Natural Hazard – Volcano Activity: New Eruptive Phase
South-America – Ecuador | Quito Region, Andes, Reventador Volcano
Location: S 0° 4.680, W 77° 39.420
Elevation: 3,562 m (11,686 ft)
Volcano Activity on Thursday, 24 April, 2014 at 22:02 (22:02 PM) UTC.
A new phase of intense activity with possible lava fountains and new lava flows began at the volcano yesterday.
Over the past weeks, the volcano had been in a state of mild intermittent strombolian explosions, but experienced a rapid increase in activity yesterday after around 15:00 local time. Infrared webcam images (collected by Culture Volcan) suggest that a phase of lava fountaining or much stronger strombolian explosions took place. The apparent surge in lava emission also seems to have produced a new lava flow about 3-400 m long. This increase in activity is clearly visible in the corresponding seismic signal and likely continues at the moment.
April 2014 Activity:
Volcano Activity on Friday, 18 April, 2014 at 08:58 (08:58 AM) UTC.
The volcano continues to produce small to medium explosions with ash plumes rising up to 1.5 km. A MODIS hot spot indicates the presence of fresh lava at the summit, but there seems to be currently no lava flow.
9 April-15 April 2014
IG reported that activity at Reventador remained high on 9-15 April; numerous explosions were detected each day. Steam-and-ash plumes rose less than 1 km above the crater and drifted W during 9-10 April. Lava flows down the SW flank were reported on 9 and 11 April. Clouds obscured views during 12-15 April.
Activity continues at moderate levels with small intermittent explosions.
2 April-8 April 2014
IG reported that cloud cover occasionally prevented visual observations of Reventador during 2-8 April; activity remained high. A steam-and-ash plume rose 3 km and drifted E on 2 April, and a thermal camera detected hot material on the flanks. Four lava flows on the S and SE flanks were observed on 3 April. Ash emissions were observed the next day. On 5 April sporadic ash emissions rose 1 km and drifted W. On 6 April water vapor emissions with low amounts of ash rose 500 m and drifted NW. During 7-8 April lava flows continued to descend the S and SE flanks. On 8 April vapor emissions with small amounts of ash were observed.
Activity remains high. The volcano produces frequent small ash explosions and lava extrudes in a new flow on the upper eastern flank.
Natural Hazard – Volcanic Eruption
Indonesian Archipelago – Indonesia | Central Java, Mount Merapi Volcano
Location: S 7.542°, E 110.442°
Elevation 2,968 m (9,735 ft)
Damage Level: unknown
16 April-22 April 2014
PVMBG reported that Merapi observers at the Ngepos post noted white plumes rising 300 m above the lava dome on 15 April. Seismicity increased during 18-20 April. During 0426-0440 on 20 April an explosion occurred and rumbling was heard in areas as far as 8 km away. Ash plumes were observed from some observations posts, but foggy conditions prevented views from others. Based on satellite images and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 10.7 km (35,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 260 km WNW. PVMBG noted that ashfall was reported in areas within 15 km S, SW, and W. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 1-4).
Merapi, one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes, lies in one of the world’s most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately north of the major city of Yogyakarta. Merapi is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. Growth of Old Merapi volcano beginning during the Pleistocene ended with major edifice collapse perhaps about 2000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequently growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive activity, began SW of the earlier collapse scarp. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the volcano’s western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities during historical time. The volcano is the object of extensive monitoring efforts by the Merapi Volcano Observatory.
Fewer doctors , fewer hospitals, no choices even if we have the money for services. With these consequences of centralized Governmental bureaucratic control of Health Care we are supposed to expect better ?
By Rick Moran via American Thinker
No doubt you’ve already heard of the new Independent Payment Advisory Board – Sarah Palin’s “Death Panel.” The sweeping, unaccountable powers of this agency threaten widespread rationing of Medicare dollars. Thankfully, due to incompetence and the administration being busy with other Obamacare chores, the 15 experts that will sit on the IPAB board haven’t even been nominated yet, so we are spared their tender ministrations for the time being.
But you’ve probably never heard of Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation – a wicked stepchild of Obamacare – that will have broad, sweeping powers to change Medicare without congressional approval.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has flown below the political radar. That’s due to its seemingly innocuous mission: promoting new and more efficient “payment systems” and “models of care.” But this agency is just as dangerous as IPAB. It is a bureaucracy within the massive Department of Health and Human Services superstructure and therefore run by the president’s political appointees. But unlike most of the federal bureaucracy, the agency never has to go back to Congress to get an appropriation. ObamaCare provided it with $10 billion, upfront, to cover its costs for a full 10 years.
At the end of that first decade, and every decade thereafter, the agency will get another $10 billion appropriation. This massive infusion of funding has allowed the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to grow from 68 employees in 2012 to a planned 440 full-time workers in 2015. About 10% of the agency’s funding is going to personnel and administrative expenses.
Permanent, recurring appropriations are sometimes provided to federal agencies fighting fraud and abuse. But Congress generally requires other agencies to request a new appropriation every year. It’s one important check against bureaucratic abuse of power. And it’s a check that this agency will never have to go through.
The statute also gives the Center wide-ranging authority to alter the Medicare and Medicaid programs without further congressional action. It is supposed to be testing new ways to pay providers of medical services. Changes that are found through pilot programs to reduce costs without harming quality, or found to be budget neutral while improving quality, can be implemented nationwide through regulatory fiat.
A billion dollars over 10 years for staffing this agency. All those people have to be given something to do. Just what is it they’re planning?
The agency’s broad mandate reveals the mind-set of ObamaCare’s authors. The premise is that the federal government is best positioned to lead an effort in innovation in medical delivery, despite all evidence to the contrary. The history of Medicare’s payment systems over four decades is one of politicized decision-making by regulators, protection of incumbent providers, and roadblocks to new medical technologies and new ways of doing business, such as using information technology to consult with patients, or employing non-physician clinics for routine patient care. It’s the opposite of an environment conducive to innovation. Consequently, inefficiency is rampant in Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service program.
Rather than build on this progress, ObamaCare cuts payments to Medicare Advantage plans by more than $150 billion over a decade—and relies instead on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to prop-up the more costly fee-for-service program with government-led innovation. What’s likely to transpire isn’t innovation but price controls on medical procedures to give fee-for-service a chance to compete against more efficient Medicare Advantage plans. The agency’s authority is broad enough to allow across-the-board cuts in payments to hospitals and physicians, and lower reimbursements for pharmaceuticals and related products as well, all in the name of innovation.
Once again, we see that Obamacare is not about improving quality or access, but rather control. The Medicare Advantage plans had to go because the government didn’t control them – even if they were working well and consumers were happy with them. What we’re likely to get with the CMMI is slash and burn management of Medicare – with the IPAB doling out services to all those “deserving” of treatment.
Most people aren’t bothered by these committies as they are innoculous , and quiet, and subtle.
Finding out more of what is in it?
The “sham list” was part of an elaborate scheme by top-level management to doctor patient wait times, CNN reports. Patients had to wait as long as 20 weeks to see primary care physicians despite some having life-threatening conditions, including Thomas Breen, a Navy vet who died of Stage 4 bladder cancer.
If this administration can use selective reasoning to legally kill anyone with a simple accusation of terrorism, then so-called “domestic terrorists” (that is anyone that supports the constitution as written) will soon become targets. The issue being “…a targeted killing of a victim by someone in the executive branch without due process.” The constitution is quite clear about the government killing people.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
However, we are now observing that those with reprobate minds, in no way comprehend this and provides a basis for governmental tyranny against it’s citizens.
When President Obama decided sometime during his first term that he wanted to be able to use unmanned aerial drones in foreign lands to kill people — including Americans — he instructed Attorney General Eric Holder to find a way to make it legal — despite the absolute prohibition on governmental extra-judicial killing in federal and state laws and in the Constitution itself.
“Judicial killing” connotes a lawful execution after an indictment, a jury trial, an appeal and all of the due process protections that the Constitution guarantees defendants. “Extra-judicial killing” is a targeted killing of a victim by someone in the executive branch without due process. The president wanted the latter, and he wanted it in secret.
He must have hoped his killing would never come to light, because the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution could not be more direct: “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”
Due process has a few prongs. The first is substantive, meaning the outcome must be fair. In a capital murder case, for example, the defendant must not only be found guilty by a jury, but he also must truly be guilty.
The second prong of due process is procedural. Thus, the defendant must be charged with a crime and tried before a neutral jury. He is entitled to a lawyer, to confront the witnesses against him and to remain silent. The trial must be presided over by a neutral judge, and in the case of a conviction, the defendant is entitled to an appeal before a panel of three neutral judges.
The third prong of due process means that the defendant is entitled to the procedures “of law,” that is, in the federal system, as Congress has enacted.
There are numerous additional aspects of due process, the basics of which emanate from the Constitution itself. Yet, the “of law” modifier of the constitutional phrase “due process” gives Congress, not the president, the ability to add to the due process tools available to a defendant. Congress may subtract what it has added, but neither Congress nor the president may remove any of the tools available to the defendant under the Constitution.
Now, we have a president whose principal law enforcement and intelligence officers have boasted that the president relies on a legal way to kill people without the time, trouble and cost of due process. The president himself, as well as the attorney general, boasted of this, as did the director of national intelligence and the director of the CIA. Yet, when asked by reporters for The New York Times for this legal rationale, Holder declined to provide it. He argued that the legal rationale for the presidential use of extra-judicial killings was a state secret, and he dispatched Department of Justice (DoJ) lawyers to court, where they succeeded in persuading a federal judge in New York City to deny the Times’ application to order the government’s legal rationale revealed.
How can a legal rationale possibly be a state secret? The facts upon which it is based could be secret, but the laws are public, the judicial opinions interpreting those laws are public, and there are no secret non-public parts of the Constitution. Yet notwithstanding the above observations, the Times lost.
The judge who dismissed the case obviously was uncomfortable doing so. She wrote: “The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me; but after careful and extensive consideration, I find myself struck by a paradoxical situation in which I cannot solve a problem because of contradictory constraints and rules — a veritable Catch-22. I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the Executive Branch of our Government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws, while keeping the reason for their conclusion a secret.”
Two weeks after Judge Colleen McMahon begrudgingly dismissed that case, the feds decided to gloat, and so they leaked a 16-page summary of their “secrets” to a reporter at NBC News. To the federal appeals court to which the Times appealed, that was the last straw. It is one thing, the appellate court ruled, for the president and his team to boast that they know how to kill legally by finding a secret “adequate substitute” for due process and keeping the secret a secret, but it’s quite another for them to reveal a summary of their secrets to their favorite reporters.
Thus, earlier this week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously ordered the DoJ to reveal publicly its heretofore secret rationale for extra-judicial killing.
Welcome to the strange new world of Barack Obama’s war on terror, in which there are no declarations of war against countries that foment or harbor enemy activities, as the Constitution authorizes, and in which the president claims the powers of a king by killing whomever he wishes under a rationale that his lawyers wrote for him and that he has desperately tried to keep secret.
The Obama administration is probably right to fear the revelation of this so-called legal way to kill. The appellate court decision is a profound and sweeping rejection of the Obama administration’s passion for hiding behind a veil of secrecy. But it is not a decision on the merits: It does not address whether the president may kill, and it only lifts a small corner of his veil.
We already know that behind Obama’s veil lies a disingenuous president who claims he can secretly kill fellow Americans. Who knows what else we will find?
This type of power in the hands of the executive branch led by a corrupt narcissist is just as dangerous, if not more than Islamic terrorists and America’s other sworn enemies.