The Sixth Seal Long Overdue (Revelation 6)

The Sixth Seal Long Overdue (Revelation 6)


November 8, 2017 3 MinutesON THE MAP; Exploring the Fault Where the Next Big One May Be Waiting

 The Big One Awaits


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.


Photo: Alexander Gates, a Rutgers geologist, is mapping a part of the Ramapo Fault, site of previous earthquakes. (John W. Wheeler for The New York Times)

Playing Russian nuclear roulette: Revelation 16

Russian roulette: what ‘tactical’ nuclear war would mean

In 1861 an American seed-drill designer named Richard Jordan Gatling created a super-weapon that he believed would bring an end to war. With his hand-cranked, ten-barrel machine-gun, Gatling did for warfare what his contemporary Isaac Singer had done for sewing, bringing mechanisation to a former handcraft. Gatling’s gun fired more than 200 rounds a minute – as much as an entire battalion of soldiers with muzzle-loading muskets. In his memoirs, Gatling wrote that ‘if a four-man machine-gun crew could kill a thousand infantrymen in five minutes’ then perhaps the terror created by such a weapon would ‘discourage war altogether’.

Gatling gun battery at Fort Lincoln, Dakota Territory, in the 1870s (Alamy)

Robert Oppenheimer, the creator of the first atom bomb, was motivated by a similar thought. ‘The atomic bomb has made the prospect of future war unendurable,’ wrote Oppenheimer. ‘It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass and beyond there is a different country.’ Yet like Gatling, Oppenheimer was wrong. Gatling’s machine-gun multiplied the power of a musket by a factor of hundred. Oppenheimer’s bomb had the explosive power of 20,000 tons of TNT – multiplying the conventional munitions carried by a single B-29 bomber by a factor of a thousand. But the atom bomb had not brought humanity into a ‘different country’. To generals in Moscow and Washington, it was just a bigger bomb.

The chief power of nukes is in the dread they inspire, not their absolute destructive potential

By 1950 military planners in both new superpowers were scheming to use nuclear weapons on the battlefield. General Douglas MacArthur – the conqueror of Japan – tried to persuade President Harry S. Truman to drop an atom bomb on North Korea. And in Moscow, Marshal Georgy Zhukov – victor of the battles of Kursk and Berlin – urged Joseph Stalin to develop a new military doctrine where tactical nukes were used in conjunction with ground forces. Stalin, rightly suspicious that America’s technological superiority would give them a natural advantage in a nuclear arms race, resisted.

But in September 1954, 18 months after Stalin’s death, Zhukov finally got his wish. A 40 kiloton bomb known as RDS-4 – twice as large as the Hiroshima device – was detonated over the remote steppe near Totskoye in the southern Urals. Thirteen kilometres from ground zero, 45,000 Soviet troops, plus about 1,200 tanks and armoured personnel carriers, waited in battle order. The men had not been issued with any protective gear. Five minutes after the detonation, fighter–bombers were sent over the blast site to drop conventional bombs. Three hours later the tanks were sent in, followed by the infantry. Zhukov observed from an underground nuclear bunker. Superficial medical examinations of the troops showed that marching into nuclear fallout was not immediately lethal, which was good enough for the Soviet commander. No systematic record was ever kept of the radiation poisoning and cancers that would later have affected the men.

With the Soviets’ Totskoye experiment, the potential battlefield use of nuclear weapons had become a tried-and-tested reality. In the years that followed, both superpowers developed smaller and smaller nuclear devices, including land mines, torpedoes, depth charges and artillery shells. The smallest nuke ever developed was the US’s 1963 W-48, designed to fit into a Nato-standard 155mm artillery shell. This bomb – no larger than a party-sized bottle of cola – had a yield of ‘only’ 0.07 kilotons, or 70 tons of TNT.

But Gatling and Oppenheimer’s idea of a weapon that would make the prospect of future war ‘unendurable’ persisted. With the advent of the thermonuclear (or hydrogen) bomb, the engineers of Los Alamos and Arzamas-16 could create weapons thousands of times more powerful than the Hiroshima device. ‘A thermonuclear war cannot be considered a continuation of politics by other means,’ wrote the future Nobel Peace Prize-winning nuclear weapons designer Andrei Sakharov in his memoirs. ‘It would be a means of universal suicide.’

In 1961 Sakharov built RDS-220, a double-chambered thermonuclear device whose casing (known as a tamper) was cast of 26 tons of pure uranium metal. Ten days before RDS-220 was meant to be detonated, Sakharov received calculations that suggested that his device could set the Earth’s atmosphere on fire, so he scrapped the uranium tamper and recast it in lead to reduce the bomb’s power. Nonetheless, when RDS-220 was dropped by parachute over a test site at Novaya Zemlya in the Soviet Arctic on 30 October 1961, the detonation blew out windows 900km away in Finland. Sensors placed 150km from ground zero showed that the blast was still hot enough to cause third-degree burns, and a shock wave measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale travelled three times around the Earth’s crust. The blast had occurred at a height of 4,000 metres, but a circle of rock and sand several kilometres in circumference had been turned into a crater of black glass. At 52 megatons, RDS-220’s power equalled more than 2,500 Hiroshimas.

American journalists glibly called Sakharov’s device the Tsar Bomb, to match the Kremlin’s Tsar Cannon and Tsar Bell. But it was clear to leaders in both Washington and Moscow that a dangerous threshold had been crossed. Mankind had achieved the final, fatal multiplication of his destructive potential. The annihilation of life on the planet was now within his power. In the aftermath of the Tsar Bomb, both sides agreed to ban atmospheric nuclear testing for ever (though underground tests continued). And the principle of mutually assured destruction, or MAD, was born. Global thermonuclear war had indeed become unthinkable because it had become unwinnable.

Or had it? The Americans and the Sovietsboth continued to develop and deploy so-called ‘limited yield’ or ‘nonstrategic’ nuclear weapons to their frontline forces. Indeed, it was a Soviet nuclear-armed torpedo, not a strategic nuke, that brought the world the closest it has ever been to a full-scale nuclearwar during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. A fleet of four Soviet Project 641 diesel-electric submarines had been despatched from the Soviet naval base at Severomorsk, near Murmansk, with orders to sail to Mariel, Cuba. Each was armed with 21 conventional T-5 torpedoes – and a single nuclear-tipped one containing an RDS-9 nuclear warhead with a five kiloton yield. Uniquely in the history of warfare, each sub’s commander was authorised to use his nuclear torpedo without consulting Moscow if the submarine ‘came under direct attack’.

On 27 October 1962, at the tensest moment of the standoff between John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet submarine B-59 was intercepted off the east coast of Cuba by US sub-hunting destroyers. The US Navy began dropping practice depth charges armed with detonators but no explosives in an attempt to signal the sub to surface. Out of radio contact with the USSR for days, the Soviet commander Valentin Savitsky assumed both that war had begun and that his ship was under attack. Savitsky gave orders for the nuclear torpedo to be armed and aimed at the aircraft carrier USS Randolph, some ten kilometres away. His political officer Ivan Maslennikov, who held the second half of the nuclear key required to arm the warhead, concurred.

Luckily for the world, a third officer was on board equal in rank but senior in authority to Savitsky – flotilla chief of staff Captain First Class Vasily Arkhipov. After a stand-up argument in the cramped control room of B-59, Arkhipov overruled Savitsky and surfaced the submarine. Arkhipov quite literally saved the world from nuclear war – though on his return he was censured for cowardice. The story of the confrontation aboard B-59 was kept secret until the 1990s.

Vasily Arkhipov, 17 February 1955 (Alamy)

What the B-59 story clearly showed was that the idea that a nuclear weapon can really be ‘tactical’ is a highly qualified concept. The risk of automatic escalation depends on the target. Had Savitsky nuked the American aircraft carrier Randolph, there’s little doubt that Kennedy would have answered with a larger nuclear strike against the USSR. If he’d detonated his nuclear torpedo in the open sea, maybe not.

Which brings us to Vladimir Putin and his threats that he was ‘not bluffing’ about the use of nuclear weapons to defend Russia – including, implicitly, the newly annexed territories of Ukraine. Two US officials told CBS News that senior Russian military leaders discussed last month how and when they might use nuclear weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine. This week it was revealed that US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan had held confidential talks with Nikolai Patrushev – head of Russia’s Security Council and the second most powerful man in the Kremlin – over Russia’s nuclear threats.

Ever since nukes were first used in anger in 1945, their chief power has been in the dread they inspire, not their absolute destructive potential. In one sense, then, the mystical power of the nuclear weapon that Oppenheimer spoke of when he quoted the Bhagavad Gita after the first Trinity test – ‘Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds’ – still remains in the form of a profound and persistent taboo on their use. Putin has broken that taboo in word, even if he remains unlikely to do so in deed (he has emphasised that Russia’s nuclear doctrine only allows the ‘defensive’ use of nuclear arms).

But even though tactical nuclear war is no longer unthinkable, it’s important that such a war should remain unwinnable. The US and Europe’s nuclear powers have made it clear that their response to a Russian atomic strike on Ukraine will not be nuclear but will be ‘overwhelming’, in the words of the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Total strategic nuclear war remains, as Sakharov predicted, a form of collective suicide. But it’s vital for the world’s security that tactical nuclear war be proved to be equally suicidal – for the aggressor.

Iranian Horn Triples Her Nukes: Daniel 8

Iran triples capacity for enriching uranium to 60%, near weapons grade, IAEA says

Iran triples capacity for enriching uranium to 60%, near weapons grade, IAEA says

International Atomic Energy Agency warns ‘this has consequences’ and calls for inspections as watchdog remains at odds with Tehran

By TOI staff and Agencies3 December 2022, 5:35 am

Iran has tripled its capacity to enrich uranium to 60 percent purity, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency said Friday, as Tehran remains at odds with the West over its nuclear program.

Uranium enriched to 60% purity is a short technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%.

Iran said last month that it had moved ahead on uranium enrichment that Western governments worry is part of a covert nuclear weapons program.

“Iran informed us they were tripling, not doubling, tripling their capacity to enrich uranium at 60%, which is very close to military level, which is 90%” the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi said at a press conference in Rome.

“This is not banal. This is something that has consequences. It gives them an inventory of nuclear material for which it cannot be excluded… that there might be another use. We need to go. We need to verify,” he said, according to Reuters.

Iran said last month that the enrichment was being carried out at its underground Fordo plant using advanced IR-6 centrifuges, and was a response to an IAEA resolution criticizing Tehran’s lack of cooperation with the nuclear watchdog.

Under the terms of its 2015 agreement with world powers, Iran is only permitted to enrich uranium to 3.67% purity. That deal gave Iran sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear program to prevent the production of a weapon.

Rafael Grossi, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, speaks to journalists after the IAEA’s board of governors meeting at the agency’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on November 16, 2022. (Joe Klamar/AFP)

The deal also called for Fordo to become a research-and-development facility and restricted centrifuges there, used to spin enriched uranium into higher levels of purity, to non-nuclear uses.

The US last month expressed “deep concern”over Iran’s progress on its nuclear program and ballistic missile capabilities.

“We’re going to make sure we have all options available to the president,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby said. “We certainly have not changed our view that we will not allow Iran to achieve a nuclear weapons capability.”

In a joint statement, Britain, France and Germany said Iran was moving “well beyond” limits set down in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name of the 2015 deal.

By enriching uranium up to 60%, Iran was challenging global non-proliferation, they said.

“This step, which carries significant proliferation-related risks, has no credible civilian justification,” the European countries said.

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Ebrahim Raisi, second right, receives an explanation while visiting an exhibition of Iran’s nuclear achievements in Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2022. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

Grossi also said Friday that Iran was still in conflict with the IAEA. The two sides have long been at odds as Iran has blocked inspectors from visiting suspicious sites and withheld information from the agency.

The IAEA is seeking an explanation from Iran for uranium traces that were discovered at three undeclared sites. The IAEA previously said Iran had agreed to allow UN inspectors to visit in November but the meeting has not taken place.

“We don’t seem to be seeing eye-to-eye with Iran over their obligations to the IAEA,” Grossi said. “We need to put our relationship back on track.”

The heavily protected Fordo plant around 110 miles (190 kilometers) south of Tehran was built deep underground in a bid to shield it from air or missile strikes by Iran’s enemies.

In September, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the enrichment capacity had tripled at Fordo over the past year, months after Iran said it had begun enriching uranium to 20% purity at the plant.

This September 1, 2014 file photo, shows a nuclear research reactor at the headquarters of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Last month, Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva said Iran has made “significant progress” toward producing 90% enriched uranium.

“The moment is coming when the greatest test of the international community will come to light, when Iran entertains [the idea of] enrichment at 90%, even if only symbolically,” he said.

The IAEA reported in July that Iran had 43 kilograms of uranium enriched to 60% purity at other sites, enough fissile material for one nuclear weapon if Iran chose to pursue it.

However, Iran still would need to design a bomb and a delivery system for it, likely a months-long project.

Talks seeking to revive the nuclear deal have stalled, alongside international condemnation of Tehran’s heavy-handed response to domestic protests.

The deal collapsed after Washington’s unilateral withdrawal in 2018 under then-president Donald Trump.

Israel has long opposed the nuclear accord, saying it delayed rather than ended Iran’s nuclear progress and arguing that sanctions relief empowered Tehran’s proxy militias across the region, with expected incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu coming out strongly against the deal.

China Horn Stockpiles Nukes: Daniel 7

China Stockpiles Nukes

December 2, 2022

China is stockpiling nuclear warheads and is expected to reach numbers comparable to Russia and the United States, according to a Pentagon report released November 29.

  • The Department of Defense estimates that, as of 2021, the People’s Liberation Army (pla) has over 400 nuclear-capable warheads.
  • It expects the pla to stockpile up to 1,500 of them by 2035. This would make China the third nation in the world, behind Russia and America, to reach over 1,000 nuclear weapons.

By the 2030s, the United States for the first time will need to deter two major nuclear powers [Russia and China], each of whom will field modern and diverse global and regional nuclear forces.
—U.S. National Security Strategy

Nuclear age prophesied: In Matthew 24:21-24, Jesus Christ warns that right before His Second Coming will be a time of unprecedented tribulation. “[E]xcept those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved,” He said. In Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door,’Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry shows that this passage could only be describing nuclear war. The proliferation of nuclear weapons has created an age in which total human annihilation is possible.

[A]ll this nuclear insanity is also a part of the sign of the Second Coming and the sign of the end of the age when Christ will save humanity from totally exterminating itself!
—Gerald Flurry

China’s determination to expand its nuclear arsenal is pushing the world toward this prophesied war.

Babylon the Great unveils its newest stealth bomber

The secret’s out: Pentagon unveils its newest stealth bomber

The B-21 Raider is expected to start flying next year.

The Raider is also “multi-functional,” Austin said. “It can handle anything from intel gathering to battle management to integrating with our allies and partners.”

The B-21 has been designed with an “open architecture,” allowing the Air Force to swap out older systems more easily for new technologies. This approach was adopted to help prevent the bomber, which was initially designed almost a decade ago, from becoming obsolete amid rapid technological advances.

“So as the United States continues to innovate, this bomber will be able to defend our country with new weapons that haven’t even been created yet,” Austin said.

Unlike many recent military aircraft programs, most famously the controversial F-35 fighter jet, the new bomber has stayed on cost and on schedule. The Air Force has set a $500 million ceiling for the unit cost in 2010 dollars; in 2019, Northrop said the Air Force’s target cost would be just over $600 million, accounting for inflation.

Over the next few months, the B-21 will undergo additional testing to make sure it is ready for its first flight, which Northrop has said will likely occur in 2023.

The Raider is named for the Doolittle Raiders, known for their surprise attack on Japan during World War II. To pick the name, then-Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and then-Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein put out a call for submissions and chose from a list of thousands of options that ranged from the ridiculous — “Sneaky McBombFace” — to the ominous — “Black Death.”

The first new B-21s will be based out of Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, and formal training will be conducted there as well. Maintenance and sustainment will be handled at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, while testing and evaluation is being performed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Other prime contractors include Pratt & Whitney, which provides the engine; BAE Systems, which is most likely building the electronic warfare system; GKN Aerospace; Janicki Industries; Orbital ATK, which was acquired by Northrop; Rockwell Collins; and Spirit AeroSystems, according to Byron Callan, an analyst with Capital Alpha Partners.

Pakistan’s new army chief says will defend “motherland”

Lieutenant General Munir, appointed as the new Chief Of Army Staff of Pakistan, meets with Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in Islamabad
Lieutenant General Asim Munir, who was appointed as the new Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) of Pakistan, meets with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the Prime Minister’s House, in Islamabad, Pakistan November 24, 2022. Press Information Department (PID)/Handout via REUTERS 

Pakistan’s new army chief says will defend “motherland” during visit to disputed Kashmir

Reuters7:11 PM MST

Dec 3 (Reuters) – Pakistan’s new army chief on Saturday said the military was ready to defend “every inch of our motherland” if attacked, during a visit to the Line of Control (LoC) that divides the disputed Kashmir region, which is claimed by both Pakistan and neighbouring India.

The visit came less than a week since General Asim Munir took charge of Pakistan’s powerful military, and were among his strongest public statements on arch-rival India since taking up the role.

“Let me make it categorically clear, Pakistan’s armed forces are ever ready, not only to defend every inch of our motherland, but to take the fight back to the enemy if ever war is imposed on us,” he said, according to a statement from the military’s media wing. “Indian state will never be able to achieve her nefarious designs.”

India’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

The two South Asian nuclear powers both claim the Kashmir region in full, but rule only parts, and have fought two of their three wars over the area.

Both sides often accuse each other of breaching a 2003 ceasefire pact by shelling and firing across the LoC, a 740-km (460-mile) de facto border that cuts Kashmir into two.

Since early 2021, the LoC has been mostly quiet, following the renewal of a ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan.

Pakistan’s generals retain a strong influence over security matters and foreign affairs, according to analysts, and Pakistan’s army chief will play a key role in managing risks of conflict with India on its eastern border, while also dealing with potential friction with Afghanistan on its western frontier.

On the Boil Outside the Temple Walls: Daniel 7

On the boil: on West Bank violence

The violence in West Bank is reshaping Israeli and Palestinian societies

December 03, 2022 12:10 am | Updated 11:08 am IST 

The killing of five Palestinian men by Israeli security forces in separate incidents on Tuesday in Hebron and Ramallah is the latest flare-up of a continuing story of violence and retribution in the occupied West Bank. Organised armed resistance independent of the official Palestinian leadership has been growing in the West Bank ever since the clashes in Jerusalem in May 2021, which led to the 11-day war on the Gaza Strip, controlled by the Islamist Hamas. Among the new militant groups that have sprung up in the West Bank is the Lion’s Den, reportedly based in the Old City of Nablus, attacking Israeli troops and illegal Jewish settlers in Palestinian territories. This year has seen a marked jump in attacks by Palestinians — Jerusalem was hit by two blasts in November in which a teenager was killed and 18 injured — while the Israelis carry out raids in West Bank towns almost daily. The violence is cyclical. At least 140 Palestinians have been killed this year, including 26 children, which is a seven-year record. More than 30 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians.

If anything, the continuing violence despite Israel’s disproportionate crackdown underscores the argument that the status quo in the occupied and blockaded Palestinian territories is unbearable and unsustainable. Israel’s approach is that it can manage the security challenges from Palestinians with heavy force and no concessions. A weak and divided Palestinian leadership means that there is no organised, collective voice to negotiate with the Israelis. The Palestinian Authority, which runs parts of the West Bank, is led by Fatah, while the overpopulated Gaza Strip, on the Mediterranean coast, is ruled by its rival Hamas. Still, the situation is beyond Israel’s control. The absence of a peace process, a deepening of the occupation and pent-up frustration with their own leadership have led a new generation of Palestinians in the West Bank to embrace violence and militancy, recalling the days of the second Intifada. The return of Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister could make the situation worse as some of his far-right and ultra-Orthodox allies want the Jewish settlements in the West Bank to be expanded and “disloyal” Arab citizens of Israel expelled. The slow death of the two-state formula and growing violence are bad news for the occupiers and the occupied. While it is making Palestinian lives extremely difficult, the unending conflict is reshaping Israeli society as well, which is becoming polarised with the clergy, far-right nationalists and extremists wielding an outsize influence on politics and governance.