COVID takes the Spotlight – as Wireless Radiation Risk is Mostly Ignored

by Monique Maisenhalter

While Ohio legislators and agencies are informing and advising us daily on how to protect ourselves from COVID-19, they could inform and advise us on how to protect ourselves from radiation exposure as well.

In 2011, the World Health Organization classified cell phone radiation as a possible carcinogen. American neurosurgeon, Dr. Keith Black, cautioned “Children’s skulls and scalps are thinner so the radiation can penetrate deeper into the brains of children and young adults.”

In 2012, then Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich, introduced the “Cell Phone Right to Know Act”. It was endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Children, Women More Vulnerable to Cell Phone Radiation

Washington D.C. (December 13, 2012) — The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) which represents “60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults” has endorsed H.R. 6358, the Cell Phone Right to Know Act.
See AAP’s letter of support here.

“Health effects from cell phone radiation are a potential concern for everyone that uses a cell phone, but children are among the most vulnerable as the doctors note in the letter. I am honored that such esteemed professionals support the Cell Phone Right to Know Act,” said Kucinich. “Our coalition is growing and broadening.”

The Cell Phone Right to Know Act, H.R. 6358, provides for warning labels on cell phones. It would also create a new national research program to study cell phones and health and require the Environmental Protection Agency to update the outdated Specific Absorption Rate.

More research about cell phone and wireless radiation exposure has been published since 2011. In addition to the Academy of American Pediatrics (AAP), doctors and scientists with the Baby Safe Project also recommend reducing exposure to children and pregnant women.

Since 2017, the California Department of Health has offered cell phone safety guidelines on its website. It includes recommendations on how to reduce exposure. The Ohio Department of Health could do the same. The California Department of Health guidelines could be used as a template.

Ohio utility companies have installed 2-way transmitting smart meters on Ohio homes and buildings. These meters involuntarily expose us to radiation. They also violate our right to privacy and have cybersecurity risks. Ohioans should be able to refuse smart meters and have traditional analog meters (electric, gas, and water) installed on their homes and businesses without paying expensive fees.

Cell towers, antennas, and WiFi hotspots are also sources of involuntary radiation exposure. Currently state and federal legislation doesn’t protect Ohioans from this infrastructure being installed near homes, schools, and hospitals.

Most would agree that the risks shouldn’t outweigh the benefits regarding new technology or anything else.

For more information about unsafe technology being installed in Ohio, join SWORT on Facebook (SW Ohio for Responsible Technology) or email swo4responsibletech@fuse.net Click here to review and sign our petition, “Stop 5G Deployment in Ohio Until Independent Studies Prove It’s Safe.”

Additional links:
American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations
Educate Yourself about Health Risks Posed by Smart Meters
Parent-Teacher Organizations Action on Wi-Fi, Cell Phones and Cell Towers at School
Schools Worldwide Removing the Wi-Fi and Reducing Exposure

 

Ohioans will not be intimidated, says Rep. Becker, as Yost seeks to have him sanctioned

State Representative John Becker said that the Ohio Attorney General’s attempt to have him sanctioned by the court for filing criminal charges against Gov. Mike DeWine is baseless and an attempt to intimidate other Ohioans from taking similar legal action.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on Thursday asked a state appeals court to reject Becker’s case and to sanction him for wasting the court’s time.

A sanction, by definition, is a penalty used to discipline someone into obedience with the law.

Yost also ridiculed Becker (R-District 65) on social media previously for filing the affidavit, calling the charges against DeWine “absurd” and a “political stunt.”

Yost posted a meme of DeWine as a werewolf holding a handgun while robbing a liquor store – comparing it to the absurdity of Becker’s affidavit.

Meme posted by Yost on social media

“The people of Ohio are not going to be intimidated by a DeWine puppet having visions of werewolves,” said Becker.

Several Ohioans have followed Becker’s lead and have filed private citizen affidavits in other counties.

As reported on Cleveland.com Thursday, to deter others from filing similar cases, Yost asked the court to either order Becker to pay attorney’s fees to the Clermont County prosecutor or to require him to “spend a day observing criminal trials in open court, so that he can better understand the gravity of the matters for which prosecutorial and judicial resources must be preserved.”

Said Becker, “The Ohio Revised Code, as well as case law, is clearly on the side of the people.

“It’s interesting that he’s that afraid to come after me. It means we are having an impact.”

Becker said he will continue leading the effort to have private citizen affidavits filed by Ohioans in every county until an investigation is initiated or a prosecutor or judge orders DeWine’s arrest for violating the rights of the people.

Becker formally filed the affidavit in Clermont County Municipal Court on Sept. 28, accusing Gov. Mike DeWine of seven felony and three misdemeanor charges. See the affidavit here. 

Gov. Mike DeWine is accused of multiple crimes carried out during COVID restrictions, including engaging in a pattern or corrupt activity, complicity, terrorism, making terroristic threats, inducing panic, conspiracy, bribery, interfering with civil rights, coercion and patient abuse or neglect.

When the county prosecutor’s office declined to investigate the charges, Becker asked the 12th District Court of Appeals to step in.

Becker is one of several Conservative Ohio House reps speaking out against the Governor.

DeWine’s favor appears to have fallen among conservatives.

The Republican Governor was recently ranked 35th in the nation  in a report by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a right-wing group of lawmakers and business people. The report contends that DeWine’s response to the pandemic has been below average and that lockdowns are hurting the economy.

In August, Becker introduced ten articles of impeachment against the Governor. The articles will remain open for legislators to sign on until mid-November, said Becker.

House Minority Leader Tweets, “Governor, We need leadership. This isn’t it.”

Social media watchers were in for a shock Thursday when a Democratic House rep spoke out against Governor Mike DeWine and his handling of COVID-19.

Shortly after DeWine’s Thursday presser, Minority Leader Emilia Sykes tweeted, “We don’t need anymore press conferences. We don’t need anymore special guests. We need a way out of the grip of the coronavirus. People want to work. Kids want to go to school. Ohioans need leadership. Governor we need leadership. This isn’t it.”

Sykes is the first Democrat to publicly criticize the Governor.

DeWine enlisted the help of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the press conference, inviting Christie to share his experience of battling COVID-19.

The former Governor said he contracted the virus when he went a short time without wearing a facemask.

Kudos to Sykes for speaking out on behalf of Ohioans who want their kids back in school, their businesses fully open and their freedoms restored.

Rep. John Becker who is leading an effort to impeach DeWine said he invites Sykes and the Democratic caucus to sign on to the Articles of Impeachment.

“I would look forward to working with Representative Sykes and the Democratic Caucus to remove DeWine from power and restore freedom to Ohioans,” said Becker.

Top Scientific Journals Refuse to Publish Results of World’s Largest Study on Face Masks

Three scientific journals have refused to publish the results of the first major scientific investigation into the effectiveness of using face masks, according to a leading Danish newspaper.

The apparent reason for the refusals? The study’s results might not show what is politically correct.

This headline appeared on the front cover of the Berlingske on Thursday: “Do face masks work? Top journals refuse to print the Danish answer.”

Translated, the newspaper stated, “Danish researchers are behind the world’s largest study of the effect of face masks. But in the midst of the corona crisis, three of the world’s leading scientific journals have in turn refused to publish the results of the study.

“The reason for the rejections is still as secret as the conclusions of the study, but the Danish researchers more than suggest that the results are controversial and that it will require publication.”

One can only speculate what “controversial” means. Does it indicate that the mask group had more infection?

A lack of effectiveness would probably not be considered “controversial,” since there is already little evidence that face mask prevent the spread of COVID.

Ohio Statehouse News will follow up as more information becomes available.

Flu Vaccine Required to Attend Spring Semester at University of Dayton

Undergrad tuition at the  University of Dayton is $44,890 this year, not including housing and a meal plan – but that won’t buy students the right to refuse the flu shot.

Students who do not receive the flu vaccination or do not submit an exemption will be required to study remotely for the Spring 2021 semester, said a recent communication sent to students.

The deadline to be vaccinated is Nov. 1.

The flu shot is provided  “free” – possibly the only thing at the university that won’t cost undergrads.

Students who receive the flu vaccine at an off-campus location must submit proof of vaccination, according to the university’s website.

“Your vaccine receipt/documentation must be attached to the email and include your name; student ID number and birthdate; provider name; and vaccine administration date,” the website states.

“For an exemption on medical, religious or philosophical grounds, you must read and fill out the form here and submit it to Premier Health Network, which is administering flu vaccine compliance and exemptions for the University, by emailing it to pchinformation@PremierHealth.com by Nov. 1,” the website states.

Students with exemptions will still be able to live on and come to campus, according to the site.

The exemption form can be seen here.

Dr. Eric F. Spina is president of  University of Dayton. Spina can be contacted by email.

Last year’s flu shot had an effectiveness rate of just 29 percent, according to the CDC.

As of Aug. 19, 2020, Massachusetts is the first and only state to require the flu vaccine to attend school.

A group in Boston has reportedly filed a class-action lawsuit against the state’s requirement that all children, ages six months and up, get a flu shot this year.

Ohio Restaurants Near Breaking Point while Governor Decides Curfew Options

An estimated 3,400 Ohio restaurants have closed and many more are at a breaking point, pleading with Gov. Mike DeWine to extend the current 10 pm curfew until midnight.

The curfew has had a “tremendously negative impact” on the restaurant industry.

The President and CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association John Barker said many businesses may not survive through the end of 2020 in an ORA Business Impact Update  on October 8.

COVID regulations forced restaurants to expend thousands of dollars on dining room partitions, cleaning, masks for employees, signs and other added safeguards.

At the same time, restaurant capacities were reduced and remain at reduced limits. This put spring and early summer sales down by thousands of dollars versus the same periods last year.

The 10 pm curfew was implemented on July 31.

Diane Hurd, vice president of Inspire PR Group, said the ORA
estimates about 10-15% of 23,000 Ohio restaurants have closed.

Hurd said it’s difficult to verify which closures are temporary and which are permanent.

Due to COVID-19 regulations, all Ohio bars and restaurants are prohibited from selling alcohol past 10 pm, and onsite consumption of alcohol must be finished by 11 p.m.

Barker said the curfew is having a “tremendously negative impact on sales, profits and employee income.”

The association requested that the curfew be pushed back to midnight in a September 22 letter to the Governor. On Thursday, DeWine told ORA board members and industry leaders that he has not yet made a decision.

Contact tracing data that shows spread and transmission at restaurants was requested by the ORA, but public health officials have so far not provided this information, according to information released by the ORA.

The ORA recommends restaurant and bar owners and operators write, email and call the Governor’s office to professionally express the impact this is having on your business and employees.

Ohio taxpayers funding flu shot incentive paid to state employees

The Governor is offering a “financial reward” to state employees who receive the flu shot this year.

The incentive is being funded in part by state tax revenue.

State workers who take the flu vaccine will be compensated $75 each and their spouses $25 each, according to an email sent out by Gov. Mike DeWine to “colleagues” on Oct. 5.

The incentive is paid through the Health Benefit Fund, which is 85 percent funded by the state, according to Mike DeWine’s press secretary Dan Tierney. Fifteen percent is funded through employee contributions, Tierney said.

Does that mean taxpayers are funding 85 percent of the $75 incentive?

“Because flu shots are paid for at point of sale through insurance providers, with no cost sharing to employees, the 85% percent statement on flu shots is inaccurate,” the press secretary explained.

“You can say the fund is funded that way, but not individual procedures or vaccinations.”

Tierney said employees have been eligible for various health-related incentives for many years.

Last year the Ohio Department of Administrative Services began plans to expand that to include preventative screenings and immunizations in conjunction with a move to a new wellness vendor, he said.

The flu vaccine is on average about 40 percent effective, say medical reports.

The overall effectiveness of the 2019 flu vaccine was 29%,  according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaccine effectiveness reports from CDC

 

 

Most Ohio Utilities have Installed Smart Meters. Do You Know About Their Cybersecurity Risks?

by Vince Welage, SWORT board member

Cyber Security Vital to Smart Metering Deployment

As the adoption of “Smart Meters” and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) has become more widespread, its appeal to cyber attackers has increased significantly.

This means that utility companies must address security vulnerabilities across multiple layers from the start. For the most part, utilities often rely on service providers and vendors to comply with cyber security regulatory requirements.

For this reason, many security compliance efforts have neglected the newly built “smart” infrastructures in power grids which suggest that electric utilities should expect them to have weaknesses.

In regard to cyber security – Duke Energy – has already been the target of cyber attacks and had to pay fines because of cyber security violations. Duke reported 650 million attempted cyber attacks in 2017. Another Ohio utility, First Energy, has confirmed the need for frequent replacement due to the meters being computers.

Because AMI allows for 2-way communication and remote management of in-field devices, security breaches could allow unwanted changes to be made to device configuration and settings. IBM has reported that millions of Smart Meters are already vulnerable and could be wrecked by hackers. If Smart Meters move to 5G networks, there is a more significant cyber security risk because the 5G technology is software based. This means the meter is subject to hackers using backdoor or calling home mechanisms that can go undetected when installed during regular software upgrades.

An electric Smart Meter is much the same as other Internet of Things (IoT) based products like a Smart TV or Smart refrigerator wrapped in privacy and security concerns. Federal IoT Guidelines that establish minimum security standards for IoT devices procured by the federal government is moving closer to becoming law. However, the Smart Meter can’t be disconnected and discarded unless the homeowner wants to lose total electric power to the home. Residential Smart Meter installations result in both unwanted and forced surveillance. Currently, utility Smart Meters aren’t safe. They don’t have surge protectors and are prone to fires and explosions. Advanced meters must be properly grounded and have surge protection that is adequately rated in order to divert a lightning strike or some kind of short-circuit incident.

All of these new power grid infrastructures are essentially large, distributed networks of computers that can be hijacked for financial gains. This means that criminal organizations have an ongoing mission to steal utility assets and sell them back to the utility. These bad actors go after what a utility relies on the most to operate: data and grid infrastructure.

Malware can be developed to target Smart Meters, launch it, and take control of tens of thousands if not millions of Smart Meters. The attackers then change the targeted utility security keys, pushing the utility out of their own infrastructure. Utilities are accepting of these types of security risks via remote software update because they expect the newly built computerized infrastructures will gain new capabilities, thus increasing the return on investment.

Smart Meters are often not just used for billing consumers for energy and water they use. Electric utilities use Smart Meters to remotely switch power off or use Smart Meter data in a series of business processes that base their decisions on information received from the Smart Meters in the field – such as signal and power quality levels used for fault detection and load balancing. By manipulating this data, attackers can directly change the view of a grid to their advantage.

In addition, Smart Meters are increasingly being used as grid sensors in Smart Sewers through real-time monitoring and control of overflow conditions inside the sewer system. This is an extremely insightful data point from a Smart Grid perspective.

Like other Smart infrastructure, there have been problems with Smart Sewers. For example, in South Bend IN, Smart Sewers have been overwhelmed which has led to sewage being directed into the river.

The Need for Early Detection and Response Planning

Despite the risks, Smart Meters are installed into the grid in an effort to keep companies competitive in the race to the Smart Grid. The switch-over to Smart Meters is in part due to federal mandates that promote Smart Grid projects which established a national policy for grid modernization. Efforts to secure these new technologies have largely focused on trying to prevent attacks from being successful. Therefore, utilities must invest in early detection and incident response, especially for their newer technologies that may not be procured, developed, or operated with a bad actor in mind. Attacks can be significantly hampered by early detection and pre-planned disaster response playbooks.

However, as of right now, solutions aren’t being applied quickly enough to the latest grid technologies. In May, President Trump issued an Executive Order to make the Smart Grid more secure. He ordered beefed-up efforts to secure the U.S. grid saying, “The unrestricted foreign supply of bulk-power system electric equipment constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”  However, new stories of cyber attacks hit the headlines almost every day which portends that not every attack can be blocked.

For more details on problems that persist with other Smart Meter components, read my August article in the OSHN archive.

Editor Notes: What to do if you have a smart meter and you don’t want it.

Make a Call (or better yet, write a letter via certified mail) to your utility and tell them you demand an analog meter.

If you have been made ill by your “smart’ meter,” tell them about it in detail. Tell them you know of the people who have gotten analogs. Tell them you are going to the press if they don’t do the same thing for you they have done for others.

Do not accept a digital non-transmitting meter— be aware they also have problems, and are not stable and secure like analog meters.

Do not take “No” for an answer.

Is it crazy to start a business in 2020? This Ohio couple did!

The COVID economy put thousands of small businesses under this year. But a Loveland couple, Eric and Tara Calderaro, didn’t let the COVID crisis stop them.

And the timing couldn’t have been better.

In late 2019, Eric left the corporate 9-5. He and Tara, a freelance graphic designer for 25 years, began pursuing a new business idea – to create their own brand of snarky, sassy, funny, inspirational, motivational and patriotic apparel, drinkware, home accents and accessories.

Tara  and Eric Calderaro, owners of The Wise Jester

The Wise Jester was set to launch in March. At the same time, COVID made its debut.

“COVID lockdowns in Ohio and across the country, stopped all that because it shut down our suppliers and printers, some of which are located in Ohio,” said Eric. “So, we were forced to delay our launch.”

But it all worked out for the best for the two entrepeneaurs.

During the downtime, like many Ohioans, Eric and Tara began to notice that some things about COVID-19 just didn’t add up.

“We were witnessing how the COVID cure was, in fact, worse than the disease for 99% of people, including for our family and our 2 children with autism,” said Tara.

As it turned out, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s overreaction to the new coronavirus was the basis for some of their most popular products. It served as inspiration for a host of COVID-related creations that the couple added to the store.

Coronavirus-related products

“The more we witnessed the needless suffering caused by DeWine’s arbitrary and unconstitutional mandates, the more compelled we felt to fight back and enable fellow Ohioans to stand up and speak up in a personal way by creating snarky designs focused on DeWine,” said Eric.

Shop All Ohio/Political

In addition, The Wise Jester has an entire shop dedicated to the Ohio Stands Up! movement. Ohio Stands Up! filed the first federal lawsuit challenging DeWine’s entire Emergency Order. Eric and Tara are among multiple plaintiffs and are on the Board of Directors for Ohio Stands Up!

The lawsuit will set a national precedent.

“When you purchase any of our Ohio Stands Up! products, you are directly supporting this grassroots organization, made up of courageous and concerned freedom-loving Ohioans,” said Tara.

“One hundred percent of the profits go directly to the organization to continue funding the legal action as well as educating the public.”

One of the numerous items in Ohio Stands Up! shop is this drawstring bag.

The couple continues to fight to return the state and their family to the “Old Normal” and restore Constitutional rights.

“We want to empower Ohioans and all Americans during this unprecedented time, to boldly express their patriotism, their beliefs in our God-given Constitutional rights and their love for freedom by designing products with those themes, while simultaneously incorporating our innate humor and sarcasm in many designs,” said Eric.

“As we tell our customers, we can’t solve your problems, but we can help you laugh about them while empowering you to live your life authentically.”

Middle schoolers punished for lowering masks to catch breath or take a drink

Detention, Saturday school and suspension possible, school advised parent.

The “New Normal” has been especially cruel to Ohio’s children.

Students are required to wear face coverings throughout the day to attend public school, due to mandatory mask orders from Gov. Mike DeWine.

This means children are in face masks for up to eight hours a day, five days a week. In addition, children are kept apart from peers and are unable to socialize at school, missing out on fundamental social development.

Each district issues its own consequences for those who don’t wear face coverings properly.

Ironically, one school has junior high students writing the preamble to the Declaration of Independence as punishment for mask violations.

Tri-County North Local School District near Dayton also threatens middle school students with Saturday school and suspension. This, after students lowered their masks to take a drink or catch their breath.

“Our children were not defiant, nor were they reminded to pull them up the day they were given the punishment,” said one of the parents on social media.

The post was made on the Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom Facebook page.

“They are good respectful kids, students, athletes that needed a breath.” Or, in one child’s case, a drink of water.

A junior high boy with allergies and breathing difficulties was ordered to write the Declaration of Independence for pulling his mask beneath his nose for some air, said the boy’s mother.

“Our son has missed three days of school for allergies because he couldn’t breathe with his face covered,” said the child’s mother.

She explained to school administrators that her son has allergies but they refused to relent.

“The Principal just told me the process will be: Because my son is not going to complete the assignment, he will be served a detention by the teacher.

“When he doesn’t serve the detention the principal will issue a Saturday school. When he does not attend that, he will be given a one day out of school suspension, of which we can appeal, and will do so.”

The parent said she also contacted the Preble County Department of Health and is scheduled to speak at an upcoming school board meeting.

Two other middle schoolers also violated the mask policy.

“Our daughter received the same punishment and she’s nothing like me, because I wouldn’t have done it. I told her I would fight for her but she was in fear of losing her 7th grade trip,” said her mother.

“I feel as if she was bullied.

“I personally wanted her to write the second amendment so they knew where I stood. She has bad allergies and stayed home the next day due to this teacher.”

A third student, who had his writing hand in a cast,  was served the same punishment. The teacher told him to write it with his other hand, said the parent.

At another school,  West Liberty-Salem Local School District, students with approved mask exemptions are shamed and isolated throughout the school day.

West Liberty-Salem Superintendent Kraig Hissong confirmed that mask-exempt students are isolated behind plexiglass at their desks and are kept apart from other students as much as possible throughout the school day.

A civil law suit that seeks to overturn Ohio’s mask mandate in K-12 public schools has been transferred out of Putnam County Common Pleas Court to Franklin County at the request of interim Ohio Department of Health Director Lance Himes, defendant in the case.

The case was brought by more than 20 Ohioans.