Tag Archive: Washington


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Geophysicists have imaged the magma chambers that blew the lid off Mount St. Helens in its 1980 eruption.

Dean J. Koepfler/MCT/Newscom

Geophysicists have imaged the magma chambers that blew the lid off Mount St. Helens in its 1980 eruption.

Deep magma chambers seen beneath Mount St. Helens

Geoscientists have for the first time revealed the magma plumbing beneath Mount St. Helens, the most active volcano in the Pacific Northwest. The emerging picture includes a giant magma chamber, between 5 and 12 kilometers below the surface, and a second, even larger one, between 12 and 40 kilometers below the surface. The two chambers appear to be connected in a way that could help explain the sequence of events in the 1980 eruption that blew the lid off Mount St. Helens.

So far the researchers only have a two-dimensional picture of the deep chamber. But if they find it extends to the north or south, that would imply that the regional volcanic hazard is more distributed rather than discrete, says Alan Levander, a geophysicist at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and a leader of the experiment that is doing the subterranean imaging. “It isn’t a stretch to say that there’s something down there feeding everything,” he adds.

Levander unveiled the results on 3 November at a meeting of the Geological Society of America in Baltimore, Maryland—the first detailed images from the largest-ever campaign to understand the guts of a volcano with geophysical methods. The campaign, “imaging magma under St. Helens” (iMUSH), started in 2014 when researchers stuck 2500 seismometers in the ground on trails and logging roads around the volcano. They then detonated 23 explosive shots, each with the force of a small earthquake. “You’d feel this enormous roll in the ground, and everyone would go, ‘Oh wow’,” Levander says.

 

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2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 181-7
Presentation Time: 9:35 AM

IMUSH: MAGMA RESERVOIRS FROM THE UPPER CRUST TO THE MOHO INFERRED FROM HIGH-RESOLUTION VP AND VS TOMOGRAPHY BENEATH MOUNT ST. HELENS

KISER, Eric1, LEVANDER, Alan2, PALOMERAS, Immaculada1, ZELT, Colin A.1, SCHMANDT, Brandon3, HANSEN, Steven3, HARDER, Steven4, CREAGER, Kenneth5 and VIDALE, John E.5, (1)Earth Science, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005, (2)Earth Science, Rice University, 6100 Main Street MS-126, Houston, TX 77005, (3)Earth & Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, (4)Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W. University Ave., El Paso, TX 79968, (5)Earth & Space Sciences, University of Washington, Johnson Hall Rm-070 Box 351310, 4000 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98195, alan@rice.edu
Seismic investigations following the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens have led to a detailed model of the magmatic and tectonic structure directly beneath the volcano. These studies suffer from limited resolution below ~10 km, making it difficult to estimate the volume of the shallow magma reservoir beneath the volcano, the regions of magma entry into the lower crust, and the connectivity of this magma system throughout the crust. The latter is particularly interesting as one interpretation of the Southern Washington Cascades Conductor (SWCC) suggests that the Mount St Helens and Mount Adams volcanic systems are connected in the crust (Hill et al., 2009).

 

The multi-disciplinary iMUSH (imaging Magma Under St. Helens) project is designed to investigate these and other fundamental questions associated with Mount St. Helens. Here we present the first high-resolution 2D Vp and Vs models derived from travel-time data from the iMUSH 3D active-source seismic experiment. Significant lateral heterogeneity exists in both the Vp and Vs models. Directly beneath Mount St. Helens we observe a high Vp/Vs body, inferred to be the upper/middle crustal magma reservoir, between 4 and 13 km depth. Southeast of this body is a low Vp column extending from the Moho to approximately 15 km depth. A cluster of low frequency events, typically associated with injection of magma, occurs at the northwestern boundary of this low Vp column. Much of the recorded seismicity between the shallow high Vp/Vs body and deep low Vp column took place in the months preceding and hours following the May 18, 1980 eruption. This may indicate a transient migration of magma between these two reservoirs associated with this eruption.

 

Outside of the inferred magma bodies that feed Mount St. Helens, we observe several other interesting velocity anomalies. In the lower crust, high Vp features bound the low Vp column. One explanation for these features is the presence of lower crustal cumulates associated with Tertiary ancestral Cascade volcanism. West of Mount St. Helens, high Vp/Vs regions in the upper and middle crust have eastern boundaries that are close to the eastern boundaries of the accreted Siletzia terrain inferred from magnetic data. Finally, a low Vp channel northeast of Mount St. Helens between 14 and 18 km depth correlates well with the location of the SWCC.

 

Its scarred and jagged crater is a reminder of the terrible devastation that Mount St Helens wrought over the Washington countryside 35 years ago.

Now a new study of the volcanic plumbing lurking beneath the 8,363ft (2,459 metre) summit suggests the volcano could yet again blow its top in an explosive eruption.

Geologists studying the volcano, which is responsible for the most deadly eruption in US history, have discovered a second enormous magma chamber buried far beneath the surface.

The IMUSH project has detected signs that a second larger magma chamber may lie beneath Mount St Helens, filling the chamber directly under the volcano from below (illustrated) through a series of earthquakes. The chamber may also connect Mount St Helens to other nearby volcanoes 

The IMUSH project has detected signs that a second larger magma chamber may lie beneath Mount St Helens, filling the chamber directly under the volcano from below (illustrated) through a series of earthquakes. The chamber may also connect Mount St Helens to other nearby volcanoes

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Clover sprouts are the source of an E.coli outbreak at Jimmy John'sRaw clover sprouts on Jimmy John’s and other fast food sandwiches are the likely source of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 10 people in Washington and Idaho, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Seven people have confirmed cases of E. coli O121 poisoning and three have probable cases. Five people have been hospitalized.

Health officials are warning consumers not to eat raw clover sprouts from Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC of Idaho. They were distributed to restaurants and grocery stores in the northwest.  “If you have these products at home, you should throw them out.,” said Washington State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy.

In Washington, the sprouts were served on sandwiches at Jimmy John’s locations in King and Spokane counties and two Pita Pit locations in Spokane County. In Idaho, they were served at a Daanen’s Deli and a Jimmy John’s in Kootenai County. All of the restaurants have voluntarily suspended serving sprouts.

 

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Reuters

Magma rising in Washington state’s Mount St. Helens volcano: USGS

SEATTLE Thu May 1, 2014 3:35pm EDT

Visitors to the Coldwater Ridge Center look up at Mount St. Helens venting steam October 11, 2004. REUTERS/Andy Clark

Visitors to the Coldwater Ridge Center look up at Mount St. Helens venting steam October 11, 2004.

Credit: Reuters/Andy Clark


(Reuters) – Magma levels are slowly rebuilding inside Mount St. Helens, a volcano in Washington state that erupted in 1980 and killed 57 people, although there was no sign of an impending eruption, U.S. scientists said.

The roughly 8,300-foot volcano erupted in an explosion of hot ash and gas on May 18, 1980, spewing debris over some 230 square miles and causing more than a billion dollars in property damage. Entire forests were crushed and river systems altered in the blast, which began with a 5.2 magnitude earthquake.

“The magma reservoir beneath Mount St. Helens has been slowly re-pressurizing since 2008,” the U.S. Geological Survey said in a statement on Wednesday. “It is likely that re-pressurization is caused by (the) arrival of a small amount of additional magma 4 to 8 km (2.5 to 5 miles) beneath the surface.”

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Mount St. Helens erupting March 18th, 1980  by  U.S. government

Wikimedia.org

File:Mount St. Helens erupting blue.jpg

U.S. Geological Survey scientist examines pumice blocks at the edge of a pyroclastic flow from the May 18, 1980 eruption.  by  United States Geological Survey  –  Donald A. Swanson

Wikimedia.org

File:Pyroclastic Flow St. Helens.jpg

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Mount Saint Helens, State of Washington, United-States  7 September 2004  by  TjkFlickr

Wikimedia.org

File:Mount St Helens4.jpg

 

 

Crater / Plume image Mount St. Helens. United States Geological Survey photograph taken at 12:13:01 PDT (19:13:01 GMT) on October 1, 2004, by John Pallister

Wikimedia.org

File:MSH04 crater eruption image 1213PDT 10-01-04.jpg

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Mount St. Helens volcano, Washington, USA.  June 7th, 2012  by  Brigitte Werner (werner22brigitte)

Wikimedia.org

File:Mount St Helens USA 20120607.jpg

A panorama of Mount St. Helens  Decenber 18th ,2013  by   Eviatar Bach

Wkimedia.org

File:Panorama of Mount St. Helens.jpg

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Watch this video

Deaths tied to VA hospital’s secret list

 

(CNN)

The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.

For six months, CNN has been reporting on extended delays in health care appointments suffered by veterans across the country and who died while waiting for appointments and care. But the new revelations about the Phoenix VA are perhaps the most disturbing and striking to come to light thus far.

Internal e-mails obtained by CNN show that top management at the VA hospital in Arizona knew about the practice and even defended it.

Dr. Sam Foote just retired after spending 24 years with the VA system in Phoenix. The veteran doctor told CNN in an exclusive interview that the Phoenix VA works off two lists for patient appointments:

There’s an “official” list that’s shared with officials in Washington and shows the VA has been providing timely appointments, which Foote calls a sham list. And then there’s the real list that’s hidden from outsiders, where wait times can last more than a year.

Deliberate scheme, shredded evidence

“The scheme was deliberately put in place to avoid the VA’s own internal rules,” said Foote in Phoenix. “They developed the secret waiting list,” said Foote, a respected local physician.

The VA requires its hospitals to provide care to patients in a timely manner, typically within 14 to 30 days, Foote said.

According to Foote, the elaborate scheme in Phoenix involved shredding evidence to hide the long list of veterans waiting for appointments and care. Officials at the VA, Foote says, instructed their staff to not actually make doctor’s appointments for veterans within the computer system.

Instead, Foote says, when a veteran comes in seeking an appointment, “they enter information into the computer and do a screen capture hard copy printout. They then do not save what was put into the computer so there’s no record that you were ever here,” he said.

According to Foote, the information was gathered on the secret electronic list and then the information that would show when veterans first began waiting for an appointment was actually destroyed.

“That hard copy, if you will, that has the patient demographic information is then taken and placed onto a secret electronic waiting list, and then the data that is on that paper is shredded,” Foote said.

“So the only record that you have ever been there requesting care was on that secret list,” he said. “And they wouldn’t take you off that secret list until you had an appointment time that was less than 14 days so it would give the appearance that they were improving greatly the waiting times, when in fact they were not.”

I feel very sorry for the people who work at the Phoenix VA. They all wish they could leave ’cause they know what they’re doing is wrong.
Dr. Sam Foote

Foote estimates right now the number of veterans waiting on the “secret list” to see a primary care physician is somewhere between 1,400 and 1,600.

Doctor: It’s a ‘frustrated’ staff

“I feel very sorry for the people who work at the Phoenix VA,” said Foote. “They’re all frustrated. They’re all upset. They all wish they could leave ’cause they know what they’re doing is wrong.

“But they have families, they have mortgages and if they speak out or say anything to anybody about it, they will be fired and they know that.”

Several other high-level VA staff confirmed Foote’s description to CNN and confirmed this is exactly how the secret list works in Phoenix.

Foote says the Phoenix wait times reported back to Washington were entirely fictitious. “So then when they did that, they would report to Washington, ‘Oh yeah. We’re makin’ our appointments within — within 10 days, within the 14-day frame,’ when in reality it had been six, nine, in some cases 21 months,” he said.

November: A dire situation in South Carolina

Thomas Breen was so proud of his time in the Navy that he wanted to be treated only at a VA facility, his family says.

In the case of 71-year-old Navy veteran Thomas Breen, the wait on the secret list ended much sooner.

“We had noticed that he started to have bleeding in his urine,” said Teddy Barnes-Breen, his son. “So I was like, ‘Listen, we gotta get you to the doctor.’ “

Teddy says his Brooklyn-raised father was so proud of his military service that he would go nowhere but the VA for treatment. On September 28, 2013, with blood in his urine and a history of cancer, Teddy and his wife, Sally, rushed his father to the Phoenix VA emergency room, where he was examined and sent home to wait.

“They wrote on his chart that it was urgent,” said Sally, her father-in-law’s main caretaker. The family has obtained the chart from the VA that clearly states the “urgency” as “one week” for Breen to see a primary care doctor or at least a urologist, for the concerns about the blood in the urine.

“And they sent him home,” says Teddy, incredulously.

Sally and Teddy say Thomas Breen was given an appointment with a rheumatologist to look at his prosthetic leg but was given no appointment for the main reason he went in.

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Veterans dying waiting for healthcare

Are we fulfilling our promise to veterans?

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Washington Examiner.com

 

By Paul Bedard | APRIL 18, 2014 AT 1:05 PM

More than half of the nation’s union members, most of whose Washington-based executives support President Obama and use dues to support Democrats, fear the government, a remarkably high number that even tops the 42 percent of gun owners who fear Uncle Sam, according to a new poll.

Overall, Rasmussen Reports said on Friday that 37 percent of likely voters fear the government. They didn’t poll what they feared. Some 47 percent do not fear the federal government, and 17 percent said they were unsure.

Among union workers, 52 percent of those in the poll expressed fear, compared to 30 percent who said they don’t worry about the federal government. Nearly half the nation’s gun owners, 49 percent, don’t fear the Feds.

The poll suggested that the reason for the concerns among voters is the belief that Washington is a threat to individual liberty, not a protector.

 

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Washington Examiner

EXography: State government dependence on federal funding growing at alarming rate

By David Freddoso | APRIL 15, 2014 AT 5:18 AM

Source: Annual Survey of State Government Finances, U.S. Census Bureau

Only 11 states depended on the federal government for more than one-third of their total revenues in 2001. By 2012, 24 states found themselves in this situation.

State-by-state data from the U.S. Census Bureau, compiled by the State Budget Solutions nonprofit, illustrates the trend of increasing state dependence on federal financial assistance.

Forty-one of the 50 states have become more dependent on the federal government since 2001 — with federal dollars accounting for an increasing share of their total revenues.

This trend of increased state dependency on Washington reduces state and local control, while threatening the states’ long-run autonomy.

The reason is that with federal patronage comes federal leverage. The original Obamacare plan, for example, was to force states to expand Medicaid by threatening them with loss of all federal matching Medicaid funds if they refused.

Although that particular scheme was struck down by the Supreme Court, state governments hate to turn down revenue, and federal dollars have strings attached that force states either to operate as Washington prefers or lose the money.

This problem is exacerbated by the federal government’s control of the currency and ability to borrow virtually unlimited amounts of money.

 

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Published on Apr 14, 2014

Published on Feb 19, 2014
Nuclear Hotseat~Host Libbe HaLevy

Please REMIX and SHARE this important information with Credits to:
Libbe HaLevy and Nuclear Hotseat
http://www.NuclearHotseat.com/blog

INTERVIEWS:
Don Hancock of the Southwest Research and Information Center on the fire and radiation release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, NM — two separate incidents within 10 days that point to a company culture that fails to take proper precautions.
CONTACT: sricdon@earthlink.net

Indian filmmaker Pradeep Indulkar, director of “High Power,” winner of the 2013 Uranium Film Festival Yellow Oscar for Best Short Documentary. To book the film or purchase a DVD,
CONTACT: highpower@docwebs.com

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:
Close this week, but we revisit the Fukushima Kids’ Cancer Seminar to learn how their slogan, “Especially because this is Fukushima, we need the best cancer education in Japan!” Learn what happens when the event’s organizer gets asked how that creepy slogan got picked and why children of Fukushima need “cancer education.”

PLUS:
*”Experts” miss possible Hanford implications in Washington state rare birth defect cluster;
*Massive cracks found at Fukushima near radioactive water storage tanks;
*Fukushima dental assn. to study radiation in baby teeth (shades of Operation Tooth Fairy);
*UK nuclear sites at risk of flooding;
*The Irish will soon be able to sue the UK for Sellafield radiation damages;
*The NRC DUCK! and Cover Report;
*Radcast w/Mimi German;
…and more!

LINKS:
Interview w/Tokyo-based physician Shigeru Mita on the need to evacuate from Tokyo, an interview by Nelson Groom for Vice.com: http://nsgroom.wordpress.com/2014/02/

Petition to support journalist Mari Takenouchi and support her effotts to protect children living in areas contaminated with radioactivity: http://www.credomobilize.com/petition

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KING 5.com

Sick Hanford workers speak out for first time

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    by SUSANNAH FRAME / KING 5 News

    Bio | Email | Follow: @SFrameK5

    Posted on April 8, 2014 at 10:49 PM

     

    Exposure to potentially harmful chemical vapors sent 26 workers at the Hanford Site to a Richland hospital or an on-site medical clinic in the two-week period starting March 19.

    For the first time, two of those workers talk on camera with KING 5 about their experience — and the symptoms and problems they continue to exhibit nearly two weeks after breathing in vapors that vented from underground tanks and pipes that hold vast amounts of toxic chemicals and radioactive isotopes.

    On March 19 health physics technician Steve Ellingson and a partner were near the AY and AZ tank farms at Hanford when they noticed a chemical smell.

    “It got really bad. We could smell it, we could taste it. It has a coppery taste,” Ellingson said. “We both started to have problems with our chest and our throats.”

    They exited the area after the smell seemed to get worse. Afterward, he said he couldn’t get the taste of out his mouth, and he began to experience nausea.

    Over the next few days, Ellingson said he was evaluated at the on-site medical clinic, at a local emergency room and by his own doctor. None could find the cause for his symptoms, which he said worsened after the first day, with lung irritation, violent coughing and fatigue continuing to this day.

    “It’s like I can’t get a good deep breath. It’s like a shallow breath all of the time,” he told KING 5 two weeks after the exposure.

    Becky Holland, also a health physics technician at Hanford, breathed chemical vapors a week later while working with a team at the T tank farm. The group was preparing to shoot video of the inside of one of the waste storage tanks.

    After a riser cover was removed, Holland said the group began to smell fumes. The group moved upwind to escape the smell, but the fumes only seemed to get worse — even workers wearing respirators reported they could smell it. An emergency evacuation order was issued.

    Holland said he began to feel bad immediately. “I started feeling kind of numb, my face, and instant headache,” Holland said. “And then I started shaking really bad and sweating. It scared me.”

    A 28-year veteran of the Hanford Site, Holland said, “I’ve smelled things before. I’ve been exposed to things before, but never been exposed to something or been affected the way that I was [on March 26].”

    Holland was rushed to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland. “I was scared. I was shaking. I was profusely sweating and [had] a horrible headache,” she said.

    She was evaluated and released the same day. The headache continued, she said, and the next day she began to experience nosebleeds so severe and persistent that she later had the inside of her nose cauterized.

    “I’ve never experienced anything this bad,” Holland said.

    “I’ve walked through this stuff a hundred times,” said Ellingson, a 22-year Hanford veteran. “I’ve tasted it. I’ve smelled it and it’s never bothered me. But now for two weeks I’ve had trouble and I don’t like it.”

    Cleared for work

    The 586-square-mile Hanford Site is home to 177 tanks holding the waste generated by more than four decades of plutonium production — a messy process that involves using caustic chemicals to dissolve nuclear reactor fuel rods to extract small amounts of plutonium. Twenty-five years after plutonium production ceased at the site, 56 million gallons of highly radioactive chemical waste remains to be treated for long-term storage. The tanks hold chemicals such as ammonia, butanol, formaldehyde and mercury. Much of the waste actively emits gas, which is vented through filters designed to remove radioactive particles. Chemicals, however, often pass through.

    All 26 workers who reported being exposed to chemical vapors starting on March 19 were quickly cleared to return to work by the on-site clinic.

     

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    KING 5.com

    Hanford worker exposed again to airborne irritant

    Hanford worker exposed again to airborne irritant

    Credit: KING 5 News

    The HPMC Hanford Occupational Health Service clinic in Hanford’s 200-West Area.

    by SUSANNAH FRAME / KING 5 News

    Bio | Email | Follow: @SFrameK5

    Posted on April 9, 2014 at 6:41 PM

     

    A Hanford worker who was sickened by exposure to chemical vapors on March 19 was exposed to  another unknown substance Wednesday, prompting a trip to Hanford’s on-site medical clinic.

    Sources told KING 5 that the worker, who missed approximately 10 days of work after March 19 and is under a physician’s order to avoid lung irritants on the job, had trouble breathing after working in an area that was not free of aggravating substances.

    The sources said the worker was taken to HPMC, the on-site medical clinic at Hanford, where he was evaluated, released and declared fit to return to work on Thursday, despite his continued breathing problems. The medical professionals told the worker that he is to stay indoors Thursday and work at a desk, the sources said.

    Twenty-six workers have been transported to the hospital or HPMC after detecting chemical vapors in different Hanford waste tank farms. The Department of Energy and its contractors at the site have insisted that worker safety is a top priority and that the affected workers were evaluated by independent health experts before being returned to duty.

     

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    China tells US not to meddle in Hong Kong’s internal affairs

    Published time: April 07, 2014 19:47

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.(Reuters / Ints Kalnins)

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.(Reuters / Ints Kalnins)

    China has warned the United States against meddling in Hong Kong’s internal affairs after Vice President Joe Biden met with two former Hong Kong legislators who expressed concern that Beijing is tightening control over the territory.

    Biden met with Anson Chan, former chief secretary and founder of pro-democracy group Hong Kong 2020, and Martin Lee – founder of Hong Kong’s opposition Democratic Party – at the White House on Friday.

    During the meeting, the activists spoke out against whey they described as Beijing’s increasing control over Hong Kong. They also said they fear that only candidates picked by the central government will be allowed to take part in the 2017 chief executive vote. Lee and Chan also voiced concerns over press freedom in Hong Kong – referring to violent assaults on journalists and alleging that Beijing is pressuring advertisers to shun critical media, AFP reported.

    Vice President Biden underscored Washington’s “long-standing support for democracy in Hong Kong and for the city’s high degree of autonomy under the ‘one country, two systems’ framework,” the White House said in a statement.

    In response, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it “firmly opposes any countries meddling in the city’s internal affairs in any way,” South China Morning Post quoted.

    Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs,” said a spokesperson for the Office of the Commissioner of the Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong.

    The official added that Hong Kong is currently going through a sensitive political reform period.

    [We] would hope the US would be cautious of their words and actions regarding Hong Kong affairs and not let Hong Kong issues impede Sino-American relations,” he noted.

     

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    File:Obama Chesh 2.jpg

    Barack Obama

    Author  :  Elizabeth Cromwell

    A/SA – 3.0 Unported

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    Obama Issues Threats To Russia And NATO — Paul Craig Roberts

    Obama Issues Threats To Russia And NATO

    Paul Craig Roberts

    The Obama regime has issued simultaneous threats to the enemy it is making out of Russia and to its European NATO allies on which Washington is relying to support sanctions on Russia. This cannot end well.

    As even Americans living in a controlled media environment are aware, Europeans, South Americans, and Chinese are infuriated that the National Stasi Agency is spying on their communications. NSA’s affront to legality, the US Constitution, and international diplomatic norms is unprecedented. Yet, the spying continues, while Congress sits sucking its thumb and betraying its oath to defend the Constitution of the United States.

    In Washington mumbo-jumbo from the executive branch about “national security” suffices to negate statutory law and Constitutional requirements. Western Europe, seeing that the White House, Congress and the Federal Courts are impotent and unable to rein-in the Stasi Police State, has decided to create a European communication system that excludes US companies in order to protect the privacy of European citizens and government communications from the Washington Stasi.

    The Obama regime, desperate that no individual and no country escape its spy net, denounced Western Europe’s intention to protect the privacy of its communications as “a violation of trade laws.”

    Obama’s US Trade Representative, who has been negotiating secret “trade agreements” in Europe and Asia that give US corporations immunity to the laws of all countries that sign the agreements, has threatened WTO penalties if Europe’s communications network excludes the US companies that serve as spies for NSA. Washington in all its arrogance has told its most necessary allies that if you don’t let us spy on you, we will use WTO to penalize you.

    So there you have it. The rest of the world now has the best possible reason to exit the WTO and to avoid the Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic “trade agreements.” The agreements are not about trade. The purpose of these “trade agreements” is to establish the hegemony of Washington and US corporations over other countries.

    In an arrogant demonstration of Washington’s power over Europe, the US Trade Representative warned Washington’s NATO allies: “US Trade Representative will be carefully monitoring the development of any such proposals” to create a separate European communication network. http://rt.com/news/us-europe-nsa-snowden-549/

    Washington is relying on the Chancellor of Germany, the President of France, and the Prime Minister of the UK to place service to Washington above their countries’ communications privacy.

    It has dawned on the Russian government that being a part of the American dollar system means that Russia is open to being looted by Western banks and corporations or by individuals financed by them, that the ruble is vulnerable to being driven down by speculators in the foreign exchange market and by capital outflows, and that dependence on the American international payments system exposes Russia to arbitrary sanctions imposed by the “exceptional and indispensable country.”

     

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