Environmental Refugees: Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) Sufferers

Environmental Refugees: Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) Sufferers

EHSBy Catherine J. Frompovich

The State of Maine Public Utility Commission recently received what it thinks is the ultimate verdict in the issue of electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) when the Maine Supreme Judicial Court agreed with the PUC that utility companies’ smart meters are safe and not harmful to human health and safety.

Perhaps the judge who rendered that decision ought to reconsider what’s going on regarding EHS, especially at the United Nations and their conference where EHS issues were discussed.

Dr Yael Stein, MD, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Hebrew University – Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel, gave an 83 slide presentation titled “Environmental Refugees” wherein Dr Stein pointed out key factors that need to be addressed in the modern age of microwave technology that super saturates humans with EMFs and RFs from cell phones and towers, Wi-Fi, utility companies’ AMI smart meters, smart phones, routers, monitors, etc. and other electronics that can send and receive data, information, voice, photographs, etc.

Dr Stein’s comprehensive presentation was before the UNESCO 10th World Conference on Bioethics, Medical Ethics and Health Law held January 6 to 8, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. [1]

One very prominent classification regarding EHS, pointed out by Dr Stein, is that in Sweden, electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) officially is recognized as a functional impairment and not regarded as a disease! Furthermore, there’s a published peer-review paper, “Electrohypersensitivity: state-of-the-art of a functional impairment” [2] wherein Sweden’s position on EHS is discussed. The Abstract for that paper states:

Survey studies show that somewhere between 230,000-290,000 Swedish men and women report a variety of symptoms when being in contact with electromagnetic field (EMF) sources.

Where do U.S. states’ PUCs and utility companies come off with there are no adverse health effects and that EMFs are safe?

Furthermore, the World Health Organization states,

EHS is characterized by a variety of non-specific symptoms that differ from individual to individual. The symptoms are certainly real and can vary widely in their severity. Whatever the cause, EHS can be a disabling problem for the affected individual.

Source: Dr Yael Stein, MD, Slide 67 of 83 / UNESCO 10th Word Conference on Bioethics, Medical Ethics and Health Law

protocol

In Slide 68, Dr Stein refers to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and that discrimination against a person with a disability, which a functional impairment as recognized in Sweden also should be included, “is a violation of the inherent dignity and worth of the human person.” Aren’t there federal and state laws against discrimination against disability individuals [6] in the United States, and why aren’t PUCs and utilities made to abide by them?

EHS is characterized by a variety of non-specific symptoms that differ from individual to individual. The symptoms are certainly real and can vary widely in their severity. Whatever the cause, EHS can be a disabling problem for the affected individual.

Source: Dr Yael Stein, MD, Slide 67 of 83 / UNESCO 10th Word Conference on Bioethics, Medical Ethics and Health Law

protocol

In Slide 68, Dr Stein refers to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and that discrimination against a person with a disability, which a functional impairment as recognized in Sweden also should be included, “is a violation of the inherent dignity and worth of the human person.” Aren’t there federal and state laws against discrimination against disability individuals [6] in the United States, and why aren’t PUCs and utilities made to abide by them?

slide 68

Slide 73 deals with Accessibility, which would apply to an EHS person if he/she cannot live or be in an area contaminated with EMFs from AMI smart meters, Wi-Fi, etc. Consequently, those barriers or obstacles to that person’s accessibility to remain safely without adverse health effects within the home, workplace, etc. need to be eliminated or, as in the case of a personal home, allow a legal opt-out from utilities’ AMI smart meters on their homes.

slide 73Dr Stein emphasizes that EHS is being taken seriously for those who suffer with it. In file 80, he lists what are designated as EHS Refuge Zones or areas, plus support groups, in France, Canada, the UK, and Sweden. How come there’s nothing listed for the USA? Probably because utility companies and PUCs work too closely together to get all the federal funding [3-4] that’s available for creating the smart grid that eventually will lead to the Internet of Things [5].

God help us!

References:

[1] http://en.unesco.org/events/10th-world-conference-bioethics-medical-ethics-and-health-law
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17178584
[3] http://energy.gov/oe/technology-development/smart-grid/recovery-act-smart-grid-investment-grants
[4] https://www.smartgrid.gov/recovery_act/overview/smart_grid_investment_grant_program.html
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_Things
[6] http://www.dol.gov/general/topic/disability/ada

Resource:

SLIDE SHOW – Electrohypersensitive individuals (EHS) in the digital world – a disabled population, deprived of home, work and basic rights, Dr Yael Stein, MD http://www.slideshare.net/YaelStein1/ehs-human-rights

Image Credit

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.

Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.

Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.

Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

http://www.activistpost.com/2016/01/environmental-refugees-electromagnetic-hypersensitivity-ehs-sufferers.html?utm_source=Activist+Post+Subscribers&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=8a78bf5cd9-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_term=0_b0c7fb76bd-8a78bf5cd9-387745290

Massachusetts regulatory agencies score a c grade as far as accountability, so follows Flint, Michigan

Massachusetts regulatory agencies score a c grade as far as accountability. Here it is in Black and white!!!  We experienced the corruption and incompetence, first hand while trying to make National Grid accountable for the noise pollution that is harming the public.  The state agencies have in their possession forensic, scientific, expert evidence from four different areas of science; all pointing to “illegal pure tones” in our air 24 hours a day non stop coming from the backbone of the Smart Grid.  We were lied to daily in letters, emails and phone discussions.  The agencies apologized repeatedly for their mistakes, but their actions were always the opposite of the truth.  They protected the utilities; just as Flint, Michigan was not properly taken care of by their State Government.

This is criminal, disgusting behavior.  The employees are culpable for carrying out the orders of the chain of command.  This is cruel punishment that you seem to not have any conscience about.   If you did, you would walk away from a job that promotes criminal behavior.  We are suffering daily, now, going on 10 years.    You did us a grave disservice.  I have no respect for spineless, unethical, soulless low lives as yourselves, who profit from our suffering.   You will never get away with this injustice.  People are tired of being screwed by state agencies.  Smart meters are not safe; they will not ever be safe using the current technology.  Do not believe anything from government regarding your health.  Not one State earned an A………Sandaura

Grading the nation: How accountable is your state?

By Caitlin Ginley

12:01 am, March 19, 2012Updated: 4:55 pm, November 10, 2015

The tales are sadly familiar to even the most casual observer of state politics.

In Georgia, more than 650 government employees accepted gifts from vendors doing business with the state in 2007 and 2008, clearly violating state ethics law. The last time the state issued a penalty on a vendor was 1999.

A North Carolina legislator sponsored and voted on a bill to loosen regulations on billboard construction, even though he co-owned five billboards in the state. When the ethics commission reviewed the case, it found no conflict; after all, the panel reasoned, the legislation would benefit all billboard owners in the state — not just the lawmaker who pushed for the bill.

Tennessee established its ethics commission six years ago, but has yet to issue a single ethics penalty. It’s almost impossible to know whether the oversight is effectively working, because complaints are not made available to the public.

A West Virginia governor borrowed a car from his local dealership to take it for a “test drive.” He kept the car for four years, during which the dealership won millions in state contracts.

When representatives of a biotech company took Montana legislators out to dinner, they neither registered as lobbyists nor reported the fact that they picked up the bill. They didn’t have to — the law only requires registration upon spending $2,400 during a legislative session. And in Maine, one state senator did not disclose $98 million in state contracts that went to an organization for which he served as executive director. The lack of disclosure was not an oversight; due to a loophole in state law, he was under no obligation to do so.

The stories go on and on. Open records laws with hundreds of exemptions. Crucial budgeting decisions made behind closed doors by a handful of power brokers. “Citizen” lawmakers voting on bills that would benefit them directly. Scores of legislators turning into lobbyists seemingly overnight. Disclosure laws without much disclosure. Ethics panels that haven’t met in years.

State officials make lofty promises when it comes to ethics in government. They tout the transparency of legislative processes, accessibility of records, and the openness of public meetings. But these efforts often fall short of providing any real transparency or legitimate hope of rooting out corruption.

That’s the depressing bottom line that emerges from the State Integrity Investigation, a first-of-its-kind, data-driven assessment of transparency, accountability and anti-corruption mechanisms in all 50 states. Not a single state — not one — earned an A grade from the months-long probe. Only five states earned a B grade: New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, California and Nebraska. Nineteen states got C’s and 18 received D’s. Eight states earned failing grades of 59 or below from the project, which is a collaboration of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International.

The F’s went to Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina, Maine, Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota and Georgia.

What’s behind the dismal grades? Across the board, state ethics, open records and disclosure laws lack one key feature: teeth.

“It’s a terrible problem,” said Tim Potts, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Democracy Rising PA, which works to inspire citizen trust in government. “A good law isn’t worth anything if it’s not enforced.”

Some of the results of the State Integrity Investigation seem more than a little counterintuitive. New Jersey emerges at the top of the pack, a seemingly stunning ranking for a state with a reputation for dirty politics. And there are other surprises: Illinois, hardly a beacon of clean governmental in recent years, comes in at a respectable number 10. Louisiana ranks 15th.

Many of the states at the bottom of the rankings, meanwhile, are sparsely-populated Western or Plains states like Idaho (40th), Wyoming (48th) and the Dakotas (North Dakota is number 43 and South Dakota comes in at 49). There, libertarianism roots, a small-town, neighborly approach to government and the honest belief that “everybody knows everybody” has overridden any perceived need for strong protections in law.

Peggy Kerns, director of the Center for Ethics in Government at the National Conference of State Legislatures, noted that ethics laws are shaped by the environment and culture of the state. “In smaller states, the culture is different,” she said. “It is harder to disobey the law and go against your own moral core if everyone knows you.”

And statehouses with a history of political corruption and scandal — like New Jersey, Illinois, and Louisiana — have been more likely in recent years to successfully implement reform.

“Legislators will react to a corruption scandal, and work to get political cover by enacting reform,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, vice president for state operations at the nonprofit advocacy group Common Cause.

That’s apparently the case in New Jersey, where a series of scandals helped bring about some of the strongest ethics laws in the country. According to the State Integrity Investigation, New Jersey’s strong points are clear: extensive financial disclosure requirements for the governor, a transparently-run pension fund, and an aggressive ethics enforcement agency. The state also boasts some of the nation’s toughest anti-pay-to-play laws for contractors.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, in an attempt to shed the state of its scandalous political history, enacted sweeping ethics reform legislation as one of his first acts in office back in 2008. Among the new laws: financial disclosure requirements for nearly every public official and caps on how much lobbyists can spend on meals and drinks.

States have taken the initiative on other fronts as well. Connecticut implemented a public financing system for elections. Alabama granted subpoena power to its state ethics commission. South Dakota unveiled an online database for campaign finance records. Florida bans all gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers. Citizens in Washington have easy online access to government records and data, including the final map on the state’s Redistricting Commission website (which also lists past meeting minutes, draft plans, and public commentary).

But advocates note that substantial reform efforts are more often the exception rather than the rule. And typically, even new laws often fall short of their goals. Hobert Flynn said she is often “disappointed by how far-reaching the reforms are, how the reforms are implemented, and how they are enforced.”

Measuring the states: The Integrity Index

There are many ways to gauge government integrity. By one recent measure, Chicago ranks as the most corrupt city in the nation. New York places first as the most corrupt state.

Those are the findings of a February report released by the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs, based on public corruption conviction data from the Department of Justice. New York had a grand total of 2,522 federal public corruption convictions from 1976 to 2010, followed closely by California (2,345 convictions) and Illinois (1,828).

But some argue that using convictions as an indicator of which states are “most corrupt” is misleading. A hefty number of prosecutions may actually suggest the system is working — corrupt behavior is rooted out and perpetrators are punished. States with relatively low numbers of convictions are not necessarily more accountable, but perhaps less equipped to sniff out malfeasance and go after the bad guys. So the State Integrity Investigation takes a different approach by measuring the risks of corruption, as reflected in the strength or weakness of laws, policies, and procedures designed to assure transparency and accountability in state government.

Using a combination of on-the-ground investigative reporting and original data collection and analysis, the State Integrity Index researched 330 “Integrity Indicators” across 14 categories of state government: public access to information, political financing, executive accountability, legislative accountability, judicial accountability, state budget processes, civil service management, procurement, internal auditing, lobbying disclosure, pension fund management, ethics enforcement, insurance commissions, and redistricting.

Indicators assess what laws, if any, are on the books (“in law” indicator) and whether the laws are effective in practice (“in practice” indicators). In many states, the disconnect between scores on a state’s law and scores in practice suggest a serious “enforcement gap.”

In other words, the laws are there, just not always followed.

‘Hiding in plain sight’

There have been nods toward transparency almost everywhere. In this era of online, immediately accessible information, some government records are easier to retrieve than ever. Bill language is posted on websites. Top officials disclose personal financial interests. State candidates reveal donors. States devote entire websites to budget expenditures, allowing taxpayers to track government spending

There remain a few holdouts. Idaho, Vermont, and Michigan still have no financial disclosure requirements for lawmakers and executive branch officials. Maryland is the only state in the country that requires an in-person visit to the state capitol to request and view financial disclosure information.

Ed Bender, executive director of the National Institute on Money in State Politics, said that governments may seem transparent by making information available, but it is not always presented in a useable or digestible format. He said trying to compare data within a state — say, linking campaign donations to state contracts — can be nearly impossible, and is a huge barrier to transparency.

“It’s disingenuous, hiding in plain sight,” Bender said. “Governments say, ‘here it is,’ but they don’t tell the story.”

Maryland unveiled a series of data-centric government performance measurement and spending websites — like StateStat to track spending of stimulus funds — which Governor Martin O’Malley hailed as the “foundation for restoring accountability and for driving our progress.” But the state’s poor ranking on public access to information — it came in 46th — would suggest otherwise.

“They’re selective on what they share, how they share it, and who they share it with,” said Greg Smith of the nonprofit group Community Research, who said poring through the state’s spending databases can be a headache.

“You can only look at it particle by particle, atom by atom,” he said. When he requests entire databases from state agencies, they refuse, citing a lack of technological expertise to properly export the data.

In every state, citizens have the basic right to access government records. But nearly every law is riddled with holes. Vermont’s Public Records Act boasts more than 260 exemptions, one of which almost always seems to apply to a request for information. Virginia’s law excludes the State Corporation Commission, a regulatory agency that oversees all businesses, utilities, financial institutions, and railroads in the state. Louisiana includes an exemption for records that are part of the “deliberative process” in the governor’s office, which could mean anything from budget negotiations to communications between the governor and his staff. Wyoming lawmakers excluded themselves from the state’s open records policy to prevent citizens from having access to the early bill-writing process. In effect, draft legislation and all related documents are withheld from the public.

In Massachusetts, the barriers to access are especially daunting. Not only are the legislature, governor, and courts exempt from public records law, but legislative votes are not even recorded in committee.

Lax enforcement, zero oversight

Across the board, enforcement is weak. States rarely check the accuracy of campaign finance records or asset disclosures unless prompted by a complaint. Penalties are insignificant or never issued. Violators of the law suffer little more than a slap on the wrist.

Arizona legislators admitted to violating the state’s financial disclosure policy when they failed to report trips paid for by the Fiesta Bowl. Neither the Senate nor House Ethics committee followed with an investigation.

New York’s Board of Elections oversees campaign finance, but can only fine violators $500 for missing filing deadlines. At one point, Senator Pedro Espada owed the state about $13,000 in fines for misfiling records (while also sitting on about $60,000 in fines from the New York City Campaign Finance Board).

Earlier this year, a North Carolina judge ruled that the Secretary of State could not impose a $30,000 fine on a lobbyist who failed to register. The judge cited ambiguous language in the law and decided the Secretary did not have the proper authority.

Forty-one states have an agency tasked with overseeing ethics laws in the state. But many of these agencies are crippled by shortages: inadequate funding, tiny staffs, and limited powers. Delaware’s two-person Public Integrity Commission can hardly keep up with enforcing rules for about 48,000 government employees. In South Carolina, the State Ethics Commission’s budget has been slashed six times in the past three years. When legislators in Alaska leave required information off their financial disclosure forms, the Alaska Public Offices Commission simply does not have the capacity to track down the missing details.

“There’s an inability to enforce the laws on the books,” said Hobert Flynn of Common Cause. “It creates a real crisis and the illusion of strong laws in place.”

In Pennsylvania, said Potts of Democracy Rising PA, the amount of money allocated for enforcement of ethics rules is considered “budget dust.” Governor Tom Corbett cut funding to the state’s ethics commission by five percent in his most recent budget plan, even though the state sits on a surplus that Potts said could “fund all public integrity enforcement for a decade.”

And in states where the financial outlook is still grim, watchdog agencies are often among the first to get cut, consolidated or eliminated entirely. In Connecticut, nine independent agencies were moved under one umbrella organization, the Office of Governmental Accountability. Advocates claim the move saves money and improves efficiency, but critics point to a massive reduction in staff and loss of enforcement power — the agency will likely audit only 10 lobbyists this year, compared with 40 lobbyists the year before.

While there are many examples that highlight a lack of resources, others assert that political factors may also be at play.

Georgia’s legislature slashed the ethics commission’s budget, eliminating all investigative positions and eventually forcing out its two top staffers. The former executive director claimed the funding cuts came with ulterior motives; at the time, the agency was pursuing an investigation against Governor Nathan Deal for improper use of campaign funds and exceeding campaign finance limits. Deal said the cuts were in line with what happened to other agencies. The state’s inspector general followed with an investigation, but found no evidence to support the claim of the commission’s former executive director.

Political loyalties can be a potential problem, especially since many ethics agencies are staffed by gubernatorial or legislative appointments.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revamped the state’s ethics agency as part of a comprehensive overhaul of state ethics laws. But he stocked the newly-formed Joint Commission on Public Ethics with political allies, including a fundraiser for his reelection campaign and a former staffer. Most recently, he tapped Inspector General Ellen Biben to be the commission’s executive director. Biben, though widely respected in government circles, also served as Cuomo’s deputy in the attorney general’s office, prompting some New Yorkers to question her independence from the administration.

Members of the Alaska Personnel Board are appointed by the same entity they are charged with overseeing — the governor’s office. The Texas Ethics Commission is comprised of appointees by the governor and legislature, which not only presents an inherent conflict but often leads to gridlock. Commissioners are typically split along party lines, but in order to pursue an investigation, at least six of the eight commissioners must agree.

Conflict? What conflict?

Without effective oversight by an independent agency, states frequently rely on a system of self-reporting. The onus falls on public officials to decide for themselves whether their decision-making ability has been compromised. In some cases, the language of the law allows for exceptions; Montana requires legislators to disclose a conflict only if they stand to gain a “direct and personal impact” from the relationship. Often consequences are modest or nonexistent. In Illinois, a legislator should avoid a “substantial threat to his independence of judgment” — but if that line is crossed, there is no penalty.

Kerns of NCSL said it is difficult to implement strong conflict of interest laws, especially for citizen legislatures in which lawmakers almost always hold outside jobs. She doesn’t see anything inherently wrong with that — their background and expertise can be helpful for making policy decisions — unless the lawmaker stands to gain financially from the decision.

“That defies logic,” she said. “People should have better sense.”

Michigan’s conflict of interest laws are largely undefined, so recusal is rare. In 2011, Senate Democrats challenged the notion that lawmakers with a financial interest in limited liability corporations could vote on a tax reform plan. The lieutenant governor ruled that it was up to the lawmakers to decide for themselves if they had a conflict, and no one abstained.

Hawaii representative, also working as a lobbyist for the American Chemistry Council, was allowed to vote on a bill that would implement a 10-cent fee for plastic bags. The House Speaker defended the decision: “Just because he represents that company does not mean he cannot vote up or down on the measure.”

For state judges, it’s a similar situation. Nearly all states have rules, codes, or regulations outlining recusal requirements, but again they leave it up to the judges to decide their own impartiality.

“There’s a longstanding principal that no judge should be the judge in his or her own case,” said Charlie Hall, director of communications for Justice at Stake, a national organization that promotes a fair and impartial court system. “There’s a strong sense by many that if one party asks a judge to step aside, there’s something not satisfying by the judge saying, ‘I think I can be impartial. I can make the decision.’ ”

Nine states don’t require judges to disclose outside assets, making it almost impossible to determine if a judge has a conflict at all. And in states where judges run for election, the potential for conflicts to arise is even greater.

“Special interests have discovered judicial elections and the money is pouring in,” Hall said.

Spending on judicial elections more than doubled in the past 20 years. From 2000 to 2009, special interests funneled about $206 million into court elections, up from about $83 million in the previous decade.

Hall said many states are moving forward, albeit slowly, to develop more transparent processes for judicial recusal. But in at least one state — Wisconsin — the courts took what some believe to be a huge step backwards. In 2010, the state Supreme Court ruled that judges need not recuse themselves from cases involving their own campaign donors.

The devil’s in the details: Where the loopholes are

Even the strictest of rules has unforeseen consequences. And when it comes to money, influence, and power in state government, interest groups and big-money donors will find ways around just about any limit.

In South Carolina, corporations and individuals can donate only $1,000 to local House and Senate races or $3,500 to statewide seats. But multi-millionaire Howard Rich skirted the limits by funneling contributions through separate LLCs. He also made the contributions during a “blackout period” — two weeks right before the election when candidates can hold off making donations public until after the election.

Illinois, which passed campaign finance limits for the first time in 2009, places no restrictions on donations by a corporation’s affiliates. So although a corporation is restricted by a $10,000 limit on donations to individual candidates, it can easily multiply that amount through individually incorporated entities.

New York donors can also give freely to “housekeeping accounts,” ostensibly reserved for political party headquarters, staff, and events not affiliated with a particular candidate. Big-time donors, corporations, and trade organizations have donated $11 million to these accounts in the past two years.

Gift bans seek to prevent lobbyists from wining-and-dining legislators to influence policy. Some states, like Missouri, place no restrictions on dollar amounts of gifts, as long as all gifts are disclosed. Other states have much more stringent rules, like in Florida, where lobbyists are banned from buying lawmakers even a cup of coffee.

But even when the laws have been retooled and seem airtight, lobbyists find ways around them. In Oregon, where the gift laws were reformed in 2007 and again in 2009, the language of the law has become so specific in noting exemptions that it’s easy to skirt: entertainment excursions can technically be billed as “fact-finding” missions, for example, which is acceptable under the law. In 2006

North Carolina passed a ban on lobbyists buying meals for individual legislators. So instead, lobbyists bankroll receptions for groups of lawmakers. Florida has a strict ban on lobbyist gift giving, but the state’s definition of lobbyist allows for gaps — not everyone who lobbies is considered a lobbyist under the law — and much of the spending can go unreported.

The lobbyist-lawmaker relationship is a close one in many states, where part-time legislators who meet for short sessions often rely on outside expertise to guide their policy decisions. Those relationships become even stronger when ex-legislators move almost immediately into the private sector, exerting influence over their former colleagues. “Cooling off” periods — the length of time between when a legislator leaves office and when he can register as a lobbyist — aim to diffuse those relationships.

But in some states, there’s no such waiting time. In Idaho, a former legislator, after losing her reelection campaign, was quickly hired as the lobbyist for a property developer — a move not only accepted, but recommended by the House Speaker.

The same holds true in Nebraska, where at least 16 former lawmakers are now registered lobbyists. There, as in other states, term limits push lawmakers out into the private sector, so it is not unusual for former legislators to represent special interests like Big Tobacco and health insurance companies.

Closed to the public

California faced a $23 billion budget shortfall in 2011. The state opens up the budgeting process to the public — but only to a point. Citizens can participate in forums and meetings leading up to final budget negotiations, when the “Big Five” (the governor and four legislative leaders) take the discussion behind closed doors to finalize the bill.

Such is a common practice in many states, where open meetings and public testimony occur, but usually for the sake of appearance only. The real decisions are made when no one is looking.

According to the Index, California ranks near the bottom on budget transparency, losing points for citizen access to budget expenditures and public input at hearings.

New York, which faced a shortfall of $8.5 billion, falls a few places below California. Again, the public can view budget documents and comment at hearings on the front end, but the final bill is quickly pushed through, giving citizens little opportunity to react. The final budget often includes a few surprising compromises that were made behind closed doors.

Redistricting, a notoriously opaque and politically-tainted process in many states, is actually where California stood out. It received top marks for redistricting transparency, due largely to its new Citizens Redistricting Commission that gave power to a randomly-selected group of Californians instead of the legislature.

In other states, though, the redistricting process largely remains a mystery to constituents. Although the redrawing of district lines directly impacts voters and communities, the public is usually left out of the process. In a worst case scenario, maps are redrawn by the very legislators who are seeking reelection, allowing them to ensure the new district lines fall in their favor.

Many states are finding ways to include, or at least educate, the public on this process by holding meetings, making census data available online, or encouraging citizens to submit their own maps. But even if the state goes through those motions, it does not guarantee the public commentary will be taken into account in the final map.

Other states don’t even try. During the 2011 redistricting session in Wisconsin, Republican legislators unveiled map proposals, held one public hearing, and passed their plan in two weeks. In Oklahoma, meetings were held within days of census data being released, giving the public no real chance to provide strong input.

“The government belongs to the people,” said Common Cause’s Hobert Flynn. “They should have full access to the process and how decisions are made.”

It’s a noble goal, to be sure. But as the State Integrity Investigation reveals, it is one that’s rarely met.

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2012/03/19/8423/grading-nation-how-accountable-your-state

 

 

Electric meter replacement under way

Electric meter replacement under way

So-called “smart meters” are being installed in Evanston by Commonwealth Edison that will enable residents and businesses to keep close watch on their electricity usage.

The company plans to install approximately 4 million smart meters in all homes and businesses across Northern Illinois by the end of 2018. The company’s installation schedule calls for the work in Evanston to be completed in the next few months.

        Meter technician Kwame Wilson replacing meters Wednesday in northwest Evanston

So what do the smart meters do for the consumer?

For one thing, the new meters will send usage data automatically to ComEd, which will not only eliminate the need for a meter reader to visit your home, but it also is expected to eliminate estimated usage on your bills due to an unread meter.

Also, when there is a power outage to your home or business, that information will be relayed to ComEd automatically, which should enable crews to restore your power sooner.

While you will not be charged for your meter switch, the fact that you have a new smart meter will make you eligible to sign up for certain services that could actually cut your electricity bill, such as ComEd’s Peak Time Savings program, that varies the cost of your electricity during the day, based upon the total demand on the system.

In plain English, that means that, in the summer time, when air conditioners balloon the demand for electricity, you can elect to divert some of your electrical usage, such as ironing and running the dishwasher, to hours when many air conditioners are not drawing power.

By the same token, if means your electricity cost can be higher for those kilowatts you use during high-demand periods.

You can also enroll to receive high-usage alerts by phone or email when your usage is trending higher than usual, and you can sign up to receive weekly usage reports that summarize your daily usage and the amount you’re projected to see on your next electric bill.

Further information about the smart meter program is available on the ComEd website.

– See more at: http://evanstonnow.com/story/business/charles-bartling/2016-01-27/74186/electric-meter-replacement-under-way#sthash.qj8XBboF.dpuf

Corrupt Maine Supreme Court Confirms Corrupt State Regulators’ “Smart” Meter Decision

Corrupt Maine Supreme Court Confirms Corrupt State Regulators’ “Smart” Meter Decision
Information and Opinion by Warren Woodward
Sedona, Arizona ~ January 27, 2016

Yesterday, the corrupt Maine Supreme Court confirmed a decision by the corrupt Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that “smart” meters were safe enough.

How do I know these outfits are corrupt? Because they use corrupt language!

Check this out and see if you can make sense of it, especially given that, under Maine statutes, it is up to the Maine PUC to “ensure safe, reasonable and adequate service.” In other words, the burden of proof of safety is upon the PUC. Note the simple, black & white language of the statute: ensure safe, reasonable and adequate service.” Now, read how that got corrupted into:

“It’s one thing to make a finding that evidence is credible regarding potential harm and quite another to find there is a legally credible threat of harm — that a credible threat of harm is in fact credible: likely and probable to result in harm.”
That sentence was originally crafted by the corrupt PUC and then later reiterated by the corrupt Maine Supreme Court in their ruling.

Here’s another instance of corrupt language being used in the ruling:

“The Commission appropriately applied the credible threat standard such that it evaluated “what threat or hazard constitutes an acceptably safe level of exposure,” balancing the potential for harm against the usefulness and pervasiveness of the technology at issue.”

Several things wrong there. The Statute requires safety, not a ‘balancing of potential harm’ against anything, but, just the same, look what they balanced it against. “The usefulness of the technology?” Useful to whom? The “technology at issue” has never been proved useful. It has only been assumed useful and endlessly promoted as useful.

The only thing useful about it is that it’s been useful to the utilities that have been able to pad their bottom lines as result. Rates have gone up to pay for this utility boondoggle everywhere the “smart” grid has been implemented. Due to the massive overheads, expensive complexities and endless “upgrades” of the “smart” grid, those increases will never stop either.

And I can’t believe they used “pervasiveness of the technology” as an excuse or as something to ‘balance” health against. What they are saying essentially is, So much has been spent on this boondoggle already that we can’t turn back now no matter what.

By the way, that is the line of corrupted reasoning that Arizona Corporation Commission commissioner Doug Little used during his campaign. When asked about recalling “smart” meters, he said there were simply too many of them installed, and that replacement would be too costly. Never mind that they are bio-toxic surveillance devices. Never mind that APS has already proved him wrong by hiring subcontractors to replace all of theirs that are already falling apart and obsolete after just seven years or less. Hey, the utilities spent a lot of cash on this junk and they are entitled to enhance their revenue stream forever. APS CEO Don Brandt needs $10,403,293 to live on each year, dammit!       

As the Maine Coalition Against “Smart” Meters pointed out in their press release, the Court turned a statute that required safety into “a risk assessment evaluation of acceptable harm.”

Coalition spokesman and Plaintiff Ed Friedman had this to say:

While the decision acknowledges over one hundred peer-reviewed scientific studies were reviewed by the Commission, what the Court doesn’t admit is over 1,000 peer-reviewed study citations and verbatim abstracts of supporting studies submitted into evidence by anti-smart meter activists were rejected by the PUC because ‘somehow we need to whittle down the amount of evidence.’ The Court has miserably failed the people of Maine, instead relying on CMP supplied evidence from the FCC [FCC exposure standards admitted by even the PUC to be obsolete and irrelevant],Trilliant [vendor for the smart meter project], Exponent [a well-known product defense firm], and the Maine CDC finding from 2010 [a 2-week rush job about which the CDC admittedly knew nothing and that predated both this investigation and the WHO classification of RF as a possible human
carcinogen].”

The Court ignored when they needn’t have, independent testimony from international experts on the credible threat of harm RF exposures at smart meter levels pose and instead chose to believe the “Marlboro Man” that smoking is good for us. The Law Court has despite ample evidence we were not legally required to submit [with the burden of proof on CMP] rejected Maine’s judicial maxim-the health of the people is the supreme law.

Ontario Canada Pulls Plug On Smart Meters

Ontario Canada Pulls Plug On Smart Meters

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 15:38

(Before It’s News)

Subject: Ontario Canada Pulls Plug On Smart Meters

Ontario Pulls Plug on 36,000 Rural ‘Smart’ Meters: Is Big Energy Imploding?

What is Collective Evolution All About?We (CE) believe in creating change by thinking outside the box. We aim to challenge the current status quo by shaking up how we currently think about the world. We encourage and inspire each other to take action with the goal of bringing to life a bright future for us all. This means living sustainably, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, creating a relationship with oneself and shaping a better world together. We value balance in our world, which means examining all aspects of our lives. We cover alternative news, health, science and an accessible, non-new-agey brand of spirituality. A grassroots organization created in 2009, CE is now one of the world’s most popular alternative media, production, and community outlets that gives readers an opportunity to reshape their everyday way of thinking. CE’s content ranges from full-length articles, to videos, to live events, all of which share one common goal: to raise awareness about how our world functions, and to encourage conscious change that moves beyond it.

 
Ontario Pulls Plug on 36,000 Rural ‘Smart’ Meters: Is Big Energy Imploding?

January 20, 2016
Last night I watched The Big Short — maybe the most important Hollywood film in years. This true story is a powerful and eloquent invitation to wake up to the sheer depravity at the core of the system of commerce.
The fact that the film got nominated for 5 Oscars including Best Picture is a huge sign that there are way more people waking up than we ever thought. The wrongs may not be getting righted as quickly as we’d like, but it is happening.
The reality of this shift is clearly evidenced by this news last week from Ontario. After years of obvious problems, Hydro One finally admitted that rural ‘smart’ meters do not work, and has decided to pull the plug on 36,000 of them — to start. We will see more utilities begin to do likewise. [UPDATE: BC Hydro just announced plans to remove 88,000 meters suspected of failure.]
Costing ratepayers billions, smart meters are actually designed to unlawfully harvest detailed data of the in-home activities of occupants without their knowledge or consent.
As reported by the National Post:
“Astonishing,” was the reaction from Lanark-area MPP Randy Hillier, who has been deluged with complaints about Hydro One billing and smart-meter suspicions.
“I’ve been banging my head against the wall for the last five years, saying we’ve got problems with smart meters in rural Ontario.” Since first being elected in 2007, no single issue has attracted as much attention in his riding, he said.
For the purpose of clarification: at this time Hydro One is not planning to uninstall smart meters and replace with analogs — but rather to manually read rural customers’ meters quarterly, and estimate the months in between, because the wireless reporting is simply not working.
More than 10,000 billing complaints have been filed with the Ontario Ombudsman, and the Auditor General of Ontario released a scathing report, calling out the smart metering program as a total flop.
Hydro One was the first major utility in Canada to deploy so-called ‘smart’ meters upon an unsuspecting customer base. The price tag for rollout, paid for by the people of Ontario, was $2 billion — which was $900M over budget.

Go Green, or Go Greed?

For those new to this topic, here’s the skinny. Smart utility meters are being deployed worldwide under the banner of climate action. But they typically increase energy usage, and a high-level industry executive has admitted that the data collected by the surreptitious devices will be worth “a lot more” than the electricity itself.
Portland State University recently published a brilliant report on the morally-bankrupt surveillance agenda behind smart meters. The industry-gutting report is titled “The Neoliberal Politics of ‘Smart’: Electricity Consumption, Household Monitoring, and the Enterprise Form,” and excerpts can be read at Smart Grid Awareness here.
Customers are not being informed how their constitutional rights are being violated for the purposes of a for-profit home surveillance network. Nor how this technology has caused thousands of fires which have resulted in several deaths. Nor how our bodies are being affected by pulsed microwave radiation exponentially stronger than cell phones, as shown in Take Back Your Power.
If there wasn’t an avalanche of facts to back all of this up, it might sound too unbelievable to be true. But we live in strange times.

We Can Handle The Truth

Just like the banking system, the energy system has likewise become rotten to the core. To change both will require a complete overhaul and the embrace of a challenge to our comfort zone.
It is both harrowing and exciting for one to discover that there are major societal programs which are simply manufactured lies fueled by the idea of lack. That there’s not enough energy, food, resources, money. In reality, there is enough for all life to survive — and to thrive. It is provable fact that these truths have been suppressed.
Case in point: a 1971 de-classified US Army briefing actually calls for the secretization of solar technology which has greater than 20% efficiency (see page 14). This was back in 1971! And, of course, it’s in the name of national security and property interests.
Meanwhile, the energy mafia in Nevada just decreed a 40% fee hike for solar-producing customers, while reducing the amount paid for excess power sold to the grid, effectively killing the solar industry there.
There is a war on energy. When we understand the level of corruption involved, the implications are enormous. And we must act to solve this problem.
I believe that the suppression of solutions is a dam ready to burst. And I’m optimistic of our passing through this dark night successfully, as we are learning to connect and serve the higher good. There is really no other choice.

NESARA- Restore America – Galactic News

 

Will Mind Control Technology Be Applied to the Oregon Patriots? Confidential Source Says Yes

Will Mind Control Technology Be Applied to the Oregon Patriots? Confidential Source Says Yes

Jan, 2016by

EXCERPT:Today, your smart meter, smart appliances and your wi-fi networks in your home all have this capability. In fact, one of my military sources, once associated with the project known as “Owning the Weather 2025”, tells me that any device which can receive or send an electrical signal is vulnerable to the manifestation of mind control through the psychotronic manipulation of the mind. The recently exposed phony cell phone towers are only part of an overall smart grid system designed, in part, to effect mind control. My military sources tell me that this system is part of what is popularly known as “the Smart Grid”. The various Smart Grids are all being connected into a what is called a “Land Area Network”.  My sources also tell me that mind control is only one function of this network and that presently there is an effort underway to integrate the various Land Area Networks across various continents (e.g. North American and Europe). The system, once fully integrated will include health care and overall energy usage. Mind control is a byproduct of this technology…………

 

I have an on-the-ground-report which has informed me that mind control technologies will likely be applied in the Burns, Oregon standoff. Yes, it is only one report, but the content matches what I know to be true about the technology.

Mr. Hodges,

I work with a consortium of engineers and we have “accidentally” discovered an anomalous band of electronic frequency which is out of the ordinary and the location is near the Burns, Oregon, stand-off event in which a group of ranchers are protesting the taking over of their land by the BLM.

I am not at liberty to discuss the delivery mechanism because it could lead to some of my colleagues. My colleagues have complained that they are no longer in charge of their own experiments and the nature and tone of the experiments is such that we all believe that a widespread application of what you have labeled “mind control” is about to be unleashed on the world, not just the United States. 

You have published enough that we feel that you were the appropriate conduit to release the information on this. The public has a right to know what is about to be done to them. The RF involved is at RF at 2.4 GHz. This RF is  NOT Wi-Fi, bluetooth, microwave, etc.

If you are willing to publish and distribute, we will send you more information………….

Anonymous

Because I want to keep the NSA and the spooks out of my business, I wanted it noted that the above communication is not an email.

In the past 15 months, I have been approached by two groups of scientists who are gravely concerned about the development and pending application of mind control technology using electromagnetic means to deliver the technology. Both groups of scientists are fearful of their lives and one group has an amazing and bizarre means of communicating with me.

In response, I occasionally run an article on mind control technology hoping to shake loose others who are willing to be more forthcoming and are willing to go public. In doing so, I have discovered two things: (1) scientists across the planet, not just the United States, are fearful of the work they are doing in relation to mind control technology; and, (2) This technology is ready to be unleashed. In fact, there have already been beta tests, such as the “Kentucky Mall Brawl” incident.

The technology exists and here is some of the evidence to support these claims.

Multiple Delivery Mechanisms

What are the “phony” cell phone towers all about? Are they only for the purpose of “stealing” data from the electronic devices of unsuspecting people? The answer to this question may surprise you.

phony cell phone towers

A Paul Watson report, chronicled in the video listed below, accurately portrays 50% of the operational functioning of what is presently being referred to as “phony cell towers”. Watson is correct in that these “phony towers” are indeed stealing data from your electronic devices.

However, Watson’s depiction of the phony cell phone towers only represents half of the picture. On the other side of the coin, these towers are part of a mind control apparatus. Here is an excerpt of the relevant patent.

 

United States Patent

4,858,612

Stocklin

August 22, 1989


Hearing device

AbstractA method and apparatus for simulation of hearing in mammals by introduction of a plurality of microwaves into the region of the auditory cortex is shown and described. A microphone is used to transform sound signals into electrical signals which are in turn analyzed and processed to provide controls for generating a plurality of microwave signals at different frequencies. The multifrequency microwaves are then applied to the brain in the region of the auditory cortex. By this method sounds are perceived by the mammal which are representative of the original sound received by the microphone.


Inventors: Stocklin; Philip L. (Satellite Beach, FL)
Family ID: 24247585
Appl. No.: 06/562,742
Filed: December 19, 1983

 

The patent’s use of the phrase “… introduction of a plurality of microwaves into the region of the auditory cortex is shown…The multifrequency microwaves are then applied to the brain in the region of the auditory cortex. By this method sounds are perceived by the mammal which are representative of the original sound received by the microphone“. In other words, this is a smoking gun patent for what is often referred to as “voice to skull” technology. This means that the thoughts (i.e. words) in your head may not be your own. This patent clearly demonstrates that the technology has existed to control your thoughts and the technology is over 35 years old.

Today, your smart meter, smart appliances and your wi-fi networks in your home all have this capability. In fact, one of my military sources, once associated with the project known as “Owning the Weather 2025”, tells me that any device which can receive or send an electrical signal is vulnerable to the manifestation of mind control through the psychotronic manipulation of the mind. The recently exposed phony cell phone towers are only part of an overall smart grid system designed, in part, to effect mind control. My military sources tell me that this system is part of what is popularly known as “the Smart Grid”. The various Smart Grids are all being connected into a what is called a “Land Area Network”.  My sources also tell me that mind control is only one function of this network and that presently there is an effort underway to integrate the various Land Area Networks across various continents (e.g. North American and Europe). The system, once fully integrated will include health care and overall energy usage. Mind control is a byproduct of this technology.

The technology works on two levels. First, external words which can manifest as integrated thoughts, can artificially and electronically be placed within your head. Second, your overall emotional functioning and immediate emotional perception can dramatically be altered through the application of “targeted” frequencies designed to manipulate a desired and overall emotional state of functioning. The genesis for this technology began with a Spanish neurologist over 50 years ago.

The Dawn of Mind Control

In the 1960′s,  Spanish neurologist, Jose Delgado was involved in a noteworthy bullfight. Without any real bullfighting training, he bravely stepped into the ring with a very dangerous and deadly bull. However, Delgado had a secret weapon.  He had previously implanted a radio-equipped electrode which was implanted into the bull’s limbic system (i.e. emotional center of the brain) which he called “stimoceivers.” Delgado subsequently demonstrated that he could manipulate an organism’s mind and body via remote control technology.  Thus, as the bull charged, an invasive electrical signal penetrated the bull’s limbic system and the bull calmly broke off the attack in mid-charge.

Delgado found that by stimulating different regions of the limbic system, which controls emotion, Delgado could also induce fear, rage and a variety of other emotions, that he was able to manipulate the type and intensity of emotional reactions. Thus, Delgado discovered the fine art of mind control.

Intrigued by his work, Delgado was invited to teach and be a guest lecturer at such prominent universities such as Harvard and Yale. In 1968, Delgado went to work at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and this is where much of his research trail grows cold. We now know that SRI was a CIA front and was connected to the MK Ultra experiments. In 1974, Delgado abruptly returned to Spain and later became an outspoken opponent of mind control and its potential for harm and misuse by totalitarian societies. Perhaps, he was not on board with the CIA and what they eventually had planned for the American people.

In cats, monkeys, bulls and even humans he repeatedly demonstrated that he could control emotion and ultimately behavior. . In one experiment, Delgado stimulated the temporal lobe of a 21-year-old epileptic woman while she was calmly playing a guitar; in response, she flew into a rage and smashed her guitar against a wall, narrowly missing a researcher’s head. Perhaps the most medically promising finding was that stimulation of a limbic region called the septum could trigger euphoria, strong enough in some cases to counteract depression and even physical pain.

Later Delgado was able to impact the hypothalamus of a cat and induce uncontrollable rage in the animal. Keep in mind that this technology is over 60 years old. One can only imagine how far this technology has come during that time.

Delgado’s famous bull fight and the angry cat are depicted in the following video.

READ FULL ARTICLE AT: http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/2016/01/10/will-mind-control-technology-be-applied-to-the-oregon-patriots-confidential-source-says-yes/

Maine Court: Wireless Smart Meters Don’t Threaten Health

Maine Court: Wireless Smart Meters Don’t Threaten Health

1 hour ago

 

Maine’s highest court has upheld a decision that wireless smart meters pose no credible threat to the health and safety of customers.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission reached that conclusion in a 2014 report.

Smart meter opponents then asked the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to intervene, arguing that the PUC’s findings weren’t backed up by enough evidence.

But Agnes Gormley, senior counsel at the public advocate’s office, says the PUC spent more than two years reviewing the health and safety concerns.

“They reviewed a very large amount of evidence,” she says. “And we thought that their finding was supported by all that evidence. So we were glad that the law court upheld the commission’s decision.”

Ed Friedman, a smart meter opponent and the main plaintiff in the case, says he’s still reviewing the today’s high court ruling.

http://news.mpbn.net/post/maine-court-wireless-smart-meters-don-t-threaten-health#stream/0

Tell the UK gov’t why they need to halt the smart meter programme once and for all.

From: Take Back Your Power Date: Jan 26, 2016 2:13:01 PM Subject: Big news from UK – and how you can help (from anywhere)   

I wanted to quickly share this with you, from my friend across the pond, Mike Mitcham of StopSmartMeters! (UK).
It’s been a bad start to the year for the spin doctors at Smart Energy GB, with smart meters getting some well-deserved negative press (scroll down for the backstory).
Now, the UK Science and Technology Committee has launched a smart meter ‘evidence check’, and is asking for input from experts and public, until Friday.
So let’s respectfully but firmly tell the UK gov’t why they need to halt the smart meter programme once and for all. The deadline for comment is January 29 (this Friday).
Please take this 2-minute action, from any country: Here’s the link
Onward, Josh del Sol
* * *
The backstory in the UK – January news: Warning over a ‘ghastly mess’ in £11bn plan for smart meters – The Times “The Department of Energy and Climate Change has devised by far the most complex rollout in the world” “60 per cent of households with the meters were not using them only a year after installation.”
Not So Smart – The government should listen to criticism of its latest IT plan before it is too late – The Times “It is sensible to worry now.”
Could smart meters be used to spy on your home? Devices could be used to create ‘honeypot’ of data to sell onto marketing companies, privacy campaigners warn – Mail Online “Marketing firms are hoping to turn the information [smart meters] provide in to a steady stream of cash.”
See more from our friends at www.StopSmartMeters.org.uk.

Consumer Complaints Soar As Santa Fe Installs Smart Meters

Consumer Complaints Soar As Santa Fe Installs Smart Meters

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome
@sarmje

santafe

Santa Fe is hitting speed bumps as it begins to rely on new smart meters.

The city has logged more than two dozen written complaints at its Utility Billing Division over the last six months, beginning “about the same time the city started to replace defective meters with a new ‘smart’ meter-reading system,” the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

The New Mexican first reported a rise in complaints over water bills in November.

“Nick Schiavo, the city’s public utilities director, said the Water Division was dealing with a spike in complaints, many of which were tied to the installation of the new water meters. The influx of complaints, plus a staffing shortage, created longer wait times on the phone, a problem that persists,” the report said.

Stanley Gairey is among the residents who filed a complaint. He received a $400 water bill, suggesting he used 2,700 gallons of water in a single day.

“Gairey, a 67-year-old Santa Fe native, called the city’s Water Division to get an explanation. Instead of getting an answer, however, all he got was an answering machine that repeated the same message, adding to his frustration,” the report said.

What does the city say?

Diana Catanach, the utility billing director, “said about half the complaints logged against the Water Division were valid. But many of the customers who complained that their bills were too high were responsible,” the report said. “Catanach said the Water Division saw a bump in complaints following newspaper reports about billing and other issues.”

She urged customers to be patient.

“I hate to put it this way, but a lot of times people will come in yelling and screaming at staff who are really trying to help them,” she said. “If they could just be patient with us, we certainly are willing to help reach resolution. I’d say 90 percent of our customers, if not more, leave happy.”

Santa Fe launched a smart meter overhaul last year, according to the Santa Fe Reporter:

The City of Santa Fe’s decision to replace its Firefly water-meter readers, installed just under 10 years ago and now largely known for their failings, aims to do more than provide the billing basics for how much water was used in a month. The [upgrade] is expected to cost $6 million for the equipment and installation of 36,000 meters, and an additional $2 million for service, software maintenance and cell tower space for signal transmission over the 10-year contract.

http://www.wateronline.com/doc/consumer-complaints-soar-installs-smart-meters-0001

Paula Orloff: Smart meters aren’t smart

THE UNION – Serving Western Nevada County, CA

Paula Orloff: Smart meters aren’t smart 

An article in The Union titled, “Smart Meters Aptly Named” was written by a PG&E representative with a long title. I have serious reservations.

PG&E claim: Nearly 99 percent of our customers have upgraded to Smart Meters.

Response: I question that number from PG&E which has been under investigation for collusion with CPUC. Also, it costs to opt out of smart metering. It’s free to get a smart meter. If the costs were reversed, how many would choose a smart meter? Further, in California over 50 local governments have passed ordinances opposing the Smart Meter program. There’s only one catch: CPUC in cahoots with the private utilities has authority to override local governments.

PG&E claim: Smart meters are the foundation for our modern energy grid.

Response: Former CPUC President Loretta Lynch at the 2015 Wireless, Technology and Public Health Summit in Mountain View stated that the “smart grid” and “smart meters” are a “lucrative boondoggle” that the CPUC approved, and the CPUC has become a “rouge agency” essentially controlled by corporations. A November 2012 report published by the National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy in DC states, “ … Billions of dollars in federal subsidies for “smart” utility meters have been misspent on meter technology that will not lead to energy sustainability or contribute to the possibility of a more efficient and responsive electricity grid. A similar conclusion comes from Massachusetts’ largest electrical utility NStar: ”An advance Metering System (smart meters) is not a ‘basic technology platform’ … to realize all the benefits of grid modernization.”

Many studies discuss the 24/7 bursts of radiation that smart meters emit. According to Daniel Hirsch, Professor of Nuclear Policy at University of California Santa Cruz, these intense millisecond bursts produce severe biological effects.

PG&E Claim: Smart meters have several energy/money saving advantages.

Response: PG&E’s energy savings phone and computer messages have some helpful pointers, but not one requires smart meters. Further, in two personal calls, PG&E representatives stated the special Smart Rate savings are limited only to days over 97 degrees. If a customer chooses the “Smart” Rate program, his bill is reduced to only 2.4 cents per KWh before and after the peak hours of 2 to 7 p.m. However, if the customer uses electricity during peak hours on those hot days, they are charged 60 cents per KWh! compared to 16 to 30 cents per KWh depending usage tier.

PG&E claim: “Independent and leading international health experts have tested and determined this technology is safe. For example, the technology in Smart Meters is the same as the technology in WiFi routers, baby monitors and garage door openers.”

Response: A group of 40 international experts rebutted claims of no increase of cancer from exposure to low intensity EMFs (electromagnetic fields ) “In fact only a few such studies … reported no elevations of cancer, and most were funded by the wireless industry (from “Smart Meters, Correcting the Gross Misinformation” by Dr. David Carpenter, July 11, 2012). Among the proliferation of research on wireless technology in the past decade is the BioInitiative Report prepared by 29 scientists from 10 countries, carried out independent of governments and industry organizations. The 2012 update discusses the content and implication of 1800 new studies. According to an overview of the report by co-editor, Cindy Sage, “There is more evidence in 2012 that such exposures (to wireless technologies) damage DNA, interfere with DNA repair, and are hazardous to the nervous system.

Many studies discuss the 24/7 bursts of radiation that smart meters emit. According to Daniel Hirsch, professor of Nuclear Policy at University of California Santa Cruz, these intense millisecond bursts produce severe biological effects. Cindy Sage (Bioinitiative Report) explains, “If you think of a strobe light or a laser in the eyes, it is intermittent but powerfully disabling … Signals may be short bursts of RF (depending on the meter and how utilities choose to operate) but … it is a continual 24/7 battering of the body with cellular insults.” Especially if your bed is on the other side of a smart meter, if you live close to a bank of meters as in apartments, or if your smart meter acts as a neighborhood data collection, those pulsating bursts are more potent and frequent.

We have been guinea pigs for wireless technology for about 20 years with the widespread advent of cell phones, cordless phones, WiFi computers and smart meters, most connected to high power transmitting cell towers. Nonindustry sources have hundreds of studies calling for safety measures or reduction of wireless technology.

Among numerous resources are Public Health SOS by Camilla Rees and Magda Havas, 2009 video, “Take Back Your Power,” by Josh Del Sol (2014); and website, http://www.stopsmartmeters.com.

Paula Orloff lives in Nevada City.

http://www.theunion.com/opinion/columns/19538601-113/paula-orloff-smart-meters-arent-smart