We really are due for the sixth seal: Revelation 6:12

Opinion/Al Southwick: Could an earthquake really rock New England? We are 265 years overdue

On Nov. 8, a 3.6 magnitude earthquake struck Buzzard’s Bay off the coast of New Bedford. Reverberations were felt up to 100 miles away, across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and parts of Connecticut and New York. News outlets scrambled to interview local residents who felt the ground shake their homes. Seismologists explained that New England earthquakes, while uncommon and usually minor, are by no means unheard of.

The last bad one we had took place on Nov. 18, 1755, a date long remembered.

It’s sometimes called the Boston Earthquake and sometimes the Cape Ann Earthquake. Its epicenter is thought to have been in the Atlantic Ocean about 25 miles east of Gloucester. Estimates say that it would have registered between 6.0 and 6.3 on the modern Richter scale. It was an occasion to remember as chronicled by John E. Ebel, director of the Weston observatory of Boston College:

“At about 4:30 in the morning on 18 November, 1755, a strong earthquake rocked the New England area. Observers reported damage to chimneys, brick buildings and stone walls in coastal communities from Portland, Maine to south of Boston … Chimneys were also damaged as far away as Springfield, Massachusetts, and New Haven, Connecticut. The earthquake was felt at Halifax, Nova Scotia to the northeast, Lake Champlain to the northwest, and Winyah, South Carolina to the southwest. The crew of a ship in deep water about 70 leagues east of Boston thought it had run aground and only realized it had felt an earthquake after it arrived at Boston later that same day.

“The 1755 earthquake rocked Boston, with the shaking lasting more than a minute. According to contemporary reports, as many as 1,500 chimneys were shattered or thrown down in part, the gable ends of about 15 brick buildings were broken out, and some church steeples ended up tilted due to the shaking. Falling chimney bricks created holes in the roofs of some houses. Some streets, particularly those on manmade ground along the water, were so covered with bricks and debris that passage by horse-drawn carriage was impossible. Many homes lost china and glassware that was thrown from shelves and shattered. A distiller’s cistern filled with liquor broke apart and lost its contents.”

We don’t have many details of the earthquake’s impact here, there being no newspaper in Worcester County at that time. We do know that one man, Christian Angel, working in a “silver” mine in Sterling, was buried alive when the ground shook. He is the only known fatality in these parts. We can assume that, if the quake shook down chimneys in Springfield and New Haven, it did even more damage hereabouts. We can imagine the cries of alarm and the feeling of panic as trees swayed violently, fields and meadows trembled underfoot and pottery fell off shelves and crashed below.

The Boston Earthquake was an aftershock from the gigantic Lisbon Earthquake that had leveled Lisbon, Portugal, a few days before. That cataclysm, estimated as an 8 or 9 on the modern Richter scale, was the most devastating natural catastrophe to hit western Europe since Roman times. The first shock struck on Nov. 1, at about 9 in the morning.

According to one account: ”Suddenly the city began to shudder violently, its tall medieval spires waving like a cornfield in the breeze … In the ancient cathedral, the Basilica de Santa Maria, the nave rocked and the massive chandeliers began swinging crazily. . . . Then came a second, even more powerful shock. And with it, the ornate façade of every great building in the square … broke away and cascaded forward.”

Until that moment, Lisbon had been one of the leading cities in western Europe, right up there with London and Paris. With 250,000 people, it was a center of culture, financial activity and exploration. Within minutes it was reduced to smoky, dusty rubble punctuated by human groans and screams. An estimated 60,000 to 100,000 lost their lives.

Since then, New England has been mildly shaken by quakes from time to time. One series of tremors on March 1, 1925, was felt throughout Worcester County, from Fitchburg to Worcester, and caused a lot of speculation.

What if another quake like that in 1755 hit New England today? What would happen? That question was studied 15 years ago by the Massachusetts Civil Defense Agency. Its report is sobering:

“The occurrence of a Richter magnitude 6.25 earthquake off Cape Ann, Massachusetts … would cause damage in the range of 2 to 10 billion dollars … in the Boston metropolitan area (within Route 128) due to ground shaking, with significant additional losses due to secondary effects such as soil liquefaction failures, fires and economic interruptions. Hundreds of deaths and thousands of major and minor injuries would be expected … Thousands of people could be displaced from their homes … Additional damage may also be experienced outside the 128 area, especially closer to the earthquake epicenter.”

So even if we don’t worry much about volcanoes, we know that hurricanes and tornadoes are always possible. As for earthquakes, they may not happen in this century or even in this millennium, but it is sobering to think that if the tectonic plates under Boston and Gloucester shift again, we could see a repeat of 1755.

The Antichrist praises his public followers

Sayyed Al-Sadr praises his public followers


Leader of the Sadrist movement, Sayyed Muqtada al-Sadr, praised Sunday his public followers .

Sayyed Al-Sadr said in a tweet on his Twitter account, which was followed by the Iraqi News Agency (INA), “I am very proud and honored that Allah has blessed me with the love of the public followers , and made them the best visible signs of obedience, so that they do not deviate from orders and prohibitions.”

 He added, “I ask Allah Almighty to make me steadfast in their love and service, and to make us and them follow the path of the righteous fathers and grandfathers, and to (peace) and to protect them from all harm.”

The Antichrist vs Iran’s proxies: Non-sectarian conflict paralyses Baghdad

Muqtada al-Sadr vs Iran’s proxies: Non-sectarian conflict paralyses Baghdad

By Special CorrespondentSeptember 19, 2022

Iraq’s capital Baghdad is terribly disturbed by violence as tensions built up over the past year. Iraq suffered war over the past two decades. The ghosts of America’s war in Iraq are still haunting the nation.

Iraq’s political turmoil: Iraq has been unable to form a government nearly 11 months after the last elections, the longest such period since the US invasion. By storming the Parliament, a popular religious cleric gave the message of his indispensability in government formation.

Muqtada al-Sadr and Sadrist movement:  Muqtada al-Sadr is Iraqi Shia scholar, militia leader and founder of the Sadrist movement— the most powerful political faction in Iraq at present. He rose to prominence after the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein government. As master of mass mobilization in current Iraqi political system, Sadr’s ability to mobilize and control large grass root followers is unparalleled.

The Sadrist movement is a nationalist movement that draws support from the poor people of the Shiite community across Iraq and at its strongest right now. The Sadrists have taken senior jobs within the interior, defence and communications ministries; state oil, electricity and transport bodies; and state-owned banks and even central bank.

Iran’s role: Iran shares a 1,599 km-long border with Iraq. The US invasion in 2003 and exit a decade later enhanced Iran’s influence over its nemesis Iraq. After Saddam fell, Iran sent militias across the border to resist the US forces and take power. Shiites are now Iraq’s top ruling elites! Iran is working behind the scenes, just like in Lebanon, to stitch together Shiite Muslim parties. Iran-backed Shia coalition Coordination Framework led by former Prime Minister Maliki is promoting Iran’s interests, and constantly fighting with Sadr.

October elections:  The immediate crisis began after the October legislative elections wherein the populist cleric al-Sadr’s party won the most 73 seats. Iran-backed parties alleged “fraudulent election” and sieged the Green Zone housing government buildings to paralyze the government and parliament. The Supreme Court certified the elections.

Elections Aftermath: Sadr formed a coalition with Sunni and Kurdish parties to form a majority government but constitution requires the parliament to elect the president first with two-thirds of members present. The Framework absented from parliamentary sessions to block government formation.

After protracted gridlock Sadr ordered his (73) members on June 12 to resign from parliament. The Framework hurriedly replaced those vacant seats with own candidates. This provocative, zero-sum attitude gave them parliamentary majority but irritated Sadr. Maliki wanted the premiership but Frame work announced former minister Mohammed al-Sudani as the PM. On July 27, 2022, hundreds of protesters, mainly Sadr’s followers, stormed the Iraqi parliament chanting anti-Iranian slogans. Maliki ordered security forces to break their siege. Angry protesters attempted to assassinate Maliki by drone attack but failed.

Sadr called for dissolving parliament and holding new elections. His rivals didn’t respond. Sadr ordered his supporters to storm the parliament and, later, the Supreme Judiciary Council on August 22. He finally gave an ultimatum for announcement of dissolution of the parliament. Maliki enjoys support of militias armed and financed by Iran and adept in political assassinations. He is reinstating Iran-affiliated leaders at top government posts.

Iraq’s Plight: The Hashd al-Shaabi (The Popular Mobilisation Forces) fought the ISIS, eliminated it in three years but left Iraq devastated. Decades of imperial, sectarian and civil wars has drained Iraq’s manpower and resources, ruined its economy, torn apart its society and sapped popular spirit. Generations of Iraqis have lived and died through violence after a century of Western colonial, imperial and proxy wars.

The Sadr-Maliki fight pivots on the nationalist agenda. Sadr challenges Iranians authority over Iraq while Maliki supports Iran. Iranian dominance and influence alienate the Sunni communities. Sadr is the only viable option in Iraq; his growing influence eclipses both America and Iran.  Sadr seeks exit of the remaining American troops and told Iranian theocracy that he will “not let his country go in its grip”.

Starting a war is easy but ending is difficult. A conflict does not end with cessation of fighting; the tragedy far outlives the war.  The true “birth pangs of a new Middle East,” requires politics to be the antidote of war.

Sadr announced on August 29 to withdraw from politics; his followers stormed government palaces. Violence could worsen the political crisis. Iraq’s military announced a nationwide curfew; the caretaker premier suspended cabinet sessions. The August 30 violence killed twenty-one people and injured 250 more. Sadr had to call his followers to stand down to defuse tensions.  Fear of street protests prevails.

Sadr’s “complete withdrawal” from the public scene left his rivals to face the angry masses. As the situation escalated, Sadr gave a scathing speech criticizing his supporters and rivals alike and ordered his followers to end their occupation of the parliament and stop all protests, including peaceful demonstrations. He praised Armed Forces, Popular Mobilization Forces, and Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Sadr’s speech cleared the way for parliament to resume its business and political actors to restart government formation negotiations. It is up to Sadr’s rivals to dissolve parliament and hold early election. Sadr will remain out of Iraqi politics but if rivals form government excluding the Sadrists for the next three years, expect another round of violence.

Iraq’s future is uncertain. The October 2021 had raised hopes that a nationalist, non-sectarian agenda could break the impasse in Iraq’s political and economic development but Iraq’s opaque government formation process and Supreme Court ruling on a two-thirds majority entrenched the status quo. Iran-backed parties and militias who lost in those elections make hay.

By disengaging from Iraq’s political institutions, Sadr is setting up his return and leverage his mobilizing power to force parliament for constitutional reform but Frame work is exploiting the vacuum to further entrench. America can promote alternatives to Iran by supporting Iraqi nationalism, representative government, and constitutional reform. Supporters won’t allow Sadr to quit politics.

Emergency session: The Framework whom Sadr wanted to exclude from power is the main beneficiary of his withdrawal by gaining 50 more seats. An emergency special session was held at the request of the Framework to discuss the Turkish attacks in northern Iraq and arrange oath-taking of the alternate MPs to close the door to the return of the Sadrists to parliament. But swearing in of new MP requires an absolute majority of 166 MPs in attendance– not possible without Sadr’s coalition allies of the KDP and the Sovereignty Alliance. Iraq dwells in political impasse and keeps boiling.

Earthquake Rattles New York for the 12th Time: Revelation 6

Each dot surrounded by a circle reflects the epicenter of an earthquake over the last 30 days; the earthquake with an additional blue circle is the most recent. Image: USGS
Each dot surrounded by a circle reflects the epicenter of an earthquake over the last 30 days; the earthquake with an additional blue circle is the most recent. Image: USGS

Earthquake Rattles New York; 12th Earthquake in the Northeast Over Last 30 Days


USGS is reporting that an earthquake struck upstate New York north of Albany this morning. At 3:45 am, USGS reported the 12th earthquake to strike the northeast over the last 30 days; this weak seismic event unfolded, rated a magnitude 1.9 event, struck in South Glens Falls just north and east of Saratoga Springs. The earthquake’s epicenter was 10.2 km deep. While the earthquake was measured by seismographs in the northeast, it was likely not strong enough for most people to feel it.

Just yesterday, and earthquake rattled central Maine. Unlike this earthquake in New York today, people thought an explosion had struck in the Maine seismic event, with dozens of people reporting both loud noises and shaking. The Maine quake was rated a magnitude 2.3 event.

The northeast has been rattled by a total of 12 earthquakes in the last 30 days. Maine had 5, New Jersey had 2, one hit off-shore New Jersey, and the rest hit Canada near the U.S. border. The earthquakes have ranged in magnitude from 1.2 to 2.6., with the strongest of the bunch hitting Maine on September 1. While people have felt shaking or heard noises from these seismic events, there have been no reports of injuries.

New York is no stranger to earthquakes; this map shows the epicenter of every earthquake from 1975 to 2017. Image: NESEC
New York is no stranger to earthquakes; this map shows the epicenter of every earthquake from 1975 to 2017. Image: NESEC

According to the Northeast States Emergency Consortium (NESEC), New York is a state with a very long  history of earthquake activity that has touched all parts of the state.  Since the first earthquake that was recorded in  December 19, 1737, New York has had over 550 earthquakes centered within its state boundaries through 2016. It also has experienced strong ground shaking from earthquakes centered in nearby U.S. states and Canadian provinces.  Most of the earthquakes in New York have taken place in the greater New York City area, in the Adirondack Mountains region, and in the western part of the state.

New York has seen the most number of damaging earthquakes in the northeast in the period 1678-2016. Image: NESEC
New York has seen the most number of damaging earthquakes in the northeast in the period 1678-2016. Image: NESEC

While many of the earthquakes to hit New York are weak like today’s, some have been damaging. Of the 551 earthquakes recorded between 1737 and 2016, 5 were considered “damaging”: 1737, 1929, 1944, 1983, and 2002.

While most of New York’s earthquakes have been in the Upstate, New York City has also seen damaging earthquakes over the years. At about 10:30 pm on December 18, 1737, an earthquake with an unknown epicenter hit New York with an estimated magnitude of 5.2. That quake damaged some chimneys in the city. On August 10, 1884, another 5.2 earthquake struck; this quake cracked chimneys and plaster, broke windows, and objects were thrown from shelves throughout not only New York City, but surrounding towns in New York and New Jersey too. The shaking from the 1884 earthquake was felt as far west as Toledo, Ohio and as far east as Penobscot Bay, Maine. It was also reported felt by some in Baltimore, Maryland.

The earthquakes in the Northeast are not related to a swarm of earthquakes occurring well south and west of this region in an area known as the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ). Dozens of earthquakes have hit there in recent weeks, with overall earthquake activity reported by USGS to be about 300% above normal this summer in the NMSZ.

What happens when Putin goes nuclear in Ukraine?

What happens if Putin goes nuclear in Ukraine? Biden has a choice to make

There has been much excited talk of a “turning point” following Ukraine’s rapid military advances in north-eastern Kharkiv region and what Kyiv cheerily calls its “de-occupation” by fleeing Russians. Less comforting for the western democracies is an alternative theory: that the war is approaching “a moment of maximum danger”.

Worries that a cornered, desperate Vladimir Putin may resort to nuclear, chemical or biological weapons have resurfaced in the US and Europe, along with the argument, articulated by France’s Emmanuel Macron, that Russia’s president, despite his terrible crimes, should not be “humiliated” – and allowed a way out.

Speaking last week, US president Joe Biden said any use by Putin of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Ukraine – for example, by exploding a low-yield, tactical nuclear warhead – would “change the face of war”. Russia would become “more of a pariah in the world than they ever have been,” he said.

Yet even as he warned the US response would be “consequential”, Biden refused to say whether it would involve commensurate US or Nato military action. The tenor of his remarks suggested he has not personally raised the nuclear issue with Russia’s leader. This renewed angst about WMD reflects the trap Putin set for the west when he launched his invasion. By placing Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert,deploying nuclear-capable missiles closer to Nato states, and targeting Chornobyl and then the giant Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, he and flunkeys such as Dmitry Medvedev deliberately played up fears of Armageddon. They hoped to weaken backing for Kyiv and deter direct Nato intervention.

It has worked so far. The US and Nato walked into the trap from the get-go. While supplying Ukraine with ever increasing amounts of arms and materiel, Biden and his allies continue to limit the power, range and quality of such weapons to ensure Putin’s position is not so weakened that he turns to extreme measures.

As a result Nato is still not providing the tanks, missile defences and the air cover Ukrainian forces need to secure liberated areas and press home their advantage. Germany and others take their cue from Washington. Last week, Chancellor Olaf Scholz again demanded Putin withdraw from all Ukrainian territory – while withholding the Leopard tanks Kyiv says are necessary to achieve this end.

The Putin trap has other malign aspects, notably the Kremlin’s economic blitzkrieg on Europe. In effect it is using gas and oil to explode cost-of-living bombshells in every private home, shop and factory. EU politicians who thought they could reason with Putin are enmeshed in the very war-like confrontation they sought to avoid. Some are wavering.

Putin’s meeting last week with Xi Jinping does not seem to have gone smoothly, with China’s president echoing Indian criticism of the damaging global impact of the war. But their overall “no limits” partnership appears unaffected. Their shared aim: the evisceration of the post-1945, western-led rules-based order. In this context, Ukraine and Taiwan are prologue.

The uncovering in newly liberated Kharkiv of Bucha-type mass graves and apparent war crimes represents another strand of Putin’s strategy of demotivation. His message to the west: your “universal values” are meaningless in the world I am creating.

There is little Putin won’t do when he feels it is necessary to win on the battlefield.

Daniel Davis, retired US army colonelnone

By contemptuously violating the UN’s authority, the Geneva conventions, and human rights law, he strikes at the heart of western self-belief and confidence.

Not exactly a turning point, then, but a week when other myths were also exploded. Demolished is the defeatist argument that Ukraine cannot prevail and that western military and economic aid only delays the inevitable. Ukraine is winning, for now at least, despite the humming and hawing.

Nor is it any longer assumed Putin’s grip on power is unshakeable. Increasing domestic criticism is heard, not least from his pro-war, nationalist supporters. Their ire is currently aimed at the military high command, but everyone knows who commands the commanders.

Now is not the time to relax the pressure for fear of what Putin might do. On the contrary, it’s time to crank it up. Because, ironically, it’s Putin who is trapped now. He must not escape the consequences of his actions.

For Europe (and the UK), this means expanding the too modest energy measures proposed by EU commission president Ursula van der Leyenlast week – and end energy dependence on Moscow. It means sending more, better heavy weapons to Kyiv and redoubling efforts to inform Russians about what, truly, is being done in their name.

It means creating an international criminal tribunal for Ukraine, like that for former Yugoslavia, and the confiscation of frozen Russian sovereign assets to fund reparations, compensation and the rebuilding of the country. It means deploying a military coalition of the willing to secure Zaporizhzhia, as Lithuania proposes.

Daunting challenges remain. Russia still has more tanks and artillery. It still controls one-fifth of Ukraine’s territory. It is mobilising 137,000 additional troops on Putin’s orders and could outnumber its opponents by spring. A ruthless campaign of indiscriminate reprisals against civilian targets has begun, following its recent setbacks.

“There is little he [Putin] won’t do when he feels it is necessary to win on the battlefield,” warned analyst Daniel Davis, a retired US army colonel. But this is not an argument for cutting him some slack.

Don’t give him an inch. Keep him on the run. Show him there’s no way out but back. And if, panicked and vengeful, Putin does indeed threaten to use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, the response must be hard and clear.

Biden must personally and formally inform him, in advance, that any such attack, breaking the global taboo on nuclear aggression and undercutting international security, would be viewed as an act of war against the US and Nato– with all the awesome, regime-toppling consequences that might entail. Perhaps Biden has already done this. Hopefully he has.

In which case, stop pulling western punches. Get on and ensure Ukraine wins, wins well, and wins soon.

Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad offers to pay Palestinians to post videos of terror attacks: Revelation 11

Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad offers to pay Palestinians to post videos of terror attacks

The terror groups promise $200 for each terrorist-act video posted on TikTok to encourage more attacks on Israelis

Tal Heinrich | September 18, 2022

The Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are seeking to incentivize more violence against Israelis by offering $200 payments to anyone who posts a video to TikTok of such an attack, according to a report by Israel’s Channel 12 news. 

The payout practice is seen as an attempt to provoke copycat shootings and to glorify the Palestinian perpetrators, and is being introduced as the Israeli security establishment shifts into high alert mode ahead of the Jewish high holidays, which begin next week, and an exponential rise in shooting attacks in Israel. 

Israel has also heightened its security measures as the IDF operation “Break the Wave” aims to eradicate Palestinian terrorism emerging from cities in Judea and Samaria. In recent months, the area has seen several attacks and attempted attacks by Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians and soldiers, sometimes during the IDF’s night raids for capturing known terrorists. 

On Wednesday, two Palestinian Arab gunmen shot and killed IDF Major Bar Falah, 30, while trying to breach a fence adjacent to the Gilboa Crossing, or Jalama checkpoint, in northern Samaria, not far from the Arab city of Jenin in the Jezreel Valley. After shooting at Falah, the two terrorists were killed in the exchange of fire; one of the gunmen had been a member of the Palestinian Authority’s counter-intelligence force. 

Following the attack, Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz toured the scene and ordered the crossing’s closure until further notice. 

One day prior, Palestinians opened fire at Israeli Defense Ministry equipment located near the deadly shooting scene. The Times of Israel noted that a heavily edited video posted on social media claimed to have captured that moment but the video could not be verified.

According to the Israel Security Agency, better known as Shin Bet, Israel has detained more than 2,000 Palestinian suspects since the beginning of the year. 

The Biden administration has followed the security deterioration in Judea and Samaria, and expressed concern over the situation, fearing it could lead to a large-scale crisis. 

“The security conditions in the West Bank do concern us greatly,” said Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Barbara Leaf on Wednesday. 

“They also concern Israel and the Palestinian Authority. We want to ensure that security cooperation is robust and continuing to the greatest degree possible.”

Joe worries about the Russian nuclear horn: Daniel 8

‘Don’t. Don’t. Don’t’: Joe Biden urges Putin not to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine

Russian leader has said that Moscow would respond forcefully if troops put under pressure

Before setting off for the UK for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, US President Joe Biden on Saturday urged Russian President Vladimir Putinnot to use tactical nuclear or chemical weapons after setbacks in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military drove back Russian forces in a lightning rout in the north-east of the country this week, putting Mr Putin under pressure from nationalists at home to regain the initiative.

Mr Putin has issued a warning that Moscow would respond more forcefully if its troops were put under further pressure, raising concerns that he could resort to unconventional means, such as small nuclear or chemical weapons.

Asked by US broadcaster CBS what he would say to Mr Putin if he were considering using such weapons, Mr Biden said: “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. It would change the face of war unlike anything since the Second World War.”

Mr Biden said the US response would be “consequential” but declined to give detail. The Russians “would become more of a pariah in the world than they ever have been”, he said. “Depending on the extent of what they do will determine what response would occur.”

Russian government officials have dismissed western suggestions that Moscow would use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, but it remains a worry for some in the West.

In a speech announcing the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Mr Putin gave a veiled but unmistakable warning that if the West intervened in what he has called a “special military operation” he could use nuclear weapons in response.

Bill Clinton, the US president at the time, and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II smile for the cameras before a celebratory banquet for the 50th anniversary of D-Day on June 3, 1994. AFP

Updated: September 18, 2022, 8:25 AM