Thursday, August 28, 2014

Australian scientist calls for ‘heads to roll’ over adjusted temperature data (WUWT)


Anthony Watts / 2 days ago August 26, 2014

Yesterday we posted on BoM’s bomb on station temperature trend fiddling. where BoM claimed the trend difference was a result of a station move. Apparently, BoM can’t even keep track of their own station histories! Today, Dr. Jennifer Marohasy writes: Who’s going to be sacked for making-up global warming at Rutherglen?

She writes: HEADS need to start rolling at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The senior management have tried to cover-up serious tampering that has occurred with the temperatures at an experimental farm near Rutherglen in Victoria. Retired scientist Dr Bill Johnston used to run experiments there. He, and many others, can vouch for the fact that the weather station at Rutherglen, providing data to the Bureau of Meteorology since November 1912, has never been moved. Senior management at the Bureau are claiming the weather station could have been moved in 1966 and/or 1974 and that this could be a justification for artificially dropping the temperatures by 1.8 degree Celsius back in 1913.


The temperature record at Rutherglen has been corrupted by managers at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Surely its time for heads to roll!

The unhomogenized/raw mean annual minimum temperature trend for Rutherglen for the 100-year period from January 1913 through to December 2013 shows a slight cooling trend of 0.35 degree C per 100 years. After homogenization there is a warming trend of 1.73 degree C per 100 years. This warming trend is essentially achieved by progressively dropping down the temperatures from 1973 back through to 1913. For the year of 1913 the difference between the raw temperature and the ACORN-SAT temperature is a massive 1.8 degree C.

In the case of Rutherglen the Bureau has just let the algorithms keep jumping down the temperatures from 1973. To repeat the biggest change between the raw and the new values is in 1913 when the temperature has been jumped down a massive 1.8 degree C.In doing this homogenization a warming trend is created when none previously existed.

The Bureau has tried to justify all of this to Graham Lloyd at The Australian newspaper by stating that there must have been a site move, its flagging the years 1966 and 1974. But the biggest adjustment was made in 1913! In fact as Bill Johnston explains in today’s newspaper, the site never has moved.

Surely someone should be sacked for this blatant corruption of what was a perfectly good temperature record.

more here:

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Stunning Charts Showing Just How Much Richer The Rich Have Gotten While The Poor Drown In Debt (Zerohedge)


Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/21/2014 19:59 -0400


The Fed's epic wealth redistribution scheme has gotten so simple, even a 5 year old Census Bureau employee gets it.

In the latest Household Wealth report by the government agency, the Census found that for the period ended 2011 the rich got richer (and would get much richer in the subsequent 2.5 years), while the poor, i.e. the majority of the US population, got poorer. In fact, not only did the poor get poorer, but the first quintile of the US population, or the bottom 20% by net worth, certainly not by representation as it happens to be the most populated, saw a decline in net worth from negative $905 in 2000 to negative $6,029, in other words debt.  Remember this chart showing that the rich have assets and the poor have debt...

... Well here it is again, this time with numbers populated from the Census Bureau:

In the meantime the rich have gotten ridiculously rich. The numbers, for 2011, are straightforward: the median net worth of the top 20% rose 0.4% to $630,754, and has increased by $61,379 in net worth since the year 2000. A simple infographic showing this:

A time lapse at the change in net worth across all cohorts. Of note: the 4th and 5th quintiles have done well. Everyone else, not so much. In fact, the median net worth for all households declined by 6.8% ot $5,046 between 2000 and 2011!

This is how the Census phrases it:

Median net worth increased between 2000 and 2011 for households in the top two quintiles of the net worth distribution (the wealthiest 40 percent), while declining for those in the lower three quintiles (the bottom 60 percent), according to new statistics released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The result was a widening wealth gap between those at the top and those in the middle and bottom of the net worth distribution. Each quintile represents 20 percent, or one-fifth, of all households.

According to Distribution of Household Wealth in the U.S.: 2000 to 2011 and associated detailed tables, median household net worth decreased by $5,124 for households in the first (bottom) net worth quintile and increased by $61,379 (or 10.8 percent) for those in the highest (top) quintile (Figure 1). Median net worth of households in the highest quintile was 39.8 times higher than the second lowest quintile in 2000, and it rose to 86.8 times higher in 2011. (Figure 2).

The report also details a widening of the wealth gap for households sharing the same demographic characteristics, such as age, race and Hispanic origin, and educational attainment of the householder. For example, the median net worth for non-Hispanic whites in the highest quintile was 21.8 times higher than for those in the second-lowest quintile in 2000; in 2011, this had increased to 31.5 times higher. For blacks, the ratio increased from 139.9 to 328.1, and for Hispanics, the increase was from 158.4 to 220.9.

As noted above, keep in mind that this data is only through 2011. Based on historical data, and as we have reported previously total household net worth surpassed previous records in mid 2013 and is currently in uncharted territory courtesy entirely of the relentless engineered rise in the Fed-manipulated stock market. In fact, based on Q1 data, total household net worth is at a record high of $81.8 trillion, with the bulk of it, or $67 trillion, derived from financial assets.

Which means that in the interim two years the rich not only got even richer, but have now surpassed all previous records.

And by implication, America's poor, that 20% on the net worth scale which is far greater than 20% in terms of population and that has only debt to show and no assets, are currently so deep in debt, there is no wonder the US economy is a complete disaster to all but the choice few who comprise the top quntile, and to the paid economists and pundits who make money by cheerleading the "growing" US economy to its final resting place.

But nowhere is the "financialization" of the US economy more evident than in this chart showing the relative net worth ratio of quntile to the next quintile right below it. Quote Census: "The distribution of net worth became more spread out between 2000 and 2011. The ratio of median net worth of the highest quintile to the second quintile increased from 39.8 to 86.8 between 2000 and 2011, and the ratio of the highest quintile to the third quintile increased from 7.7 to 9.2. The ratio of the highest quintile to the fourth quintile was 3.0 in 2000 and showed no statistically significant change over this period." 

The surge took place precisely as the last credit bubble peaked and then burst. "Ironically" the richest did not get nearly as hurt as everyone else.

It is safe to say that the net worth ratio of the top quntile to the second higher is now, 2014, well over 100%. And to thin it was just 40% at the beginning of the century.

Here Census does a curious detour, because in addition to just wealth quntiles it also looks at wealth distribution by race. And while it is no surprise that in absolute terms rich whites are richer than rich blacks or hispanics, with a net worth at the end of 2011 of $754,244, $229,041 and $250,462 respectively...

... the wealth redistribution within the ranks is far greater among blacks than the other two racial cohorts. In fact, while the ratio of the wealthiest 20% of whites increased only modestly, the increase was somewhat greater for the fifth hispanic quintile, and soared for the richest 20% of all blacks.

From the Census: "the ratio of median net worth of non-Hispanic whites to that of blacks rose from 10.6 to 17.5 between 2000 and 2011, and the ratio of non-Hispanic whites to Hispanics also increased from 8.1 to 14.4. "However, when looking at the highest quintile for these groups, we see that blacks experienced higher relative increases in median net worth than non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics," Census Bureau economist Marina Vornovitsky said.

This is a finding that probably won't be mentioned too often by the president in his populist, race-baiting speeches.

Finally, why is any of this important?

Simple: the trends presented here confirm not only why class animosity within American society is at all time highs, they also explain why without the life support of the Fed, the US economy would crumple.

The chart below, which we have shown before, explains why: with the purchasing power of the poor being funneled to the rich couretsy of the Fed, and as a result of ever greater indebtedness which limits how much more debt they can carry, the poor have no choice but to consume less and less. Something which the US economy has demonstrated vividly to all but the 1% who continue to live, oblivious, in its ivory tower.


30 Facts That Prove The American Middle-Class Is Being Destroyed (ZeroHedge)



Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/21/2014 21:26 -0400

The 30 statistics that you are about to read prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the middle class in America is being systematically destroyed. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a staggering pace.  Yes, the stock market has soared to unprecedented heights this year and there are a few isolated areas of the country that are doing rather well for the moment.  But overall, the long-term trends that are eviscerating the middle class just continue to accelerate. 

Over the past decade or so, the percentage of Americans that are working has gone way down, the quality of our jobs has plummeted dramatically and the wealth of the typical American household has fallen precipitously.  Meanwhile, we have watched median household income decline for five years in a row, we have watched the rate of homeownership in this country decline for eight years in a row and dependence on the government is at an all-time high.  Being a part of the middle class in the United States at this point can be compared to playing a game of musical chairs.  We can all see chairs being removed from the game, and we are all desperate to continue to have a chair every time the music stops playing. The next time the music stops, will it be your chair that gets removed?

And in this economy, you don't even have to lose your job to fall out of the middle class.  Our paychecks are remaining very stable while the cost of almost everything that we spend money on consistently (food, gas, health insurance, etc.) is going up rapidly.  Bloomberg calls this "the no-raises recovery"...

Call it the no-raises recovery: Five years of economic expansion have done almost nothing to boost paychecks for typical American workers while the rich have gotten richer.

Meager improvements since 2009 have barely kept up with a similarly tepid pace of inflation, raising the real value of compensation per hour by only 0.5 percent. That marks the weakest growth since World War II, with increases averaging 9.2 percent at a similar point in past expansions, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by Bloomberg.

There are so many families out there that are struggling right now.  So many husbands and wives find themselves constantly fighting with one another about money, and they don't even understand that what is happening to them is the result of long-term economic trends that are the result of decades of incredibly foolish decisions.  Without middle class jobs, we cannot have a middle class.  And those are precisely the jobs that have been destroyed during the Clinton, Bush and Obama years.  Without enough good jobs to go around, we have seen the middle class steadily shrink and the ranks of the poor grow rapidly.

The following are 30 stats to show to anyone that does not believe the middle class is being destroyed...

1. In 2007, the average household in the top 5 percent had 16.5 times as much wealth as the average household overall.  But now the average household in the top 5 percent has 24 times as much wealth as the average household overall.

2. According to a study recently discussed in the New York Times, the "typical American household" is now worth 36 percent less than it was worth a decade ago.

3. One out of every seven Americans rely on food banks at this point.

4. One out of every four military families needs help putting enough food on the table.

5. 79 percent of the people that use food banks purchase "inexpensive, unhealthy food just to have enough to feed their families".

6. One out of every three adults in the United States has an unpaid debt that is "in collections".

7. Only 48 percent of all Americans can immediately come up with $400 in emergency cash without borrowing it or selling something.

8. The price of food continues to rise much faster than the paychecks of most middle class families.  For example, the average price of ground beef has just hit a brand new all-time record high of $3.884 a pound.

9. According to one recent study, 40 percent of all households in the United States are experiencing financial stress right now.

10. The overall homeownership rate has fallen to the lowest level since 1995.

11. The homeownership rate for Americans under the age of 35 is at an all-time low.

12. According to one recent survey, 52 percent of all Americans cannot even afford the house that they are living in right now.

13. The average age of vehicles on America’s roads has hit an all-time high of 11.4 years.

14. Last year, one out of every four auto loans in the United States was made to someone with subprime credit.

15. Amazingly, one out of every six men in their prime working years (25 to 54) do not have a job at this point.

16. One recent study found that 47 percent of unemployed Americans have “completely given up” looking for a job.

17. 36 percent of Americans do not have a single penny saved for retirement.

18. According to one survey, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

19. More than half of all working Americans make less than $30,000 a year in wages.

20. Only four of the twenty fastest growing occupations in America require a Bachelor’s degree or better.

21.  In America today, one out of every ten jobs is filled by a temp agency.

22. Due to a lack of decent jobs, half of all college graduates are still relying on their parents financially when they are two years out of school.

23. Median household income in the United States is about 7 percent lower than it was in the year 2000 after adjusting for inflation.

24. Approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.

25. It is hard to believe, but more than one out of every five children in the United States is living in poverty in 2014.

26. According to one study, there are 49 million Americans that are dealing with food insecurity.

27. Ten years ago, the number of women in the U.S. that had jobs outnumbered the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin.  But now the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.

28. If the middle class was actually thriving, we wouldn’t have more than a million public school children that are homeless.

29. If you can believe it, Americans received more than 2 trillion dollars in benefits from the federal government last year alone.

30. In terms of median wealth per adult, the United States is now in just 19th place in the world.



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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

This Is Your Recovery, And This Is Your Recovery Without Drugs (Zerohedge)



Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/19/2014 21:01 -0400

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”Thomas Jefferson

Does this chart portray an economic recovery in any way? Wages have been stagnant since the START of the supposed recovery in 2010. Real median household income, even using the highly understated CPI, is on a glide path to oblivion. You just need to observe with your own two eyes the number of Space Available signs in front of office buildings, strip centers and malls across America to realize we have further to fall. Low paying, part-time burger flipping jobs aren’t going to revive this debt saturated economic system. But at least the .1% are enjoying their Federal Reserve created high. Fiat is a powerful drug when administered in large doses to addicts on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 has risen from 666 in March of 2009 to 1,972 today. That is a 196% increase in a little over five years. During this same time, real household income has fallen by 7%. There have been a few million jobs added, while 11 million people have left the labor market. According to Robert Shiller’s CAPE ratio, the stock market valuation has only been higher, three times in history – 1929, 1999, and 2007. He seems flabbergasted by why valuations are so high. Sometimes really smart people can act really dumb.

The Federal Reserve balance sheet was $900 billion before the 2008 financial crisis. Today it stands at $4.4 trillion. The Fed has increased their balance sheet by 220% since the March 2009 market lows. Do you think there is any correlation between the Fed puppets printing $2.4 trillion and handing it to their Wall Street puppeteers, who used their high frequency trading supercomputers and ability to rig the markets so they never lose, and the third stock bubble in the last 13 years? It’s so self evident that only an Ivy League economist or CNBC anchor wouldn’t be able to see it.


Let’s look at the amazing stock market recovery without Federal Reserve heroine pumped into the veins of Wall Street banker addicts. If you divide the S&P 500 Index by the size of the Federal reserve balance sheet, you see the true purpose of QE1, QE2, and QE3. It wasn’t to save Main Street. It was to save Wall Street. Without the Federal Reserve funneling fiat to the .1% banking cabal and creating inflation in energy, food, and other basic necessities for the 99.9%, there is no stock market recovery. The recovery has occurred in Manhattan and the Hamptons. It’s been non-existent for the vast majority of people in this country. The wealth effect and trickle down theory have been disproved in spades. The only thing trickling down on the former middle class from the Fed is warm and yellow.


The entire stock market advance has been created on record low trading volumes and record high levels of monetary manipulation. Even though the Federal Reserve has driven senior citizens further into poverty with 0% interest rates, those with common sense have refused to be lured back into the lion’s den. They have parked record levels of fiat in no interest bank and money market accounts. They are tired of being muppets led to slaughter.

Quantitative easing was supposed to force little old ladies into the stock market and consumers to spend their debased dollars before they lost more value. The spending would revive the dormant economy just as the Keynesian text books promised. It didn’t happen. The peasants haven’t cooperated. Quantitative easing and ZIRP sapped the life from the middle class as their wages have stagnated and their living expenses have skyrocketed. Mission Accomplished by the Fed. Of course, the CNBC bimbos and shills would declare this $10.8 trillion to be money on the sidelines ready to boost the stock market ever higher. I love that storyline. It never grows old.

The MSM, government and Wall Street continue to flog the story about a housing recovery. It’s been nothing but a confidence game based upon the Fed’s easy money and the Wall Street scheme to buy up foreclosed properties with the Fed’s money. The scheme was to artificially boost home prices by restricting home supply through foreclosure manipulation, in order to allow the insolvent Wall Street banks to get out from under their billions in toxic mortgage loans.

Shockingly, the Case Shiller home price index has soared by 25% since 2012 despite first time home buyers being virtually non-existent and mortgage applications plunging to 14 year lows. How could that be? Don’t people need mortgages to buy houses? Isn’t real demand necessary to drive prices higher? Not when Uncle Ben and Madam Yellen are in charge of the printing press. Housing bubble 2.0 has arrived. I wonder if the Federal Reserve balance sheet increase of 50% since 2012 has anything to do with the new housing bubble.

It seems a similar result is obtained when dividing the Case Shiller Index by the size of the Fed’s balance sheet. The real housing market for real people is worse than it was in 2009. The national home price increase has been centered in the usual speculative markets, aided and abetted by the Fed’s easy money, managed by the Wall Street hedge funds, and exacerbated by the late arriving flippers who will be left holding the bag again. The Fed/ Wall Street scheme has priced young people out of the market and has failed to ignite the desired Keynesian impact. Investors/flippers account for 34% of all home sales. Foreigners with no knowledge of value metrics account for 30% of all home sales. The lesson of history is that most people don’t learn the lessons of history. The 2nd housing bubble in seven years is seeking a pin.

If ever you needed proof of the confidence game in its full glory, the chart below from Zero Hedge says it all. Mortgage rates have been falling for the past year, home builders have been reporting soaring confidence about the future, and the National Association of Realtors keeps predicting a surge in home buying any minute now. One small problem. Mortgage applications are in free fall, new home sales are at 1991 levels, and existing home sales are falling. Home prices have peaked and are beginning to roll over. The Wall Street hedgies are all looking to exit stage left. Young people are saddled with over a trillion of government issued student loan debt and millions of older subprime borrowers have been lured into more auto loan debt. Home sales will be stagnant for the next decade.

Quantitative easing will cease come October, unless Yellen and Wall Street can create a new “crisis” to cure with more money printing. By every valuation measure used over the last 100 years, stocks are overvalued by at least 50%. By historical measures, home prices are overvalued by at least 30%. Ten year Treasuries are yielding 2.4%, while true inflation is north of 5%. With real interest rates deep in negative territory, the bond market is even more overvalued than stocks or houses. These simultaneous bubbles have been created by the Federal Reserve in a desperate attempt to keep this debt laden ship afloat. Their solution to a ship listing from too much debt was to load it down with trillions more in debt. The ship is taking on water rapidly.

We had a choice. We could have bitten the bullet in 2008 and accepted the consequences of decades of decadence, frivolity, materialism, delusion and debt accumulation. A steep sharp depression which would have purged the system of debt and punishment of those who created the disaster would have ensued. The masses would have suffered, but the rich and powerful bankers would have suffered the most. Today, the economy would be revived, saving and investing would be generating needed capital for expansion, and banks would be doing what they are supposed to do – lending money to businesses and individuals. Instead, the Wall Street bankers won the battle and continue to pillage and loot the national wealth while impoverishing the masses.

The arrogance, hubris and contempt for morality displayed by the ruling class is breathtaking to behold. They think they are untouchable and impervious to norms followed by the rest of society. They may have won the opening battle, but will lose the war. Discontent among the masses grows by the day. The critical thinking citizens are growing restless and angry. They are beginning to grasp the true enemy. The system has been captured by a few malevolent men. When the stock, bond and housing bubbles all implode simultaneously, all hell will break loose in this country. It will make Ferguson, Missouri look like a walk in the park. I wonder if the occupants of the Eccles building in Washington DC will get out alive.

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”Henry Ford

Charts provided by Confounded Interest

Friday, August 15, 2014

8 Reasons Children of the 1970s Should All Be Dead ^ | 09 June 14 | Yeoman Lowbrow

Posted on ‎8‎/‎15‎/‎2014‎ ‎12‎:‎54‎:‎14‎ ‎PM by Drew68

The way things are going, every kid is going to go to school wearing bubble wrap and a helmet. Back in the 1970s (and earlier), parents didn’t stress about our health and safety as much as they do today. It’s not that they cared less – they just didn’t worry compulsively about it.

Parents of 2014 need to be reminded of how less restricted, less supervised, less obsessively safety-conscious things were… and it was just fine.


Can your mind comprehend a more deadly toy than a weighted spear that kids hurl through the air like a missile? No one ever obeyed the actual manufacturer’s rules, we just flung these damn things everywhere. We threw them. They stuck where they landed. If they happened to land in your skull, well, then you should have moved.

After roughly 6,700 emergency-room visits and the deaths of three children between 1978 and 1988, they finally outlawed Jarts on December 19, 1988. I suppose it needed to be banned, but a part of me is sad that kids today won’t have the battle scars and Jart survival stories we had. Goodbye Jart – you were an impaling arrow of death, but I loved you anyway.


Cars came with seat belts in the 1970s, but no one used them except maybe out of curiosity to see what it was like to wear one. Of course, you’d have to fish them out of the deep crevice of the backseat cushion where they often came to rest, unwanted and ignored.

The only “click” heard in the 1970s automobile was your dad’s Bic lighting up a smoke with the windows rolled up. (cough!)

I should also mention that, not only were there no seat belts, child seats were nowhere to be found. Whether it was the front seat of your mom’s station wagon or her bicycle, chances are, you were entirely untethered.


Remember when playgrounds were fun? Sure, there was a pretty good chance you’d be scalded by a hot metal slide, or walk away with tetanus, but that’s what memories are made of.

The ground wasn’t coated with soft recycled rubber or sand as most are today – they were asphalt. Remember being hurled from a spinning merry-go-round, then skidding across the gravel at full speed? Good times.

I remember my school playground had a metal ladder “wall” that I swear went up three stories – it didn’t connect to a slide or anything. It was literally a ladder to the sky. I remember fully believing the oxygen was thinner at the top. One false move and I’d have been a flesh colored stain on the asphalt.

According to the New York Times we are making playgrounds so safe that they actually stunt our kids’ development. So, while blood was spilt and concussions were dealt on the playgrounds of the 1970s, we were at least in a developmentally rich environment – and we had the bruises and scabs to prove it.


    “Tanfastic lets the sunshine in. It’s not loaded up with sunburn protection like old folks and kids want. Tanfastic’s for you 15-to-25 year olds who can take the sun. Especially if you want to get superdark. Superfast.”

Back in the 70s, your goal was to get as brown as your skin would permit. Sun BLOCK or sun SCREEN was basically nonexistent. You wanted to AMPLIFY your rays, so women typically lathered on Crisco and baby oil to get that deep baked look.

For the kids, SPF numbers hovered around 2, 4 and 8. The idea that you would spray an SPF of 50 or even 30 wasn’t even an option, except perhaps from medical ointments prescribed for albinos.


Whether you were riding a bike, roller skating, or skateboarding, one thing was for certain: you were not wearing a head protection. You would have been looked at as a sideshow freak by other kids, and parents would assume you had some kind of medical condition.


Hey, who’s watching the kid in the stroller? YOU MUST HAVE YOUR EYES ON THE KID AT ALL TIMES OR ELSE HE WILL DIE!

My mother routinely left me alone in the car at a young age while she ran errands. Today, this will literally get you arrested. You see, once upon a time it was okay to leave your kids for long periods without supervision (remember the so-called “latch-key kids” of the 70s?), or let them free roam without constant surveillance. Today, parents won’t let their kids go out to get the mail alone, and any fun with friends has to be scheduled, closely monitored “play dates”.

On summer break or weekends in the 1970s, parents kicked their kids out the front door and didn’t let them back in until the sun went down. “Go play,” were their only words, and you were left to your own devices for hours upon hours. Neighborhoods looked like Lord of the Flies.


This poor kid is about to get rammed in the nuts by a goat, and the nearby adult isn’t the least bit concerned. In fact, he finds this all incredibly amusing! As hard as this is to believe, but when kids got hurt back then, adults didn’t come running with first-aid kits. More than likely you’d be left alone with your pain, with no alternative but to get over it.

In the 70s, parents watched their offspring fall from trees and fall off bikes with a smile.


From airplanes to your family car, it seemed the world of the 70s was shrouded in a haze of cigarette smoke. It wasn’t just the fact that many more people smoked, it was the absolute 100% lack of concern for those that didn’t, including children. Teachers smoked, doctors smoked, your parents smoked…. and they didn’t take it to a secluded smoking area, they did it right in your face.

Please don’t interpret this as condoning it. There’s no question that engulfing your child in a thick carcinogenic cloud isn’t a good idea. I’m just stating facts – this is the world we lived in. It was full of adults who didn’t seem to have anxiety attacks over our safety, and we turned out just fine…. right?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pfizer, Lipitor, and Diabetes (The Market Ticker Karl Denninger)


I find this particular version of lawsuit lottery amusing.

(Reuters) - Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is facing a mounting wave of lawsuits by women who allege that the company knew about possible serious side effects of its blockbuster anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor but never properly warned the public.

In the past five months, a Reuters review of federal court filings shows, lawsuits by U.S. women who say that taking Lipitor gave them type-2 diabetes have shot up from 56 to almost 1,000.

Yes, blockbuster.  As in blockbuster profits.

There's a basic problem with the premise though: The lipid hypothesis, which is the predicate upon which all "cholesterol modification" therapies, including these drugs, rest is at best questionable and is likely nothing more than quackery.

The hypothesis arose from a single researcher named Ancel Keys; he published a claimed "Seven Countries Study" that allegedly showed that cardiovascular disease was caused by high serum (that is, blood) cholesterol levels and that was caused by eating a high-fat diet.

Keys, it is now known, preferentially selected data that showed what he wanted to show up front and ignored everything else.  Worse, there was no primary research either before his "study" nor was any conducted to validate his claims after it was published.

Indeed, when the full data set (not just his "seven") is re-analyzed -- all data that Keys had access to and intentionally ignored -- the correlation he claimed disappears.

In the interim, however, you've been told to eat less (or no!) saturated (animal) fats and eat lots of plant-based fats ("polyunsaturated".)  Since there are only three forms of food -- carbohydrate, protein and fat, if you eat less fat you must eat more of either protein or carbohydrate.  Very large amounts of protein are both extremely expensive and known to be tough on the kidneys, so the shift was obvious -- toward carbohydrates.  The agricultural lobby pressed for and furthered this and then added on to it extremely cheap sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup.  You see, when you remove fat from food it tends to taste like cardboard, so sugar in its various forms was substituted.

The government published its guidelines and your doctor chided and cajoled you to eat this way.  Advertising claiming that this or that was part of a good breakfast (and similar) has promoted this "lifestyle."

What did you get for it?  Diabetes and obesity, to name two undesirable things.

You also got a monstrous industry selling you pills to "lower" your cholesterol and guys and dolls in white coats steering you toward being both fat and dead while at the same time believing you're lying to them when in fact you're doing exactly what they told you to do when it comes to what you eat.

Companies like Pfizer love conditions like "high cholesterol" because they never go away.  You wind up on a statin and you'll be taking it for life, if you believe your doctor and the big pharma interests.  Nobody asks how in the hell anyone managed to survive before these drugs existed, or why they suddenly are necessary where they weren't before.

Rather than change what you eat you pop a pill.  But that doesn't change the obesity problem (at all) and while it might lower your cholesterol if that's not actually causing disease why in the hell would you want to do that?  Other than fattening the wallet of a pharmaceutical company, that is.  Remember that there is no such thing as a drug without side effects -- that is, risk.

So what risk did you take and for what improvement?  If the improvement is nil then any amount of risk is unwarranted and inappropriate since there is nothing to be gained!

1 in 10 Americans (approximately) are on Lipitor.  Do you actually believe that 1 in 10 people needs a permanent, life-long treatment that has racked up $130 billion in sales globally over the last 20 or so years? 

Again, how in the hell did we survive the previous thousands of years without it, if that's so?

Yes, I know that Pfizer claims that the "overwhelming consensus" in the medical community is that statins have benefits.  But there has been 50 years of overwhelming consensus about the lipid hypothesis in general and yet we now factually know both that it came about due to cherry-picking data and when re-evaluated using the full data set the claimed correlations disappeared.

In other words we know the overwhelming consensus upon which the entire paradigm of "lipid avoidance" has been based is factually wrong.

I don't know if Lipitor causes diabetes.  But what I do know by the manifest weight of the evidence is that being obese has a high correlation with development of the disease, and that the epidemic of obesity is well-correlated with the "medical advice" to avoid fats in one's diet and load up on the carbs.

I can also tell you from personal experience that ignoring that advice, eschewing carbohydrates and eating a high-fat, moderate protein and low-carb diet dropped 60 lbs off my body, and since I was at the same time tracking my caloric consumption due to exercise (by wearing a GPS-enabled watch and heart-rate strap while working out) I could only account for 20 of those pounds in the number of calories that I burned.  The other 40 therefore had to have come off as a direct and proximate result of changing what I put down my pie hole.  And no, you don't have to eat carbs to be able to perform athletically either.  I do just fine running 5ks and biking for ****s and grins without any carbohydrate input.

Further and at least as important, it is now 2014 and I began this program in the spring of 2011.  The weight loss was complete by the end of that year and it tapered off all on its own without any attempt to do so as my body, most-notably my belly, approached a "normal" appearance.  I was told repeatedly during that time that while I might lose weight eating low carb it would all come back and probably with interest besides.

Well, it's now coming up on three years hence and I still weigh between 150-155, depending on exactly when I step on the scale.  I do not count calories, I have maintained the change in what (not how much) I eat, and my weight has been stable the entire time despite wide variations in my workout schedule (go figure; I don't really enjoy doing long, strenuous runs in 95 degree heat with 100% RH readings nor do I like it when it's freezing-ass cold out either.)  Further, my glucose response and blood pressure are both normal and I can see my dick in the shower when standing straight up -- without having to suck in my gut.

I take no prescription medications of any sort and I've more than a half-century of years under my belt.

The plural of anecdote is not data, but my read of the literature strongly suggests that the entire statin industry was manufactured out of whole cloth predicated on what is now known to be a discredited hypothesis.

That, standing alone, ought to be enough for liability to attach when hundreds of billions of dollars have been siphoned off through what is now known to have been intentionally-doctored results -- that is, utter and complete bull****.