The Sixth Seal Is Long Overdue (Revelation 6:12)

ON THE MAP; Exploring the Fault Where the Next Big One May Be Waiting


Published: March 25, 2001

Alexander Gates, a geology professor at Rutgers-Newark, is co-author of ”The Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes,” which will be published by Facts on File in July. He has been leading a four-year effort to remap an area known as the Sloatsburg Quadrangle, a 5-by-7-mile tract near Mahwah that crosses into New York State. The Ramapo Fault, which runs through it, was responsible for a big earthquake in 1884, and Dr. Gates warns that a recurrence is overdue. He recently talked about his findings.

Q. What have you found?

A. We’re basically looking at a lot more rock, and we’re looking at the fracturing and jointing in the bedrock and putting it on the maps. Any break in the rock is a fracture. If it has movement, then it’s a fault. There are a lot of faults that are offshoots of the Ramapo. Basically when there are faults, it means you had an earthquake that made it. So there was a lot of earthquake activity to produce these features. We are basically not in a period of earthquake activity along the Ramapo Fault now, but we can see that about six or seven times in history, about 250 million years ago, it had major earthquake activity. And because it’s such a fundamental zone of weakness, anytime anything happens, the Ramapo Fault goes.

Q. Where is the Ramapo Fault?

 A. The fault line is in western New Jersey and goes through a good chunk of the state, all the way down to Flemington. It goes right along where they put in the new 287. It continues northeast across the Hudson River right under the Indian Point power plant up into Westchester County. There are a lot of earthquakes rumbling around it every year, but not a big one for a while.

Q. Did you find anything that surprised you?

A. I found a lot of faults, splays that offshoot from the Ramapo that go 5 to 10 miles away from the fault. I have looked at the Ramapo Fault in other places too. I have seen splays 5 to 10 miles up into the Hudson Highlands. And you can see them right along the roadsides on 287. There’s been a lot of damage to those rocks, and obviously it was produced by fault activities. All of these faults have earthquake potential.

Q. Describe the 1884 earthquake.

A. It was in the northern part of the state near the Sloatsburg area. They didn’t have precise ways of describing the location then. There was lots of damage. Chimneys toppled over. But in 1884, it was a farming community, and there were not many people to be injured. Nobody appears to have written an account of the numbers who were injured.

Q. What lessons we can learn from previous earthquakes?

A. In 1960, the city of Agadir in Morocco had a 6.2 earthquake that killed 12,000 people, a third of the population, and injured a third more. I think it was because the city was unprepared.There had been an earthquake in the area 200 years before. But people discounted the possibility of a recurrence. Here in New Jersey, we should not make the same mistake. We should not forget that we had a 5.4 earthquake 117 years ago. The recurrence interval for an earthquake of that magnitude is every 50 years, and we are overdue. The Agadir was a 6.2, and a 5.4 to a 6.2 isn’t that big a jump.

Q. What are the dangers of a quake that size?

A. When you’re in a flat area in a wooden house it’s obviously not as dangerous, although it could cut off a gas line that could explode. There’s a real problem with infrastructure that is crumbling, like the bridges with crumbling cement.

There’s a real danger we could wind up with our water supplies and electricity cut off if a sizable earthquake goes off. The best thing is to have regular upkeep and keep up new building codes. The new buildings will be O.K. But there is a sense of complacency.


The Antichrist Wants to Be Iraq’s Ayatollah Khomeini

A crowd of men protesting hold flags and a large portrait of Sadr.
A crowd of men protesting hold flags and a large portrait of Sadr.

Moqtada al-Sadr Wants to Be Iraq’s Ayatollah Khomeini

Despite the Shiite cleric’s apparent efforts against Iranian influence in Iraq, his chief inspiration is Iran’s founder and most famous supreme leader.

August 5, 2022, 2:43 PM

In recent months, Iraqi populist Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has gone from the forefront of efforts to formulate a government in Iraq to leading the country toward what he calls a “revolution.” Sadr’s supporters are now protesting in and occupying Iraq’s parliamentary building and the International (Green) Zone of Baghdad, catapulting Iraq’s government formation process into chaos.

After his success in Iraq’s October 2021 parliamentary elections, Sadr appeared to shake up Iraqi politics by forming a government that excluded his Iranian-backed opponents from power. As the leader of the bloc with the largest number of seats, Sadr rejected the formula for consensus-based power-sharing governments that has been the norm since former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003.

Instead, Sadr formed a tripartite “Save the Homeland” alliance with the largest Kurdish party, Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), as well as parliamentary speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi’s Sovereignty Alliance, a Sunni political bloc—thereby cementing a majority in Iraq’s parliament. The alliance was then tasked with forming Iraq’s government.

South Korean Horn says allies agree ‘unparalleled’ response needed to a N. Korea nuclear test

Seoul says allies agree ‘unparalleled’ response needed to a N. Korea nuclear test

7:34 AM MST

TOKYO, Oct 26 (Reuters) – South Korea said on in Wednesday it had agreed with the United States and Japan that a resumption of nuclear testing by North Korea would have to be met with an “unparalleled” response.

Washington and its allies believe North Korea could be about to resume nuclear bomb testingfor the first time since 2017, but experts say they have few good options for preventing or responding to such a move.

South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong discussed the issue with his Japanese counterpart Takeo Mori and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Tokyo.

“We agreed that an unparalleled scale of response would be necessary if North Korea pushes ahead with a seventh nuclear test,” he told a joint news conference.

The United States and its allies have offered few details on what new measures they might take in response to a resumption of nuclear testing, which State Department spokesman Vedant Patel reiterated on Wednesday would be “grave escalatory action” that would “seriously threaten regional stability.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told an event hosted by Bloomberg that Washington and its allies were working to strengthen their defences and would work with countries, including at the United Nations, “to exert appropriate pressure on North Korea.”

North Korea’s last nuclear test concerned China and Russia to the extent that they backed toughened United Nations Security Council sanctions, but it is unclear if they would do so again, given the dire state of U.S. relations with both Moscow and Beijing due to the war in Ukraine and tensions over Taiwan.

In May, China and Russia vetoed a U.S.-led push to impose more U.N. sanctions on North Korea over its repeated missile launches, publicly splitting the U.N. Security Council for the first time since it started punishing Pyongyang in 2006.

When asked about a possible nuclear test by North Korea, Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Wednesday: “Let’s solve problems as they arrive. I wouldn’t speculate before anything happens. But, of course, the prospect of it is not very welcome.”

Japan-U.S.-South Korea hold trilateral Vice Foreign Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo
Japan-U.S.-South Korea hold trilateral Vice Foreign Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo

[1/6] Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Takeo Mori, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and South Korea’s First Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Hyundong, attend the joint press conference after their trilateral meeting Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022, at the Iikura guesthouse in Tokyo. Eugene Hoshiko/Pool via REUTERS

At the news conference in Tokyo Sherman urged North Korea to “refrain from further provocations,” calling them “reckless and deeply destabilising for the region.

“Anything that happens here, such as a North Korean nuclear test … has implications for the security of the entire world,” she said. “We hope indeed that everyone on the Security Council would understand that any use of a nuclear weapon will change the world in incredible ways.”

When asked about the comments in Tokyo, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin called on all the countries to acknowledge “the root causes of the long-standing impasse” over North Korea’s weapons programs and take steps to enhance mutual trust and address the concerns of all parties.

North Korea has been carrying out weapons tests at an unprecedented pace this year, firing more than two dozen ballistic missiles, one that flew over Japan.

At a regular news briefing, Patel declined to detail how Washington would respond to a resumption of North Korean nuclear testing, but said, using the initials of the country’s official name: “We continue to have tools at our disposal to hold the DPRK accountable.”

He referred to U.S. unilateral sanctions in response to North Korean missile launches this year, as well as joint military exercises with Japan and South Korea, which involved a U.S. aircraft carrier for the first time since 2017.

Mori said the United States, South Korea and Japan had committed to “further strengthen deterrence and response capability” and trilateral security cooperation.

On mounting tensions over Taiwan, a self-administered island China claims as its own, Sherman reiterated the U.S. stance that it does not support Taiwan’s independence, but said it would be doing whatever it could to support Taipei and work with Japan and South Korea to ensure it could defend itself.

At a Communist Party meeting this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for an acceleration of plans to build a world-class military and said China would never renounce the right to use force to resolve the Taiwan issue.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka in Tokyo, Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin, Soo-hyang Choi and Josh Smith in Seoul, Eduardo Baptista in Beijing and Humeyra Pamuk, Simon Lewis and David Brunnstrom in Washington, Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Writing by Chang-Ran Kim and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Deepa Babington and Lincoln Feast.

Iranian Horn must cooperate with uranium probe: Daniel

Iran must cooperate with uranium probe, says IAEA board resolution

By Francois MurphyThe logo of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is seen at their headquarters during a board of governors meeting, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria, June 7, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA, Nov 17 (Reuters) – The United Nations atomic watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors passed a resolution ordering Iran to cooperate urgently with the agency’s investigation into uranium traces found at three undeclared sites, diplomats at Thursday’s closed-door vote said.

The resolution drafted by the United States, Britain, France and Germany says “it is essential and urgent” that Iran explain the origin of the uranium particles and more generally give the International Atomic Energy Agency all the answers it requires.

While it was not the first resolution the board has passed against Iran on the issue – another was adopted in June – its wording was stronger and hinted at a future diplomatic escalation.

“Iran must now provide the necessary cooperation, no more empty promises,” the United States said in its statement to the board shortly before the resolution was adopted with 26 votes in favour, five abstentions and two countries absent, according to diplomats in the meeting. Only Russia and China voted against.

If Iran fails to cooperate, the board is prepared to take further action, said the statement, including under Article XII.C of the Agency’s Statute which lays out options referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council for not complying with its nuclear obligations.

Iran tends to bristle at such resolutions and it remained to be seen what action it would take. In June, Iran removed IAEA monitoring equipment including surveillance cameras installed under its 2015 deal with world powers to curb its disputed uranium enrichment programme.

On Thursday it indicated it would call off a meeting with the IAEA due to be held this month to end the impasse. The IAEA responded by saying it hoped the meeting would take place.

Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, Mohsen Naziri, said “The political goals of the founders of this anti-Iranian resolution will not be realized but it could impact the constructive relations between Tehran and the Agency,” according to Iran’s state media.

Reporting by Francois Murphy and Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Toby Chopra, Mark Heinrich and Josie Kao

Future cancelled, Prophecy Fulfilled: Revelation 8

Future cancelled

Every time a big crisis is averted, we heave a sigh of relief. But every tradeoff ends up being as bad

On November 15, Przewodów, a village on the outskirts of Poland neighbouring Ukraine, was reportedly struck by a missile. Early reports hinted at the possibility of the missile being of Russian make. For a heartstopping moment, it felt like the war in Ukraine was about to spill into Europe. If Russia went to war with Europe and Nato got dragged in, this could mean another world war. If the First World War was called the great war, this one could be dubbed the greatest or the last. A 2019 YouTube documentary by “Kurzgesagt — In a Nutshell”, reportedly made in consultation with scientists, claims there are about 15,000 nuclear weapons on the planet and around 4500 cities with a population of 100 thousand or more. It takes three nukes to destroy such a city, and at this rate, after destroying every one of them, you will still be left with 1,500 warheads to spare. If you think living outside cities will save you, don’t kid yourself. If radiation doesn’t kill you, hunger and disease most certainly will. That’s all, folks!

Mercifully the dogs of a wider war were thwarted by the revelation that the missile was of Ukrainian origin and had been mistakenly fired in the wrong direction. But this incident reminded us how close we are as a civilisation to the precipice. It took me back to 2016 when India claimed it had carried out a surgical strike in Azad Kashmir. Waking to the news, one could not be sure what would come next. Both countries are nuclear powers, and if Pakistan accepted this claim at face value, it could lead to a full-fledged conflict with the ensuing conflict’s potential to go nuclear. I think I have mentioned it in this space before, and to a father’s shame, that it was for the first time in their life, I looked at my children, whom I dote on, and asked myself if bringing them into this dystopian world was such a great idea. Another small mercy of life that Pakistan did not take this claim at face value and did what it could to expose the Indian propaganda. But the helplessness I felt on this occasion left its mark.

November 15, incidentally, was also the date when the eight-billionth baby was born on this planet; some say in Manila, Philippines, others say in the Dominican Republic. But we know the human population has crossed the 8 billion mark. And what a time to do that. Our world is getting more unstable with every passing day. Climate change is already rocking our boat. Humanity just emerged out of a pandemic that all but paralysed us. The inflationary supercycle has already made life difficult. And while we examine the prospects of another global economic depression, we are informed by the UK’s Chancellor of Exchequer that his country is already in recession. Remember the term I borrowed from the late Mark Fisher a few months ago? Slow cancellation of the future? When a generation is raised with the hope of a great future only to find it all disappear into wisps of smoke. Well, that slow cancellation is upon us.

Consider this. My generation (Gen X)’s childhood was consumed by the ravages of the cold war and adult life grappling with the consequences of the cold war (read the war on terror). Millennials (Gen Y) bore the brunt of the great recession of 2007. Now through the pandemic and all this mess, we are wrecking the future of another generation — Gen Z. Only time will tell what comes next. Remember, billionaires only got more prosperous during the great recession, the pandemic and even now. We, the common folk, are asked to pay for all this through our shattered dreams and adjustment to the gig economy.

We can all take solace in the fact that the world we live in is less violent than in the past. In his brilliant work, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, Dr Steven Pinker does an incredible job of not only documenting the sheer volume of violence in the past to show dramatically it has declined but also explaining why it is so in terms of biochemical changes in the brain through the ages. Anybody interested in the subject must read this book. Especially the way Dr Pinker proposes to tackle our five inner demons that lead to violence, namely predation, dominance, desire for revenge, sadism and ideology, is worth your time. But let’s face it. Violence worldwide might have gone down, but it has not been abolished. What is more, if you are talking about a world at risk of nuclear annihilation, a large-scale onslaught of hunger and poverty and major man-made climatic catastrophes, you are merely counting small victories right now.

The worst news from all significant flashpoints like Ukraine, Taiwan, Kashmir, Middle East, North Korea, Iran and the Twitter headquarters is that there is no easy solution. These active and latent conflicts have grown without any off switch, a reset button, or guardrails. From G7 to G20, from the UN to other fora, all institutions meant to ensure collective security, close cooperation, and reconciliation are struggling to stay relevant. When the rich and the powerful choose not to behave, good-faith actors can only gawk in horror. If you want to see how the rich and powerful evade responsibility, look at the recent FTX crypto crash. 

While ordinary folks might have been lured into investing in such shoddy schemes, the founding principle of the much-hyped crypto-rush seems to be the protection of billionaires’ wealth from state entities by parking it in the ether. Something taught to them by the Russian oligarchs? That would explain the callousness with which some billionaires are ready to bulldoze everything democratic. And common johnnies invest thinking if their idols are investing here, it must be the hot new thing. How would they know they are only keeping their idol’s side hustles afloat and might soon be conned out of their life’s savings? More and worst subprime assets for you, then. Back to square 2007.

Every time a big crisis is averted, we heave a sigh of relief. But every tradeoff ends up being as bad. Through interventions, you might save the economy from a meltdown, a business from going under or people from losing jobs, but their safety nets are gone, and their growth plans, including children’s college funds. The world needed to wake up by now. It shows no signs of doing so. Consequently, the future we could rely on is already gone. Consider the future cancelled.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2022.

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The Russian Horn Tests a Nuclear Rocket: Revelation 16

A Brahmos supersonic cruise missile
A Brahmos supersonic cruise missile is on display at the International Maritime Defence Show in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on June 28, 2017. A Russian cruise missile that was shot down over Kyiv on Thursday was reportedly equipped with a mock nuclear warhead. OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images

Russia Fires Mock Nuclear Warhead at Ukraine—Kyiv

By Isabel van Brugen On 11/18/22 at 7:18 AM EST

A Russian cruise missile that was shot down over Kyiv on Thursday was reportedly equipped with a mock nuclear warhead.

Of the two Russian cruise missiles that were downed over Ukraine’s capital, one was an X-55 cruise missile that had a block “screwed” on which acted as a simulator of a nuclear warhead, Ukrainian news outlet Defense Express reported.

Russia pummeled Ukraine on Thursday with a wave of missile strikes on cities including Kyiv, Dnipro, and the Odesa and Kharkiv oblasts. That came two days after Russian forces launched a barrage of some 90 missiles in what marked the largest attack on Ukraine since the war began in February.

“According to preliminary information, two cruise missiles have been shot down over Kyiv,” the city’s military administration said in a post on Telegram Thursday. Iranian Shahed drones were also shot down over the city.

Ukrainian authorities have said the attacks, like the previous mass strikes, seek to destroy the country’s energy system and critical infrastructure.

Defense Express, citing unnamed sources, said that Russian forces took at least one X-55 from the country’s nuclear arsenal, “unscrewed” the nuclear warhead from this missile and replaced it with an empty “block” that was fired over Ukraine.

The outlet notes that the X-55 is a Soviet missile that was originally developed specifically as a carrier of nuclear weapons and that conventional and nuclear warheads differ structurally.

Russia may have done so because its cruise missile inventory is running critically low, according to Defense Express. The Kremlin could also be deliberately attempting to overload Ukraine’s air defense systems, the publication said.

Newsweek has been unable to independently verify the claims and has reached out to Russia’s defense ministry for comment.

Last month, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov suggested that Russia’s missile stockpile was dwindling.

Defeating Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s military is “inevitable,” he said, as he posted an illustration on Twitter showing that, as of October 12, Russia had 609 missiles left out of the 1,844 missiles it had when it first invaded Ukraine on February 24.

The remaining weapons as of last month, according to Ukraine’s assessments, included 124 ground-launched missiles out of an initial 900 and 272 Kalibr missiles, which are launched by sea, out of an initial 500. There were also 213 air-launched cruise missiles (Kh-101-Kh555) still remaining from the 444 that Moscow initially had at the beginning of the war.

“Demilitarization of russia,” Reznikov wrote. “By using hundreds of high-precision missiles against civilian objects of Ukraine, the aggressor state reduces its ability to strike the military targets.”

He added: “Two conclusions: – russia’s military defeat is inevitable; – russia is a terrorist state.”

Meanwhile, three United States officials told CNN on Thursday that there is concern that U.S. stockpiles won’t be able to meet Ukrainian demands going into the winter.

Ukraine has been receiving military assistance from the West to fight against Russian forces. The Washington-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) have been widely credited with turning the tide of the war.

N. Korean missile launches destabilize region: Daniel 7

N. Korean missile launches destabilize region: Pentagon


North Korean missile launches continue to destabilize the region, a Pentagon spokesperson reiterated Thursday, soon after Pyongyang resumed its ballistic missile testing.

North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile into the East Sea on Thursday in its latest military provocation that came after an eight-day hiatus.

“It continues to be destabilizing that they launch these ballistic missiles and if they continue to do that, it just further destabilizes the region,” deputy spokesperson for the defense department Sabrina Singh told a press briefing.

“Our commitment remains strong to the Republic of Korea and Japan,” she added.

The Department of State earlier condemned North Korea’s latest missile test as a threat to the region and international community.
Pyongyang staged a record number of missile tests this year, firing a barrage of more than 50 short and long-range missiles since Sept. 25.

“We are always going to stand up for our allies and partners around the world and particularly in the region and we have called on North Korea to stop these ballistic missile launches,” said Singh.

Source: Korean Herald