Act requests and pressure from Congress, we learned that although the EPA had declared P.M. essentially the most deadly substance known to man, the agency was intentionally exposing individuals it thought would be most vulnerable to the effects of P.M. in order to support its statistical claims about P.M. lethality and its regulations.
The problem for the EPA is that if P.M. is as deadly as the agency claims, then these experiments are fundamentally unethical and illegal. Humans cannot be treated as guinea pigs for the purpose of advancing a regulatory agenda. Compounding the illegality of the experiments is the fact that the EPA never informed the study subjects that it believed that the experiments could kill them. This conduct violated federal and state laws requiring that physicians and researchers obtain informed consent prior to experimenting on humans – not that anyone could actually consent to illegal experiments in the first place.
After a federal lawsuit and much bad press, the EPA inspector general (I.G.) took up the case in October 2012. Eighteen months later, the I.G. concluded that the agency had indeed failed to warn study subjects that it believed that the experiments could kill them while inexplicably ignoring the issue of whether the experiments were fundamentally illegal and unethical. No matter, though. Media reports of the I.G.’s limited finding tremendously embarrassed the agency – so much, in fact, that something had to be done.
Enter the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
The NAS was formed in 1863 by Congress and President Lincoln to advise the government on science. It has a bifurcated structure. The actual NAS has evolved into an honorary membership organization for elite and politically well connected scientists. The actual advice-giving part of the NAS is a separate non-profit organization called the National Research Council (NRC), which hires itself out to federal agencies to provide scientific advice. In providing that advice, however, the NRC does not rely on the prestigious NAS membership. Instead, it enlists second- and third-tier (or worse) scientists eager to build their résumés and improve their standing in academia. Despite the decidedly hack nature of NRC advice, it is marketed as if it were coming from the collective wisdom of the prestigious NAS membership.
After the embarrassing I.G. report was issued, the EPA decided to avail itself of the benefit of the NAS-NRC charade. Not only did it hope to whitewash the I.G. report, but it was hoping to conduct the process in secret. It almost worked.
We were notified about what was going on by a source who only inadvertently learned of the EPA-NAS scheme near the end of the process. From what we have learned so far, it looks as though the EPA contracted with the NAS-NRC in early 2015. A committee of mostly academics was formed and began meeting on June 1, 2015. There was no public notice of the formation of the committee, and though the meeting was supposed to be open to the public, there was no public notice. So the “public” meeting was attended only by the committee members, NRC staff, and the EPA. Four more meetings were held, the last one in April 2016. None open to the public.
When we learned of the NRC committee in June 2016, we hurriedly provided comments to the committee docket and requested the opportunity to present information to the committee – a reasonable request, given the circumstances. We were the ones who had discovered and exposed the EPA’s wrongdoing. We are the ones most familiar with the facts. Based on a review of the committee docket, it was clear that the EPA had provided the committee with selective, misleading, and incomplete information. Two months later, we are still waiting for the NRC to respond to our request.
In the end, this entire sordid episode raises two main issues. First, to whom is the EPA lying? If P.M. is really as dangerous as the EPA claims, which claims it uses for its regulations, then the agency has committed felonious acts against its human guinea pigs. The only way the EPA has not committed these crimes is if P.M. is not as dangerous as the EPA claims, in which case the agency has lied to the public and Congress and has grossly overregulated P.M.
There is no third possibility here. The EPA has seriously lied to someone.
The other issue is one for the NAS as an organization. The prestigious group is being used in a covert effort to whitewash the EPA’s dishonest and illegal conduct – a far cry from its chartered mission and probably what its elite scientist members expect or would support. Now that the scheme has been uncovered, it should think twice before it self-immolates doing the EPA’s dirty work.
John Dunn, M.D., J.D. is an instructor in emergency medicine at Fort Hood, Texas and adviser to the American Council on Science and Health and the Heartland Institute. Steve Milloy, MHS, J.D., LLM publishes JunkScience.com and is a senior legal fellow at the Energy & Environment Law Institute.
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The Chapwood Index reflects the true cost-of-living increase in America. Updated and released twice a year, it reports the unadjusted actual cost and price fluctuation of the top 500 items on which Americans spend their after-tax dollars in the 50 largest cities in the nation.
It exposes why middle-class Americans — salaried workers who are given routine pay hikes and retirees who depend on annual increases in their corporate pension and Social Security payments — can’t maintain their standard of living. Plainly and simply, the Index shows that their income can’t keep up with their expenses, and it explains why they increasingly have to turn to the government for entitlements to bail them out.
It’s because salary and benefit increases are pegged to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which for more than a century has purported to reflect the fluctuation in prices for a typical “basket of goods” in American cities — but which actually hasn’t done that for more than 30 years.
The middle class has seen its purchasing power decline dramatically in the last three decades, forcing more and more people to seek entitlements when their savings are gone. And as long as pay raises and benefit increases are tied to a false CPI, this trend will continue.
The myth that the CPI represents the increase in our cost of living is why the Chapwood Index was created. What differentiates it from the CPI is simple, but critically important. The Chapwood Index:
- Reports the actual price increase of the 500 items on which most Americans spend their after-tax money. No gimmicks, no alterations, no seasonal adjustments; just real prices.
- Shines a spotlight on the inaccuracy of the CPI, which is destroying the economic and emotional fiber of our country.
- Shows how our dependence on the CPI is killing our middle class and why citizens increasingly are depending upon government entitlement programs to bail them out.
- Claims to persuade Americans to become better-educated consumers and to take control of their spending habits and personal finances.
The inaccuracy of the CPI began in 1983, during a time of rampant inflation, when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began to cook the books on its calculation in order to curb the increase in Social Security and federal pension payments.
But the change affected more than entitlements. Because increases in corporate salaries and retirement benefits have traditionally been tied to the CPI, the change affected everything. And now, 30 years later, everyone knows the long-term results. Ask anyone who relies on a salary or Social Security or a pension and he’ll tell you his annual increase in income doesn’t come close to his increase in expenses. What comes in is less than what goes out — a situation that spells disaster for average Americans.
“The data solidly supports what many Americans have suspected for years,” says the Chapwood Index’s founder, Ed Butowsky.
The CPI no longer measures the true increase required to maintain a constant standard of living. This is the main reason that more people are falling behind financially, and why more Americans rely on government entitlement programs.
Butowsky began calculating the Chapwood Index in 2008. Using social media, he surveyed his friends across the country to determine what they bought with their after-tax income. He narrowed the list down to the most frequent 500 items and asked his friends in America’s 50 largest cities to check the prices on those items periodically. The Index shows the fluctuation in each city in the cost of items such as:
Starbucks coffee, Advil, insurance, gasoline, sales and income taxes, tolls, fast food restaurants, toothpaste, oil changes, car washes, pizza, cable TV and Internet service, cellphone service, dry cleaning, movie tickets, cosmetics, gym memberships, home repairs, piano lessons, laundry detergent, light bulbs, school supplies, parking meters, pet food, underwear and People magazine.
The Index forces middle-class Americans to recognize that their dependence on income increases pegged to the much-lower CPI virtually guarantees that they will run out of money before they die, because people are living longer and there is a huge difference between the CPI and the real world.
As an example, the CPI rose 0.8 percent in 2014. But in Boston, the Chapwood Index shows that the real cost of living increase was 10.7 percent. This means that if you work in the Boston area and got an 0.8 percent raise in your salary, it wasn’t nearly enough to cover the increase in your day-to-day expenses.
It was especially bad in San Jose, CA , where the Chapwood Index shows a 13.7 percent rise in the cost of living. Even the city with the lowest increase, Colorado Springs, CO , showed a 6.6 percent rise, a 5.8 percent higher than the CPI.
So, wherever you live, you showed a higher income. But at the end of the year, you spent all of it — and more.
The unintended consequence of the CPI is that people who depend on Social Security and pensions don’t get what they need,” Butowsky says. “Our hope is that people will review the Index, see what the real cost of living is where they live and understand that it leaves them exposed, and consult with a financial adviser to plan for the future.\
Read more about Problems with the CPI and how the Chapwood Index was created.
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Barack Obama recently stated that anyone that is claiming that America’s economy is in decline is “peddling fiction“. Well, if the economy is in such great shape, why are major retailers shutting down hundreds of stores all over the country?
Last month, I wrote about the “retail apocalypse” that is sweeping the nation, but since then it has gotten even worse. Closing stores has become the “hot new trend” in the retail world, and “space available” signs are going up in mall windows all over the United States. Barack Obama can continue huffing and puffing about how well the middle class is doing all he wants, but the truth is that the cold, hard numbers that retailers are reporting tell an entirely different story.
Earlier today, Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert released a letter to shareholders that was filled with all kinds of bad news. In this letter, he blamed the horrible results that Sears has been experiencing lately on “tectonic shifts” in consumer spending…
In a letter to shareholders on Thursday, Lampert said the impact of “tectonic shifts” in consumer spending has spread more broadly in the last year to retailers “that had previously proven to be relatively immune to such shifts.”
“Walmart, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Staples, Whole Foods and many others have felt the impact of disruptive changes from online competition and new business models,” Lampert wrote.
And it is very true – Sears is doing horribly, but they are far from alone. The following are 13 major retailers that are closing down stores…
#2 It is being reported that Sports Authority will file for bankruptcy in March. Some news reports have indicated that around 200 stores may close, but at this point it is not known how many of their 450 stores will be able to stay open.
#3 For decades, Kohl’s has been growing aggressively, but now it plans to shutter 18 stores in 2016.
#4 Target has just finished closing 13 stores in the United States.
#5 Best Buy closed 30 stores last year, and it says that more store closings are likely in the months to come.
#6 Office Depot plans to close a total of 400 stores by the end of 2016.
The next seven examples come from one of my previous articles…
#8 K-Mart is closing down more than two dozen stores over the next several months.
#11 The Gap is in the process of closing 175 stores in North America.
#12 Aeropostale is in the process of closing 84 stores all across America.
#13 Finish Line has announced that 150 stores will be shutting down over the next few years.
These store closings can be particularly cruel for small towns. Just consider the impact that Wal-Mart has had on the little town of Oriental, North Carolina…
The Town’n Country grocery in Oriental, North Carolina, a local fixture for 44 years, closed its doors in October after a Wal-Mart store opened for business. Now, three months later — and less than two years after Wal-Mart arrived — the retail giant is pulling up stakes, leaving the community with no grocery store and no pharmacy.
Though mom-and-pop stores have steadily disappeared across the American landscape over the past three decades as the mega chain methodically expanded, there was at least always a Wal-Mart left behind to replace them. Now the Wal-Marts are disappearing, too.
Of course there are many factors involved in this ongoing retail apocalypse. Competition from online retailers is becoming more intense, and consumer spending patterns are rapidly changing.
But in the end, the truth is that you can’t get blood out of a rock. The middle class in America is shrinking, and there just isn’t as much discretionary spending going on as there used to be.
Though the shift to online shopping is no doubt playing a role in lighter foot traffic at malls, there’s more to their changing economics than the rise of Amazon. Changing demographics in a town are another reason a shopping center could struggle or fail — for example, if massive layoffs in a particular industry cause people to move away to find employment.
“A lot of people want to try and tie it to the Internet or ‘that’s not cool,’ or teens don’t like it,” Jesse Tron, a spokesman for industry trade group International Council of Shopping Centers, told CNBC last year. “It’s hard to support large-format retail in those suburban areas when people are trying to just pay their mortgage.”
In order to have a thriving middle class, we need good paying middle class jobs. Unfortunately, our economy has been bleeding those kinds of jobs quite rapidly. For example, Halliburton just announced that it is eliminating 5,000 more jobs after getting rid of 4,000 workers at the end of last year.
During the Obama years, good paying middle class jobs have been getting replaced by low paying service jobs. At this point, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.
And there is no way that you can support a middle class family with children on $30,000 a year.
We have an economy that is in the process of failing. We can see it in the explosion of subprime auto loans that are going bad, we can see it in the hundreds of retail stores that are shutting down, and we can see it in the tens of thousands of good paying energy jobs that are being lost.
During the Obama years, interest rates have been pushed to the floor, the Federal Reserve has created trillions of dollars out of thin air, and the size of our national debt is getting close to doubling. Despite all of those desperate measures, our economy continues to crumble.
We stole from the future to try to paper over our failures and it didn’t work. Now an economic downturn that will ultimately turn out to be even worse than the “Great Recession” of 2008 and 2009 has begun, and our leaders have absolutely no idea how to fix things.
I wish I had better news to report, but I don’t. Get prepared now, because very rough times are ahead.
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Last week, I received news from a contact who is friends with one of the biggest billionaire shipping families in the world. He told me they had no ships at sea right now, because operating them meant running at a loss.
This weekend, reports are circulating saying much the same thing: The North Atlantic has little or no cargo ships traveling in its waters. Instead, they are anchored. Unmoving. Empty.
We checked VesselFinder.com and it appears to show no ships in transit anywhere in the world. We aren’t experts on shipping, however, so if you have a better site or source to track this apparent phenomenon, please let us know.
We also checked MarineTraffic.com, and it seemed to show the same thing. Not a ship in transit…
If true, this would be catastrophic for world trade. Even if it’s not true, shipping is still nearly dead in the water according to other indices. The Baltic Dry Index, an assessment of the price of moving major raw materials by sea, was already at record all-time lows a month ago.
In the last month it has dropped even more, especially in the last week.
Factories aren’t buying and retailers aren’t stocking. The ratio of inventory to sales in the US is an indicator of this. The last time that ratio was this high was during the “great recession” in 2008.
Hey, Ms. Yellen, what recovery? The economy is taking on water at a rapid rate.
The storm has been building for some time, actually. Not so long ago, there was a spate of reports that the world’s automobile manufacturers were in trouble because cars were not selling and shipments were backing up around the world.
ZeroHedge reported on it this way:
In the past several years, one of the topics covered in detail on these pages has been the surge in such gimmicks designed to disguise lack of demand and end customer sales, used extensively by US automotive manufacturers, better known as “channel stuffing”, of which General Motors is particularly guilty and whose inventory at dealer lots just hit a new record high.
Here is a photo of unsold cars in the United Kingdom from that article.
The world’s economy seems in serious trouble. You can’t print your way to prosperity. All you are doing is hollowing out your economy. Draining it. And sooner or later it’s empty and you have to start over after a good deal of crisis and chaos.
It’s no coincidence that China is struggling desperately to contain a stock implosion. Reportedly, banks have been told they are forbidden to buy US dollars and numerous Chinese billionaires have gone missing. And the markets have just opened on Monday and are again deeply in the red.
Here at The Dollar Vigilante we’ve specialized in explaining the reality of the global faux-economy and why it’s important that you not believe mainstream media lies.
Every month we publish at least two editions of our TDV newsletter that, as our subscribers are aware, has predicted much of what is going on today. If you’re not a subscriber, you ought to take advantage of our current low rates before they go up on February 1. You can subscribe here.
And set aside time for our one-day TDV Internationalization & Investment Summit that features some of the most insightful financial minds on the planet including Ed Bugos our extraordinary, in-house gold analyst and Austrian economist. I’ll be there as well as a presenter and also to answer your questions about our upcoming Super Shemitah Trends and Jubilee Year analysis.
We’ve gained literally thousands of subscribers because of the accuracy of our forecasting and investment recommendations over the past year. Now is your chance – perhaps a final one – to get out in front of the chaos racing toward us by attending our one-day Investment Summit, followed by the three-day Anarchapulco Conference.
I guarantee you’ll come away refreshed, invigorated and armed with insights to help you cope with what’s going to be a very volatile and challenging 2016.
In the meantime, keep your eye on this shipping story! If it is true and worldwide shipping is disastrously foundering, it’ll only be a matter of days before grocery store shelves will reflect that with increasingly bare shelves.
Are people upset now? Just wait. Interruptions in goods and services, most critically food, almost happened in 2008 during the Great Financial Crisis. For three days worldwide shipping was stranded due to shipping companies not knowing whether or not the receiver’s bank credit was good.
That crisis was staved off due to a massive amount of money printing. It was a temporary stay of execution, like bailing out the Titanic with coffee cups, however, and one that may reach much larger proportions in 2016.
Sailors watch the weather to see if it is safe to set sail. Investors should be watching the economic climate with the same intensity.
We are already sailing through very stormy waters.