Conclusion to Economic Consequences of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:15)

Scenario Earthquakes for Urban Areas Along the Atlantic Seaboard of the United States: Conclusions

The current efforts in the eastern U.S., including New York City, to start the enforcement of seismic building codes for new constructions are important first steps in the right direction. Similarly, the emerging efforts to include seismic rehabilitation strategies in the generally needed overhaul of the cities’ aged infrastructures such as bridges, water, sewer, power and transportation is commendable and needs to be pursued with diligence and persistence. But at the current pace of new construction replacing older buildings and lifelines, it will take many decades or a century before a major fraction of the stock of built assets will become seismically more resilient than the current inventory is. For some time, this leaves society exposed to very high seismic risks. The only consolation is that seismicity on average is low, and, hence with some luck, the earthquakes will not outpace any ongoing efforts to make eastern cities more earthquake resilient gradually. Nevertheless, M = 5 to M = 6 earthquakes at distances of tens of km must be considered a credible risk at almost any time for cities like Boston, New York or Philadelphia. M = 7 events, while possible, are much less likely; and in many respects, even if building codes will have affected the resilience of a future improved building stock, M = 7 events would cause virtually unmanageable situations. Given these bleak prospects, it will be necessary to focus on crucial elements such as maintaining access to cities by strengthening critical bridges, improving the structural and nonstructural performance of hospitals, and having a nationally supported plan how to assist a devastated region in case of a truly severe earthquake. No realistic and coordinated planning of this sort exists at this time for most eastern cities.

The current efforts by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) via the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) to provide a standard methodology (RMS, 1994) and planning tools for making systematic, computerized loss estimates for annualized probabilistic calculations as well as for individual scenario events, is commendable. But these new tools provide only a shell with little regional data content. What is needed are the detailed data bases on inventory of buildings and lifelines with their locally specific seismic fragility properties. Similar data are needed for hospitals, shelters, firehouses, police stations and other emergency service providers. Moreover, the soil and rock conditions which control the shaking and soil liquefaction properties for any given event, need to be systematically compiled into Geographical Information System (GIS) data bases so they can be combined with the inventory of built assets for quantitative loss and impact estimates. Even under the best of conceivable funding conditions, it will take years before such data bases can be established so they will be sufficiently reliable and detailed to perform realistic and credible loss scenarios. Without such planning tools, society will remain in the dark as to what it may encounter from a future major eastern earthquake. Given these uncertainties, and despite them, both the public and private sector must develop at least some basic concepts for contingency plans. For instance, the New York City financial service industry, from banks to the stock and bond markets and beyond, ought to consider operational contingency planning, first in terms of strengthening their operational facilities, but also for temporary backup operations until operations in the designated facilities can return to some measure of normalcy. The Federal Reserve in its oversight function for this industry needs to take a hard look at this situation.

A society, whose economy depends increasingly so crucially on rapid exchange of vast quantities of information must become concerned with strengthening its communication facilities together with the facilities into which the information is channeled. In principle, the availability of satellite communication (especially if self-powered) with direct up and down links, provides here an opportunity that is potentially a great advantage over distributed buried networks. Distributed networks for transportation, power, gas, water, sewer and cabled communication will be expensive to harden (or restore after an event).

In all future instances of major capital spending on buildings and urban infrastructures, the incorporation of seismically resilient design principles at all stages of realization will be the most effective way to reduce society’s exposure to high seismic risks. To achieve this, all levels of government need to utilize legislative and regulatory options; insurance industries need to build economic incentives for seismic safety features into their insurance policy offerings; and the private sector, through trade and professional organizations’ planning efforts, needs to develop a healthy self-protective stand. Also, the insurance industry needs to invest more aggressively into broadly based research activities with the objective to quantify the seismic hazards, the exposed assets and their seismic fragilities much more accurately than currently possible. Only together these combined measures may first help to quantify and then reduce our currently untenably large seismic risk exposures in the virtually unprepared eastern cities. Given the low-probability/high-impact situation in this part of the country, seismic safety planning needs to be woven into both the regular capital spending and daily operational procedures. Without it we must be prepared to see little progress. Unless we succeed to build seismic safety considerations into everyday decision making as a normal procedure of doing business, society will lose the race against the unstoppable forces of nature. While we never can entirely win this race, we can succeed in converting unmitigated catastrophes into manageable disasters, or better, tolerable natural events.

The Pakistani Horn threatens India with the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

Pak minister Shazia Marri threatens India with “nuclear war”


Dec 17, 2022 21:57 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], December 17 (ANI): A day after India slammed Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari for his “uncivilized outburst” at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pakistan Peoples Party leader Shazia Marrithreatened New Delhi with nuclear war.
In a news conference with Bol News, she said, “India should not forget that Pakistan has an atom bomb. Our nuclear status is not meant to remain silent. We will not back down if the need arises.”
She was holding a press conference in support of Bilawal Bhutto and spewed venom against India.
Shazia threatened India and said that if the Modi government will fight, then he will get the answer. The status of a nuclear state given to Pakistan has not been given to remain silent. Pakistan also knows how to answer.
She said, “if you will keep making allegations against Pakistan again and again, Pakistan cannot keep listening silently, this will not happen.”
Shazia’s statement comes at a time when Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto is being slammed in India for unleashing a personal attack on PM Modi and also hitting out at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
In a press conference on the sidelines of the United Nations Security Council session in America, Bilawal Bhutto alleged that the government of India was influenced by Hitler instead of Mahatma Gandhi.

In response to media queries on Bilawal’s ‘uncivilized’ remarks, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi, said, “These comments are a new low, even for Pakistan. Pakistan’s foreign minister’s frustration would be better directed towards the masterminds of terrorist enterprises in his own country, who have made terrorism a part of their state policy. Pakistan needs to change its own mindset or remain a pariah.”
Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday ripped into Pakistan over its role in sponsoring and spreading terrorism and advised Islamabad to clean up its act and try to be a good neighbour.
In reply to a question from a Pakistani journalist, who accused India of spreading terror, Jaishankar replied,” You are asking the wrong minister when you say how long will we do this. It is the ministers of Pakistan who will tell how long Pakistan intends to practice terrorism.”
A flurry of other politicians, too, objected to Bilawal’s uncivilized bursts on PM Modi. “As far as the leadership of PM Modi is concerned, the world has recognized that leadership,” said Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi.
PM Modi has helped not only India but also other countries, including Pakistan, during Covid. If a foreign minister of a country is making such statement, it doesn’t hold him well,” added Lekhi.
Incidentally, Pakistan was included in the grey list of FATF several times for incubating terrorism.
“The statement of the foreign minister of Pakistan is very shameful and it is an attempt to replicate the way in which the Pakistan Army was defeated by the Indian Army on this day in 1971. Maybe he is still in pain. The world has seen Pakistan’s actions and intentions. They have been giving shelter to terrorists for a long time. PM Modi has taken strict actions against terrorism. The US killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and India did a surgical strike in Pakistan,” said Union minister Anurag Thakur.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday launched nationwide protests against Bilawal Bhutto for his remark on PM Modi and burnt his effigies across India. (ANI)

The imperialist horns prepare for World War III: Revelation 16

Two US Air Force B-1B bombers, top center, South Korean Air Force F-35 fighter jets and US Air Force F-16 fighter jets, bottom left, fly over South Korea Peninsula during a joint air drill in South Korea, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. [AP Photo/South Korean Defense Ministry via AP]

The imperialist powers prepare for World War III: US, Japan, Germany plan record military spending

Over the past week, the United States, Germany and Japan, three of the principal combatants in the last world war, moved to approve their largest military budgets since World War II, each marking a major escalation in their preparations for military conflict with Russia and China.

On Thursday, the US Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve an $858 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that is $45 billion larger than that requested by the White House, which was in turn larger than the request by the Pentagon.

The budget marks an eight percent increase over last year and a 30 percent increase in military spending over the 2016 Pentagon budget. The massive surge in military spending comes as the typical US household saw its real income fall by three percent in the past 12 months.

The overwhelming majority of the American population was not informed that the measure was being debated or voted on. Neither the passage of the record-setting budget through the House of Representatives or the Senate was reported on the evening network news.

The bill increases funding for every single military department and weapons program. The US Navy will get $32 billion for new warships, including three Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and two Virginia-class submarines. And the Pentagon is authorized to purchase a further 36 F-35 aircraft, each costing approximately $89 million.

Members of Congress did not even bother hiding the fact that the central purpose of the bill was to prepare for what they called “a future conflict with China” and the ongoing US-led proxy war against Russia.

“This year’s NDAA takes concrete steps towards preparing for a future conflict with China by investing in American hard power, strengthening American posture in the Indo-Pacific, and supporting our allies,” Wisconsin Republican Representative Mike Gallagher said.

The NDAA will upend Washington’s decades-old One China policy by providing $10 billion in direct military funding to Taiwan for the first time. The bill will also institute no-bid contracting, typically used only in wartime, allowing defense contractors to charge the US government whatever they want.

The bill transforms Taiwan into a frontline proxy for conflict with China, in a manner similar to the way Ukraine is serving as a US proxy for war with Russia. In a press statement, Gallagher praised the fact that the bill “provides similar drawdown authority to arm Taiwan as we have Ukraine.”

On Friday, just one day later, the Japanese government unveiled a new national defense strategy that will double the country’s military budget and transform its military into an offensive fighting force. For the first time, Japan will procure long-range missiles capable of hitting China in an offensive strike.

The strategy openly defies Japan’s constitution, which declares that “land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be sustained.”

The Japanese population is overwhelmingly opposed to military rearmament, stemming from popular horror at both the crimes committed by Japanese imperialism throughout Asia and the devastating toll the war with the United States took on the Japanese population.

The Japanese imperial government oversaw the murder of millions of people through massacres, starvation and forced labor. In China alone, which was invaded by Japan, it is estimated that between 10 and 25 million civilians died in the war. During its war in the Pacific, the United States and its allies killed over one million Japanese civilians, including in the fire-bombing of Tokyo and the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On Wednesday, the budget committee of the German parliament voted to approve the purchase of nuclear-capable F35 aircraft from the United States. While Germany does not have nuclear weapons of its own, as a member of NATO it participates in nuclear weapons sharing with the United States, and US nuclear weapons are stationed in Germany.

The purchase of the F-35 fighters is part of a $100 billion spending package passed through the German parliament earlier this year, which more than doubles previous German military spending.

As in Japan, there is broad popular opposition in Germany to military rearmament as a result of the horrendous crimes of German imperialism in the Second World War. The Nazis murdered six million European Jews in the Holocaust and millions of other European civilians, laying waste to large portions of the continent. German imperialism is also responsible for the murder of as many as 19 million civilians in the Soviet Union against which it conducted a brutal “war of annihilation.”

Both the First and Second World Wars were preceded by years of military spending increases in a massive global arms race. During the Nuremberg tribunal, a key pillar of the case against the leaders of Nazi Germany was that they facilitated a years-long military build-up in preparation for waging aggressive war.

Now, too, both Germany and Japan are making preparations for wars that risk consequences for their populations as devastating as those of the Second World War.

In June, NATO published a strategy document declaring that the alliance, which includes Germany, must prepare for “high-intensity, multi-domain warfighting against nuclear-armed peer-competitors” including Russia and China.

The United States, Germany, Japan and other imperialist powers are preparing for a new imperialist world war. Their targets are Russia and China: two countries that, for many decades, were excluded from direct exploitation by imperialism as a result of the Russian and Chinese revolutions. They remained outside the direct control of imperialism even after the Stalinist restoration of capitalism. But while the primary targets of the imperialist war drive are now Russia and China, the logic of inter-imperialist rivalries will inevitably lead to the reemergence of open and bitter conflicts among the temporary allies of today.

The war in Ukraine, instigated, provoked and prolonged by the United States, has become the catalyst for this new global redivision of the world. That war is only intensifying, with US officials now openly discussing Ukraine’s stated goal of retaking Crimea – a move that threatens nuclear retaliation by Russia.

In an interview this week with the Economist, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky doubled down on his declaration that Ukraine’s aim is to retake Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. Asked what “price would be too high” for Ukraine to advance “to the 1991 borders,” Zelensky made clear that his aim was to fully retake the peninsula, no matter the cost.

Over 100,000 Ukrainians have already been killed or injured in the war with Russia. When asked, “But how many lives are you going to lose” to retake the peninsula, Zelensky refused to reply.

Indeed, none of the imperialist governments are able to honestly answer this question. Are the governments in Tokyo and Berlin willing to risk a repeat of the horrors of the Second World War? They never say so in public, but the answer is yes.

Stopping the war plans of the imperialist powers requires the political intervention of the working class and youth, organized on the basis of a socialist program. This was the perspective put forward at the December 10 online rally, “For a Mass Movement of Students and Youth to Stop the War in Ukraine!”

We urge our readers to study the speeches delivered at the rally, and to make the decision to contact and join the Socialist Equality parties and International Youth and Students for Social Equality.

The World Socialist Web Site is the voice of the working class and the leadership of the international socialist movement. We rely entirely on the support of our readers. Please donate today!

Back Iranian protesters over another Obama nuclear deal

A protest in Berlin in solidarity with demonstrators in Iran. A former German diplomat wants protests in Iran to take precedence over an accord on nuclear weapons. EPA

Back Iranian protesters over nuclear deal, West told

Former German diplomat says sanctions should be toughened over Iranian crackdown

Beta V.1.0 – Powered by automated translation

Support for human rights in Iran is more important than a nuclear arms deal, according to a former German diplomat.

Wolfgang Ischinger, who has served several chancellors, said concessions to the government in Tehran appeared to be a “slap in the face” to anti-government protesters.

Talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers have stalled for months.

Iran’s relations with the West have taken a turn for the worse as sanctions were imposed in response to repression of human rights protesters.

The UN said thousands have been arrested and hundreds killed during protests that are now in their fourth month.

Mr Ischinger, former chairman of the Munich Security Conference, said a revived nuclear deal could embolden the Iranian government at home.

“A negotiated text has been on the table for a while, but Tehran has so far shown no signs of accepting this offer and switching off its enrichment centrifuges,” he wrote in newspaper Handelsblatt.

“In the current situation, therefore, any western deference to the regime in Tehran would surely feel like a slap in the face to Iranians fighting for their freedom.”

Iranians protest in Tehran after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained by the morality police in September. AP Photo

Iranians protest in Tehran after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained by the morality police in September. AP Photo 

Mr Ischinger said the draft nuclear deal between Iran, the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany should remain on the table.

But he called for tougher EU sanctions “without regard to the nuclear deal”, to show solidarity with protesters and punish Iran for supplying drones to Russia.

The West should “lay down a marker that people bravely protesting at risk of their lives will not be left in the lurch”, he said.

Britain and the EU signed off on more sanctions this week linked to the arms deal with Moscow.

The US said last month that the nuclear deal, formally the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was not a priority while the Iranian protests continue.

Iran was committed under the JCPOA to limiting its nuclear enrichment in exchange for sanctions relief.

Since the US withdrew and reimposed sanctions in 2018, Iran has openly stockpiled and enriched uranium beyond what the JCPOA allows.

Tehran said its nuclear activities are peaceful but the UN’s nuclear watchdog said it cannot verify this until its inspectors are given more access to Iranian facilities.

Updated: December 17, 2022, 8:23 AM

Hamas, Fatah calling Palestinians outside the Temple Walls to ‘defend al-Aqsa’: Revelation 11

Hamas, Fatah calling Palestinians to Temple Mount to ‘defend al-Aqsa’


Published: DECEMBER 17, 2022 16:45

Hamas and Fatah called on Palestinians to go to the Temple Mount on Saturday and to stay there overnight in order to “defend” the Islamic holy places, Palestinian media reported.

Because of Hanukkah which starts on Sunday evening, more Jewish visitors than usual are expected to arrive on the Temple Mount.

Russia Threatens the UK Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7


Putin readies second nuclear weapon this week amid chilling threats of London attack

Moscow has made a number of threats to launch nuclear weapons since the start of the war in Ukraine in February.


03:37, Fri, Dec 16, 2022 | UPDATED: 03:37, Fri, Dec 16, 2022

Russia: Former navy officer warns about Putin nuclear threat

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Russia has prepared one if its nuclear weapons for combat just a day after another one was readied. New footage shows a Yars strategic missile being placed in an underground shaft in a Russian military complex.

It comes a day after another Yars missile was manoeuvred into a silo on the same site.

The Yars intercontinental ballistic missile is one of the most deadly weapons with a 7,500-mile range, meaning that it could hit the UK or US.

In the video released by the Russian Defence Ministry, a huge missile is seen being loaded into an underground shaft at the Kozelsky compound around 160 miles southwest of Moscow.

The footage shows the missile being carried on a Yars launch vehicle alongside a heavy military presence.

Vladimir Putin could be preparing for a nuclear strike on the UK (Image: Getty Images )


Peace activists with Biden and Putin masks in Berlin in January 2021 (Image: Getty Images )

Footage then shows the missile being lowered into the launch silo and then titled 90 degrees.

It is widely seen as a form of nuclear showboating ahead of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces Day on Saturday.

In October, Russian President Vladimir Putin was filmed watching the launch of a similar Yars missile as part of a mock attack on Britain and the US.

It comes after a pro-Putin MP and military expert called for a nuclear strike on the UK.

Hamas will continue to defend outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Members of Izz ad-Din al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian group Hamas, parade on the Hamas' 35th anniversary at Al-Qatiba Square in Gaza City, Gaza on December 14, 2022. [Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency]

Hamas will continue to defend Palestine, Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa, deputy chief says

December 16, 2022 at 9:54 am | Published in: Israel, Middle East, News, Palestine

Members of Izz ad-Din al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian group Hamas, parade on the Hamas’ 35th anniversary at Al-Qatiba Square in Gaza City, Gaza on December 14, 2022. [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]December 16, 2022 at 9:54 am

Hamas’ Deputy Chairman Mousa Abu Marzouk said Hamas pledges to do everything possible to preserve Palestine as an Arab and Islamic country and to purify it of all impurities.

Speaking in a televised address yesterday to mark the 35th anniversary of the founding of the Palestinian movement, Abu Marzouk addressed Palestinians living in Israel who defend the “identity and heritage of our ancestors” and who defend the land, saying: “We are with you in your struggle.”

Addressing Palestinians in the occupied West Bank “who have been struggling, fighting for salvation, expelling the [Israeli] occupation, preventing and stopping settlement, despite all the security coordination and cooperation with the Israeli army and intelligence. They are steadfast and patient, and we are with them until liberation and return,” he said.

Gaza, he added, has won all the wars and became a prisoner on the path to liberate all prisoners.

“Gaza’s first goal was to free the prisoners from the occupation’s prisons, and it will have a date with the prisoners, and we tell them that we are with you despite the siege.”

“Those who look at the Palestinian people as remaining under occupation and oppression, we say to them that this oppression will not last, and you must work to lift the injustice suffered by the Palestinian people,” he added.