Quakes remind us of the Sixth Seal: Revelation 6

EDITORIAL: Quakes remind S.C. of history, potential threat

The Times and Democrat

As 2021 ended and 2022 began, a series of minor earthquakes affected South Carolina’s Midlands.

Elgin, a community of fewer than 2,000 residents near the border of Richland and Kershaw counties, has been the epicenter of the seismic activity, starting with a 3.3-magnitude earthquake on Dec. 27. That quake clattered glass windows and doors in their frames, sounding like a heavy piece of construction equipment or concrete truck rumbling down the road.

In January, more earthquakes have been recorded nearby, ranging from 1.5 to a 2.6 in magnitude. No injury or damage was reported.

Now it’s May – and the quakes are back.

In the early hours of May 9, a 3.3 magnitude earthquake shook the ground in Elgin. The earthquake was followed by two back-to-back earthquakes an hour later registering 1.6 and 1.8 magnitudes.

The three quakes pushed South Carolina’s 2022 earthquake tally to 23, with 19 happening within 35 miles of Columbia. Historically, 70% of earthquakes in the state happen along the Coastal Plain, but because the state isn’t considered a hot spot for earthquake activity, the recent midstate quakes are a bit of a mystery.

According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the state typically averages up to 20 quakes each year. Clusters often happen, like six small earthquakes in just more than a week in 2021 near Jenkinsville, about 38 miles west of the most recent group of tremors.

Though quakes are nothing new to South Carolina, many people in the state are not affected. According to emergency management officials, about 70% of South Carolina earthquakes are located in the Middleton Place-Summerville Seismic Zone, about 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) northwest of Charleston.

Every year South Carolina has a week devoted to earthquake preparedness. And there is good reason for awareness.

Aug. 31, 2021, was the 135th anniversary of the largest earthquake to occur in the eastern U.S. In the late evening on that day in 1886, a magnitude 7 earthquake struck near Charleston, causing the loss of more than 100 lives. Many buildings collapsed or were heavily damaged, with economic losses estimated at more than $100 million in today’s dollars.

The quake was felt throughout much of the eastern and central U.S., with people reporting feeling it as far north as New York and as far west as Illinois and Missouri.

In 1999, retired T&D Publisher Dean B. Livingston wrote about what is recorded locally about that “unscheduled” occurrence that had a lot of people singing “Nearer My God To Thee.”

“The area was pounded for a week by quake shocks from four to 12 times a day. The Times and Democrat wrote of the earth’s rumblings: ‘This earthquake frightened many of the inhabitants into deep religious complex, such as was never known before, bringing about a great religious revival in the churches. …’

“One person wrote that ‘many thought the end of the world had come.’ Some terror-stricken citizens in Rowesville ‘ran to and fro exclaiming: ‘The great Judgment Day is at hand. Lord have mercy on me.” A T&D article noted that ‘many people prayed during the past two weeks who never prayed before.’

“A Sawyerdale citizen reported that ‘the flood of accessions to our various churches is almost unparalleled.’

“Residents of the city of Orangeburg were awakened when the first jolt hit. People in brick homes could hear the bricks ‘grinding together as the forces of the shocks increased.’ Many people complained of a nauseous sensation. Chimneys were shaken down, the Baptist church steeple was damaged and for several nights many families slept in the open, under sheds or in small buildings.

“As late as Oct. 14, The T&D reported that ‘shocks have become so common now that people soon throw off the peculiar feeling that they inspire, and go along as if nothing unusual had occurred. There is no telling when they (shocks) will end. …’

“Over in Vance, the quake was described as a ‘sound, a deep, muffled sound … resembling the distant thunder … the earth was one tremendous oscillation. Buildings creaked … poultry squawked, dogs howled, birds chirped; in fact, everything was completely aroused and powerfully demoralized … from 10 to 11 p.m., nine successive shocks were felt.’

“Two Orangeburg men were fishing on the Edisto River when the first big shock hit. They said the first noise sounded like a loud clap of thunder. ‘This was followed by the usual rumbling which was also very loud and deep. The course of the shake was distinctly marked by the falling of the berries and acorns from the trees as it passed.”

While they have no stories comparable to 1886, people of The T&D Region periodically experience tremors. With a large fault in the earth extending from Charleston into the region, when another major quake will come is unpredictable — but practically certain.

Babylon the Great is Weak: Daniel 7

Heritage Foundation report rates US military as weak

Keleigh BeesonKatie SmithOct 20, 2022 / 11:28 AM CDT

Morning In America

Posted: | Updated: Oct 20, 2022 / 11:31 AM CDT

(NewsNation) — A report from the conservative tank The Heritage Foundation rated the weakness of each military branch and labeled several arms of the U.S. military weak. 

The group issued the following rankings: 

  • Navy – Weak 
  • Air Force – Very weak 
  • Marine Corps – Strong 
  • Space Force – Weak 
  • Nuclear Capability – Strong 
  • Army – Marginal

Iraq War veteran Allison Jaslow joined NewsNation’s “Morning in America” Thursday morning to break down the report.

“I think it’s worth noting that it is a report that was released by a think tank that has an ideological agenda,” Jaslow said. “So bear that in mind,. What I will say is that we have some serious readiness concerns with the United States military right now not really detailed in that report…The Heritage Foundation is advocating for a larger military, but we’re having a problem filling the ranks of the military that we currently have.” 

According to Jaslow, both Republicans and Democrats have pushed for a larger Navy in particular.

“The Navy, mind you, supports the Marines, which is the strongest fighting force detailed in that report,” Jaslow said. “So how can we make sure that the Marines have the partners … that they need?

There’s another challenge facing the U.S., she said. The longer the nation stays mired in the so-called forever wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the more it degrades the U.S.’ ability to fight Russia and China, she said. 

“It’s really is on our leaders to make sure that we are not only just making sure the military is strong, but also innovating because the new wars are not like the old wars,” Jaslow said. “We have to have an effective cybersecurity command … there’s a lot of things that we just have to think through to make sure that we are on firm footing as these other threats loom.”

Looking forward, recruitment should be the nation’s top military priority for the near future, Jaslow said. 

“The more that we can make it appealing — that we can culturally promote and encourage people to join the military — the better off we’re going to be,” she said.

The Saudi Horn is Nuking Up: Daniel 7

 Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2019. In a 2018 CBS News interview, the crown prince said that his country would obtain a nuclear weapon if Iran does.

Will Seoul and Washington make Riyadh nuclear-weapons ready?

By Henry Sokolski | July 26, 2022

Iran’s nuclear program, oil, and human rights dominated Biden’s much-anticipated first presidential trip to the Middle East earlier this month. But there is one topic President Biden chose not to showcase during his visit with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud—the Kingdom’s most recent interest in nuclear energy—and the nuclear weapons proliferation concerns that come with it.

Only weeks before Biden’s visit, Riyadh invited South Korea, Russia, and China to bid on the construction of two large power reactors. On that bid, Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO) is the most likely winner. KEPCO has already built four reactors for Riyadh’s neighbor, the United Arab Emirates, and is the only vendor to bring a power reactor of its own design online in the Middle East. South Korea also is the only government to provide reliable, generous financing, free of political strings—something neither Moscow nor Beijing can credibly claim.

And then, there’s this: Any Korean sale would be covered by a generous 2011 South Korean nuclear cooperative agreement with Riyadh that explicitly authorizes the Saudis to enrich any uranium it might receive from Seoul. Under the agreement, Riyadh could enrich this material by up to 20 percent, without having to secure Seoul’s prior consent.

That should set off alarm bells.

Do the Saudis want a bomb? In 2018, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman announced that “if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.” As if to prove the point, late in 2020, word leaked that the Saudis have been working secretly with the Chinese to mine and process Saudi uranium ore. These are steps toward enriching uranium—and a possible nuclear weapon program.

Unlike the Emirates, which legally renounced enriching uranium or reprocessing spent fuel to separate plutonium, the Kingdom insists on retaining its “right” to enrich. Also, unlike most members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Saudi Arabia refuses to allow intrusive inspections that might help the IAEA find covert nuclear weapons-related activities, if they exist, under a nuclear inspections addendum known as the Additional Protocol.

Saudi Arabia’s enrichment program and refusal to adopt the Additional Protocol, doubled with a possible permissive South Korean reactor sale, could spell trouble. South Korea currently makes its nuclear fuel assemblies using imported uranium, which mainly comes from Australia. This ore is controlled by Australia’s uranium export policy, which requires that the uranium be monitored by the IAEA and that materials derived from it not be retransferred to a third country without first securing Australia’s consent. Yet, if Seoul decides to pass Australian uranium on to Riyadh, the Saudis are free to enrich it up to 20 percent at any time without having to secure anyone’s approval. In addition, Riyadh could proceed to enrich this material without having to agree to intrusive IAEA inspections under the Additional Protocol, making it easier for Riyadh to enrich beyond 20 percent uranium 235 without anyone knowing.

Can Washington block the reactor export? In Washington, the US nuclear industry understandably is miffed that Riyadh excluded Westinghouse from bidding on the Saudi reactors. Meanwhile, State Department officials say that KEPCO can’t sell Riyadh its APR-1400 reactor because it incorporates US nuclear technology that is property of Westinghouse. KEPCO, they insist, would first need to secure US Energy Department approval under US intangible technology transfer controls (known as Part 810 authorizations). This requirement, they argue, gives Washington the leverage it needs to impose nonproliferation conditions on South Korea’s reactor export to Riyadh.

This sounds fine. But there’s a catch. South Korean officials insist that its APR-1400 design, which uses a Combustion Engineering data package that Westinghouse now owns, is entirely indigenous. Focusing on the matter of technology transfer authority also begs a bigger question: Does the Republic of Korea need Washington’s blessing to begin enriching uranium itself or to transfer enrichment technology to other countries, such as Saudi Arabia?


NPT Review Conference: Will it rise to the proliferation challenges?

The short answer is no.

South Korea has always been free to enrich uranium and transfer uranium enrichment technology to other countries so long as the uranium it enriched or the enrichment technology it shipped wasn’t of US origin. America’s veto over South Korean enrichment only applies to uranium that comes from the United States. As I learned from a recent interview of the two top negotiators of the 2015 US-Republic of Korea civilian nuclear cooperation agreement, Seoul has always known this. Yet, South Korea asked that Washington explicitly grant it authority to enrich uranium in the 2015 agreement—something Washington has yet to grant. According to the negotiators, South Korean officials preferred to have political permission from Washington to do so, even though they did not legally need it.

South Korea and the United States have a choice. South Korea’s previous administration under President Moon Jae-in announced in 2021 that South Korea would not export reactors to countries that had not yet agreed to adopt the IAEA’s Additional Protocol. Is this pledge one that President Yoon Suk-yeol will uphold? Or will Yoon reverse this policy in his effort to go all out to secure the reactor sale to Riyadh?

Similarly, how committed is the Biden Administration to prevent Saudi Arabia from enriching uranium and reprocessing spent reactor fuel? Previous administrations have tried to keep Riyadh clear of such activities. Will Washington keep Seoul’s and Saudi Arabia’s feet to the fire on this or will the administration’s desire to close ranks with South Korea and Saudi Arabia push these nonproliferation concerns to the sidelines? Anyone interested in preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East should want to know the answers.

US negotiator slams door on another Obama-Iran nuke deal

 Atomic symbol and USA and Iranian flags are seen in this illustration taken September 8, 2022. (photo credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS ILLUSTRATION)

US negotiator slams door on Iran nuke negotiations – analysis

Unless Khamenei is ready to reverse himself on allowing aspects of the IAEA probes remain open, there is no telling how long the freeze could go on for.


Atomic symbol and USA and Iranian flags are seen in this illustration taken September 8, 2022.


In late August, the messaging from both the US and Iran was that a joint return to the nuclear deal was all but signed.

Suddenly, in early September, everything fell apart like a house of cards.

And yet, there were still many who echoed optimism that a return to the deal was only delayed until after the US midterm elections in early November.Top Articles

Now, even that optimism is quashed, and all signs are to an extended period with no negotiations.

How did things go sideways when they were so close and why is there no optimism now about a quick return to a deal in mid-November or early December?

 A newspaper with a cover picture of U.S. Special Representative for Iran Robert Malley is seen in Tehran, Iran, November 29, 2021. (credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA/REUTERS)A newspaper with a cover picture of U.S. Special Representative for Iran Robert Malley is seen in Tehran, Iran, November 29, 2021. (credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA/REUTERS)

First, we need to remember what brought the initial wave of optimism after negotiations had been frozen for several months as Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had fought to get the IRGC delisted from the US terror list.

It was when Iranian officials started to say that was not crucial for them and completely stopped talking about the IRGC delisting issue that diplomats got optimistic.

In addition, Tehran had tried and failed to get the Biden administration to give Iran a guarantee for remaining in the deal beyond his presidency.

Limited discussion 

Later, the guarantees being discussed were more limited, such as getting back billions of dollars frozen in South Korea and commitments by the US to allow Western private companies to maintain new contracts with Iran for some period of time, even if the US might later pull out again.

These were “poor man’s” guarantees since the South Korean money would only go to Iran once it has reduced uranium enrichment from 60% to 20% – a tradeoff offered by France many times in recent years which Iran had repeatedly rejected.   

Even the “guarantee” for companies could have been easily repealed by a new US administration if the circumstances came together in a certain way.

The fact that the Islamic Republic’s diplomats continued to make positive statements even as the West rolled out these details of a deal which fell far short of what the ayatollahs had demanded gave negotiators optimism.

Everything fell apart

Then it all fell apart in early September, seemingly over the issue of the IAEA probes into three locations where Iran was caught with illicit nuclear material.

It seems Khamenei had anticipated that if he signed a deal that all of the probes would magically go away as happened upon the signing of the JCPOA in 2015.

Although Western negotiators thought they had finnessed the issue by putting off aspects of Iran’s obligations and confronting the IAEA probe issue at the 60-day and 165-day crossover points, Khamenei had other plans.

Still, Biden administration officials in September spoke about returning to negotiations after the US midterm elections.

Looking weak in the midterms

Sure, they did not want to look weak going into the midterms and give the Republicans an issue to hammer them on (since many Democrats and independents have been critical of cutting deals with Iran), but as soon as the elections were done with, the Biden administration would do whatever they needed to cut the deal.

If that was conventional wisdom by some in early September, US chief Iran negotiator Rob Malley put that expectation to bed in his Monday interview with CNN.

In the interview, he said, “The reason the talks are at a standstill and an impasse and why they’re not so far moving at all, and why they’re not the focus, is because Iran has taken a position in those talks for the past two months, which is simply inconsistent with a return to the deal. They’re making demands that have nothing to do with the JCPOA. And as long as that’s the case, the talks will be stopped.”

This is messaging of hunkering down for a long haul of frozen negotiations.

Unless Khamenei is ready to reverse himself on allowing aspects of the IAEA probes remain open, there is no telling how long the freeze could go on for.

Of course, the freeze could also be broken by a major escalation by either side, but as of now, it seems both sides prefer an unstable status quo with a possible return to a deal as a possibility, over a full-scale blow up.

It turns out that in the 18 months since the nuclear negotiations re-started in April 2021, there have only been six to eight months of actual negotiations and the vast majority of the time things have been frozen.

In that sense, the optimism of diplomats from August has been erased, and the next several months could be more of the same.

NO! The U.S. is NOT Safe From Nuclear Attack

First thermonuclear test pictured in October 1952
A photograph of the first thermonuclear test on October 31, 1952. Experts have told Newsweek that the ability of the U.S. to fend off a large-scale nuclear attack is not very reliable.JOE RAEDLE/GETTY

Is the U.S. Safe From Nuclear Attack?


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With tensions rising around the world, including some discussing the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons in Russia’s war on Ukraine, the question is: How safe is the U.S. from a nuclear attack?

The answer, unfortunately, is it’s complicated. The U.S. does have an anti-nuclear weapon defense system, called the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), which might be able to knock out an incoming North Korean nuclear missile. However, it would easily be overwhelmed by a mass launch by either Russia or China, which have far larger and more advanced nuclear arsenals.

The U.S. has a huge nuclear stockpile of its own, which is designed to deter nuclear attacks on America via the doctrine of mutually assured destruction, or MAD. Any country that launches a nuclear weapon at the U.S. can expect a swift and overwhelming response in kind, that it would find impossible to block. Neither Russia nor China has seriously threatened to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. though there are fears that, as tensions mount over Ukraine and Taiwan, this could change in the future.

Is the U.S. under threat of nuclear attack?

There is no indication that any foreign power is currently planning a nuclear attack on the United States, nor have any explicitly threatened one over the past few years. Both China and India have a no-first-use policy for their nuclear weapons, meaning they have pledged not to deploy them except in response to a nuclear attack.

However, Russia and North Korea have not made a similar pledge, and both have implicitly or explicitly threatened to use nuclear weapons in recent months.

In July, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un claimed the U.S. is “in pursuit of military confrontation” with his country, adding “our state’s nuclear war deterrent is also fully ready to demonstrate its absolute power.”

The exact range of North Korea’s ballistic missiles is unclear, though the Hwasong-15 is reported to have a range of 13,000 km (8,077 miles), putting most of the continental United States at risk. Whether it could actually achieve this range in practice is not known.

Russia has 5,977 nuclear warheads, according to the Federation of American Scientists, more than any other country. Moscow has become increasingly belligerent since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February. This has extended to Putin making threats about using nuclear weapons.

Moscow put its nuclear arsenal on alert on February 27, days after the attack on Ukraine began, in a clear threat to the West.

In September, a propagandist on Russian state TV said nuclear war was “a given” if the West “pushes us into a corner,” adding this would mean “everyone will be destroyed.”

However, most of Russia’s nuclear threats have been aimed at Ukraine, rather than the U.S. itself.

On October 1 Ramzan Kadyrov, a close Putin ally who runs Russia’s Chechen Republic, suggested “low-yield nuclear weapons” could be used against Ukrainian targets.

Polymarket, a cryptocurrency betting site, is currently taking bets on “Will Russia use a nuclear weapon before 2023?”

Is the U.S. able to stop a nuclear attack?

David Barash, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington who has written about preventing nuclear war, told Newsweek the chance of the U.S. intercepting a nuclear-armed Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is “extremely low.”

“We shouldn’t be fooled by the moderate success that ‘anti-missile defense systems’ have been having in Ukraine,” Barash said. “The missiles in question have been mostly cruise missiles of one sort or other; they fly about 500 mph, whereas ballistic missiles re-entering the atmosphere are about 15,000 mph.”

“Intercepting them is an order of magnitude more difficult: Khrushchev likened it to ‘hitting a bullet with a bullet,’ and although anti-missile technology has evolved since then, so has offensive tech. The prospects of the U.S., or anyone, successfully intercepting ICBMs are extremely low,” he said.

“When the US has tested its own ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] systems, the success rate has been considerably less than 50 percent, and that’s with the ABM operators knowing in advance when and where ‘incomings’ will occur, and their route. [The] offense has an immense advantage in this arena,” Barash said.

“A single ICBM can be outfitted with multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles” (MIRVs), thus overwhelming the defense. Those warheads can be maneuverable. They can be accompanied by “chaff” — clouds of what is essentially tin foil, to confuse defensive radar. Most important, only a tiny proportion of attackers need to get through to cause disaster. The only safety lies in making sure that nuclear weapons are never used.”

How protected is the U.S. from a nuclear attack?

The primary American defense against nuclear attack is the ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD). However, it has a limited number of missiles, and according to The Verge failed at least eight of the 18 tests it has taken part in since 1999.

A study published earlier this year by the American Physical Society concluded the GMD can’t be relied on to “counter even a limited nuclear strike.”

Laura Grego, a nuclear expert at MIT who co-chaired the study, said: “This idea of an impenetrable shield against an enormous arsenal of Russian missiles is just a fantasy.”

According to the 2019 Department of Defense missile defense review, the U.S. “relies on nuclear deterrence to address the large and more sophisticated Russian and Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities.”

Babylon the Great is Worried About the Pakistani Nuclear Horn

USA wants guarding of Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile, threat from 12 terror organizations

By:Sonakshi Datta

The USA’s President, Joe Biden has called Pakistan the world’s most dangerous country because of its nuclear stockpile, and he has expressed his concern saying that because of political instability and terrorist organizations in the country, the nuclear stockpile can get into wrong hands. Back in 2016 as well, when the USA’s President was Barack Obama, the country had put pressure on Pakistan’s erstwhile PM, Nawaz Sharif, to get 9 of his atomic hideouts guarded.

As per the USA’s Congressional Research Service report, there are 12 terrorist organizations like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, and Harkat-ul-Jihad, in Pakistan, and the networks of all these terror outfits are spread across foreign nations as well. According to a report by the South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP), Pakistan has 45 terrorist organizations operating inside the country.

The USA’s tensions have hiked because of the removal of its army from Afghanistan last year, and the capture of the country’s control by the Taliban, and the USA is of the opinion that with it jointly guarding Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile, the threats associated can be averted. Brooking’s report suggests that not only Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile, but the extremist ideology, which has developed in the minds of around 2 crore children studying in Pakistan’s madrassas, is also a threat to the USA.

The USA believes that if civil-war like situations develop in Pakistan, then these students studying Sharia will side with the terrorist organizations only.