The EPA’s reliance on bad radiation science frightens Americans and increases vulnerability to terrorism [PDF here]
by Jon Basil Utley and Steven J. Allen
Summary: U.S. government policy on radiation exposure is based on irrational fear and on discredited science called “LNT.” The policy doesn’t just deny Americans access to useful technology and raise the price of electricity. In an emergency, the policy could be more dangerous to people than the radiation itself. What’s worse: The LNT concept goes beyond radiation exposure; it underlies other policies that cost billions and destroy jobs.
Bad science leads to bad decisions. When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) relies on an absurd theory of how radiation affects human beings, it threatens Americans’ access to life-saving medical technology and cheap electricity, it wastes tens of billions in storage and cleanup expenses, and it greatly increases the chance of ruinous overreaction to disasters and to security threats.
What kind of overreaction do we mean? Consider what happened in Japan. The 2011 earthquake and tsunami killed more than 18,000 people in Japan, including an estimated 1,607 people in the Fukishima prefecture. (Japan has 47 prefectures, akin to U.S. states.) Yet 1,656 died, mainly old and ill persons, during the panicked evacuation of the area around the Fukishima #1 power plant, according to Japan Today, a major Japanese newspaper. The evacuation was in response to following U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.
You read that right. More people were killed in the evacuation—which was ultimately shown to have been unnecessary—than were killed in the Fukishima prefecture by the earthquake, the resulting tsunami, and the resulting meltdown combined.
The number killed by radiation, fear of which was the basis for the evacuation? Zero.
Similarly, in Europe and the Soviet Union after the Chernobyl disaster, some 100,000 women reportedly had abortions out of fear that the radiation would cause thousands of cases of birth defects. The actual number of birth defects believed to have been caused by the radiation? Zero.
The name of the theory behind this hysteria is “linear no-threshold” or LNT. By the phony logic of LNT, any tiny amount of radiation will kill some number of people out of every million or billion people exposed.
And the theory is not just used with radiation. LNT is also how the government came up with many of its dubious risk guidelines for chemicals and minerals. Thousands of jobs are being sacrificed and billions of dollars are being spent by industry and municipalities in trying to comply with these limits.
The theory’s harm has worsened as science has progressed to the point where we can actually measure in parts per billion, which adds to the fear that almost any product may be dangerous. By ultrastrict standards, human breath itself can give you cancer (and, by environmentalists’ standards, it can cause “climate change”).
The “linear no-threshold” idea, in essence, is this: If 100 aspirins would kill the average person, then that same person would be killed by 100 aspirins taken at the rate of one a day for 100 days. Or, if one day 100 people each took one aspirin, then one of those hundred people would die.
The LNT principle is simple—the effect of something is proportionate to the dose you receive of it. For radiation, the standard [Click HERE for the rest of the article.]
[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]
But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.
– Publius (James Madison), The Federalist #51, February 6, 1788
What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?
– Hillary Clinton (on the Benghazi hoax she and President Obama perpetrated) at a House Oversight Committee hearing, May 8, 2013
Barack Obama tosses off the whoppers as easily as you and I breathe, from 97 percent of scientists believing in Global Warming theory to “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it” to Al Qaeda being “on the run” to how you can’t get Ebola from sitting next to someone on a bus and how there’s “not even a smidgen of corruption” at the IRS that targeted his adversaries to secure his reelection.
A president today has such unbridled power that I don’t think we as a nation can survive another four or eight years with a habitual liar in that position. (more…)
Capital Research Center senior editor Matthew Vadum will appear on a panel about the Left’s ridiculous, destructive housing policies at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., today at 12 Noon. It is scheduled to run till around 4 p.m. Media are welcome.
The panel discussion is being hosted by RestoreAmericasMission.com, and is titled, “Reality Check: Fueling a 21st Century Recovery for All Americans.”
Here’s a summary of the event from the group’s website:
Restore America’s Mission (restoreamericasmission.com) is pleased to assemble a premier team of economists and analysts for a panel discussion at which we will reveal the path to economic growth, jobs, prosperity and opportunity. America is in imminent danger of repeating the policy mistakes that caused the nationwide mortgage collapse of 2007-8. We are committed to free market solutions and will discuss the following critical topics:
A Reality Check–Drivers of the Housing Collapse and the Mortgage Banking Crisis
Clearing the Way–Solving Unaddressed Problems & Avoiding Disaster due to Bubbles and other Financial Calamities
Driving Solutions–Clearing the Path to Economic Growth, and Prosperity through Free Market Reforms and Innovation
Restore America’s Mission panelists:
Peter Wallison – American Enterprise Institute
Steve Moore – Heritage Foundation
Rich Lowrie – Put Growth First
Peter Ferrara – Heartland Institute
Matthew Vadum – Capital Research Center
Longtime Clinton crony Sidney Blumenthal earned around $10,000 a month as a full-time employee of the Clinton Foundation “while he was providing unsolicited intelligence on Libya to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to multiple sources familiar with the arrangement,” Ken Vogel of Politico reports.
“Blumenthal was added to the payroll of the Clintons’ global philanthropy in 2009 — not long after advising Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — at the behest of former president Bill Clinton, for whom he had worked in the White House, say the sources.”
The Benghazi Select Committee is investigating Blumenthal.
As I wrote at FrontPageMag, Blumenthal is under fire over allegations that he used his connection to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to promote an unusual business scheme involving Libya and possibly the embattled Clinton Foundation.
Blumenthal, Bill Clinton’s legendary hatchet man who earned the richly deserved sobriquet “Sid Vicious” for his scorched-earth assaults on Clinton’s enemies, is now at the center of yet another percolating Clinton scandal that promises to be, like all Clinton scandals, extraordinarily messy and drawn out.
All the details of Blumenthal’s would-be transactions aren’t yet known, but at first glance his scheming bears more than a passing resemblance to the cockamamie business deal that the late Billy Carter, President Jimmy Carter’s always embarrassing brother, tried to broker in Libya decades ago.
The New “Useful Idiots”
Putin’s Russia backs anti-fracking groups to maintain Western dependence on Russian energy [PDF here]
by Will Coggin
[Also inside this issue: The Fracking Revolution and Putin’s Counter-Revolution by Steven J. Allen]
Summary: When it comes to stopping America’s push for energy independence, two groups have a powerful shared interest: Radical U.S. “green” groups and Russian energy oligarchs. As Putin’s Russia bullies its neighbors—and sometimes invades and conquers them—a key element of its strategy is to prevent the spread of fracking, a technology that is unlocking vast energy reserves in the U.S. and Europe but weakening the wealth and power of Russia. New research into one shady foreign funder of the U.S. environmental movement reveals extensive ties to Russian energy interests, with a sidetrip through, of all places, Bermuda.
“I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations—environmental organizations working against shale gas—to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas.” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark, made that extraordinary claim last June at the Royal Institute for International Affairs, known as Chatham House, the British counterpart to the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations in the United States. (NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is the alliance of Western nations that was created in 1949 to resist the Soviet Empire. It currently includes the governments of 28 countries.)
During the Cold War, the Soviets had a term for people in the West who, blinded by ideology, served as half-witted or unwitting tools of the Communist Party: полезные дураки (polezniye duraki), which means “useful fools” or, as it’s often translated, “useful idiots.” The term is used today to describe people who serve a malignant cause, especially as agents of propaganda, because they naively believe that cause to be good. Such people are held in contempt not only by people who are actually on the side of good but also by the evildoers who cynically make use of them.
Today, that role is played by people who wildly exaggerate or outright fabricate the dangers of fracking (more…)
CRC senior editor Matthew Vadum has an interesting article in FrontPage magazine today about how the offspring of the now-defunct ACORN network is now running scams in Ferguson, Missouri.
Ferguson’s Rent-A-Mobs Exposed
By Matthew Vadum
ACORN’s successor group in Missouri has been paying protesters $5,000 a month to generate civil unrest in Ferguson, the troubled St. Louis suburb where black youth Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer last August.
We know this because some of the protesters haven’t been paid and, now, they are demanding what they were promised. They held a sit-in at the offices of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) and posted a demand letter online.
MORE is the rebranded Missouri branch of the former Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) which filed for bankruptcy in late 2010. That ACORN state chapter reconstituted itself in December 2009 as MORE under orders from ACORN’s national headquarters. President Obama used to work for ACORN and he represented it in court as a lawyer. (See my previous article on MORE.)
MORE has been active in the Ferguson protests and in efforts to free jailed demonstrators so they can continue vandalizing businesses, intimidating perceived adversaries, setting fires, throwing projectiles and human waste at cops, and engaging in the Left’s usual modes of so-called nonviolent protest. MORE believes that protesters should be given a blank check to inflict whatever harm they wish on the community in pursuit of social justice.
The unpaid rent-a-mob operatives complain that MORE stiffed them the same way ACORN did to hired protesters throughout its 40 years of radical left-wing rabble-rousing. The ACORN network’s leadership was always predominantly white while its foot soldiers were mostly non-white, a fact that caused tension within the criminal community organizing outfit.
Blogger Kristinn Taylor reported at St. Louis-based blogger Jim Hoft’s website, Gateway Pundit, that “[b]lack activists held a sit-in at the office of MORE … on Thursday to press their claim that groups led by whites have collected tens of thousands of dollars in donations off of the Black Lives Matter movement without paying the Black participants their fair share.”
One of the angry protesters can be observed threatening MORE executive director Jeff Ordower, a bald white man, in a video posted to the Twitter account of @search4swag on May 14 with the hashtag #CutTheCheck.
“We gonna just f*** you up,” she said to Ordower from across a boardroom-style table.
Ordower, an outspoken vote fraud apologist, previously ran Missouri ACORN and oversaw ACORN’s Midwest operations. He was also an SEIU organizer in Texas.
Local Right to Work
A new strategy for protecting workers is provoking controversy and gaining ground [PDF here]
By Brent Yessin and Steven J. Allen
Summary: In Kentucky and elsewhere, advocates for the rights of working men and women—including the right not to join a union or pay dues to a union if you don’t want to—are trying a new strategy: Laws that secure this right for a city or county, rather than an entire state. The courts have not yet ruled definitively on this strategy, which is not favored by the National Right to Work Committee, one of the most prominent champions of Right to Work efforts. This issue of Labor Watch examines the progress that has been made on the ground, as well as the legal and strategic disputes this approach raises.
“I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.” – Abraham Lincoln
Bowling Green seems like an unlikely spot for the beginning of a revolution. Yet Bowling Green, seat of Warren County, Kentucky, is where a revolution has been sparked against the forced collection of union dues.
With the recent additions of Michigan and Wisconsin to the roster, 25 states now have Right to Work laws—laws that protect workers from being forced to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of employment.
All those states have laws that apply statewide. The significance of what’s happening in Bowling Green, and across Kentucky, and perhaps soon in other states is that Right to Work protections are being extended at the local level, county by county. (more…)
[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]
In public policy, one the major sources of error is taxonomy.
Taxonomy (or systematics): Classification into categories based on presumed relationships
But how valid are the presumptions?
In biology, we could classify living things into “things that fly” (bats and birds and bumblebees) and “things that don’t” (elephants and dolphins and apple trees).
It’s a perfectly logical system of classification… and scientifically worthless.
But in the world of public policy, nonsensical classification systems are used all the time. The meaning of many classifications is simply changed whenever (more…)
ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos was forced to admit that he failed to disclose a major conflict of interest –$75,000 in donations to the embattled Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation– to viewers while covering Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Bear in mind that just two weeks before on the “Daily Show,” he said, “Everybody knows that when donors give that money, what you get is access and the influence that comes with that access.”
Stephanopoulos said the gifts “were a matter of public record … [but] in hindsight, “I should have taken the extra step of personally disclosing my donations to my employer and to the viewers on air during the recent news stories about the Foundation. I apologize.” The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove mocked the former Clinton White House aide’s mea culpa as “a passive-aggressive non-apology.” Stephanopoulos has since recused himself as moderator of ABC’s February GOP debate in New Hampshire but stubbornly refuses to refrain from covering the 2016 presidential election, a fact that has some Republican lawmakers urging their colleagues to refuse to give interviews to the news network.
The anchor’s bias was obvious in an April 26 interview with Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer. When the author said there was a “troubling pattern” between donations to the foundation and Mrs. Clinton’s actions as secretary of state, the hyper-partisan Stephanopoulos slapped him down hard. “We’ve done investigative work here at ABC News, found no proof of any kind of direct action,” the disingenuous anchor said. Of course a book by an investigative reporter isn’t a formal indictment. It’s not like Schweizer has subpoena-issuing powers.
Remember that Stephanopoulos is the guy who threw a life line to Hillary Clinton during the Democratic presidential debate on April 16, 2008. He asked then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.):
I want to give Senator [Hillary] Clinton a chance to respond, but first a follow-up on this issue, the general theme of patriotism in your relationships. A gentleman named William Ayers — he was part of the Weather Underground in the 1970s. They bombed the Pentagon, the Capitol, and other buildings. He’s never apologized for that, and, in fact, on 9-11, he was quoted in The New York Times saying, “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” An early organizing meeting for your state Senate campaign was held at his house, and your campaign has said you are friendly. Can you explain that relationship for the voters, and explain to Democrats why it won’t be a problem?
It was quite a loaded question and I doubt that Stephanopoulos’s motivation in asking it was journalistic curiosity.
Recent Capital Research Center publications about the Clinton Foundation:
The Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation: Pay no attention to the First Family behind the curtain, by Jonathan M. Hanen, Foundation Watch, September 2014
The Clinton Foundation: A cauldron of conflicts and cronyism, by Barbara Joanna Lucas, Foundation Watch, May 2015
Over at PhilanthropyDaily.com, I have a new piece arguing that, much as the New York Times would like to claim Pope Francis for their team, he doesn’t approach the poor the way that they do:
Do individual human beings matter? They do to Pope Francis, who recently had 150 of Rome’s homeless persons receive a tour of the Vatican museums and the Sistine Chapel.
Particular men and women, so some folks tell us, aren’t that important, because if you really want to “change the world” and help people, you must turn your gaze from the people you see in front of you and contemplate instead social structures/societal forces/the root causes of poverty.
This kind of thinking is common in places like the New York Times editorial pages, which seem to think Pope Francis shares their philosophy. But I’d say the pope’s treatment of those homeless persons shows that his approach to changing the world and helping others is entirely different.
… the Times and others who deal in disembodied social forces usually condescend to those they would help by treating the poor as powerless victims of social inequities — as persons who have nothing and can do nothing for themselves or for anyone else. Yet the Pope said the opposite. He did not speak abstractly about the poor; he spoke to every single one of these struggling persons. And he didn’t say, “I denounce the sinful structures of our globalized economic system that victimize the class to which you belong and deprive your class of material riches.” No, Pope Francis said that he, a world leader who lives amid palaces, lacks something that only they, in their dignity, could provide him: “I’m in need of prayers by people like you,” he explained.
For the whole article, go here.