Earthquake Assessment For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Earthquake Risk in New Jersey
by Daniel R. Dombroski, Jr.

A 10–fold increase in amplitude represents about a 32–fold increase in energy released for the same duration of shaking. The best known magnitude scale is one designed by C.F. Richter in 1935 for
 west coast earthquakes.
An earthquake’s intensity is determined by observing its effects at a particular place on the Earth’s surface. Intensity depends on the earthquake’s magnitude, the distance from the epicenter, and local
 geology. These scales are based on reports of people awakening, felt movements, sounds, and visible effects on structures and landscapes. The most commonly used scale in the United States is the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, and its values are usually reported in Roman numerals to distinguish them from magnitudes.
Past damage in New Jersey
New Jersey doesn’t get many earthquakes, but it does get some. Fortunately most are small. A few New Jersey earthquakes, as well as a few originating outside the state, have produced enough damage to warrant the concern of planners and emergency managers.
Damage in New Jersey from earthquakes has been minor: items knocked off shelves, cracked plaster and masonry, and fallen chimneys. Perhaps because no one was standing under a chimney when it fell, there are no recorded earthquake–related deaths in New Jersey. We will probably not be so fortunate in the future.

Area Affected by Eastern Earthquakes
Although the United States east of the Rocky Mountains has fewer and generally smaller earthquakes than the West, at least two factors  increase the earthquake risk in New Jersey and the East. Due to geologic differences, eastern earthquakes effect areas ten times larger than western ones of the same magnitude. Also, the eastern United States is more densely populated, and New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation.

Geologic Faults and Earthquakes in New Jersey
Although there are many faults in New Jersey, the Ramapo Fault, which separates the Piedmont and Highlands Physiographic Provinces, is the best known. In 1884 it was blamed for a damaging New York City earthquake simply because it was the only large fault mapped at the time. Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault.
More recently, in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to the Indian Point, New York, Nuclear Power Generating Station. East of the Rocky Mountains (including New Jersey), earthquakes do not break the ground surface. Their focuses lie at least a few miles below the Earth’s surface, and their locations are determined by interpreting seismographic records. Geologic fault lines seen on the surface today are evidence of ancient events. The presence or absence of mapped faults (fault lines) does not denote either a seismic hazard or the lack of one, and earthquakes can occur anywhere in New Jersey.

Frequency of Damaging Earthquakes in New Jersey
Records for the New York City area, which have been kept for 300 years, provide good information
 for estimating the frequency of earthquakes in New Jersey.
Earthquakes with a maximum intensity of VII (see table DamagingEarthquakes Felt in New Jersey )have occurred in the New York City area in 1737, 1783, and 1884. One intensity VI, four intensity V’s, and at least three intensity III shocks have also occurred in the New York area over the last 300 years.
Buildings and Earthquakes
The 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, is an example of what might happen in New Jersey in a similar quake. It registered a magnitude 7.2 on the Richter scale and produced widespread destruction. But it was the age of construction, soil and foundation condition, proximity to the fault, and type of structure that were the major determining factors in the performance of each building. Newer structures, built to the latest construction standards, appeared to perform relatively well, generally ensuring the life safety of occupants.
Structures have collapsed in New Jersey without earthquakes; an earthquake would trigger many more. Building and housing codes need to be updated and strictly enforced to properly prepare for inevitable future earthquakes.

Pakistan Nuclear Horn Rationalizes Its Nuclear Program (Daniel 8:8)



By Hasan Ehtisham

The “opportunity costs” of nuclear weapons is a thought provoking concept in Pakistan, North Korea and India; where the development of nuclear weapons take place against a backdrop of prevalent poverty and unmet basic needs. Therefore some prominent nuclear physicists in Pakistan, i.e. Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy and Dr. A.H. Nayyar, insist that development of nuclear weapons by Pakistan is a main source of its economic deprivation and Paranoia. For them, the nuclear testing of 1998 was the main reason for the economic crises in Pakistan. This is exactly a guns versus butter debate—a selection between taking care of the people who serve, or the development of equipment needed to contest and prevail in current and future conflicts.

Nuclear weapons and the debate over the necessity for such weapons have persisted for several years. As opinions against nuclear weapons increase, so too do more and more countries yearn to possess these weapons and demonstrate their power. This means that we have to discover those benefits which are of such significance that a country prefers to divert a huge portion of its finances from public sector to become a nuclear capable state.

The rational for Pakistan to develop a nuclear weapon was so that the country could have the self-reliance to ensure its security. After the hefty losses in the wars of 1948 and 1965, and the debacle of 1971, Pakistani leadership understood that none of the great powers were going to support Pakistan in times of crisis against any Indian aggression. Therefore self-reliance was the crucial idea of Pakistan’s policy makers to make sure that only Pakistan should be responsible for defending their country against any Indian offensive. In this regard, we must understand that being a nuclear power is crucial for Pakistan’s survival and sovereignty. Preserving and improving national security is vital to the national interest, and expenses from the state budget in support of this objective are permissible.
For a country like Pakistan, having nuclear weapons means that it has the ultimate strategic defense. Wars are bad for the economy and nuclear deterrence is a best tool to avoid wars. A short conventional war between India and Pakistan would cost Islamabad U.S. $ 350 million per day. Now one can easily estimate the economic deprivation if Pakistan had to face another 1971 debacle without having any nuclear weapons. In contrast, to conventional warfare, nuclear deterrence has made wars between nuclear states rationally non-viable.

In this regard, the possession of nuclear weapons serves not only military and political purposes, but also economic functions. The acquisition of nuclear weapons appears to be associated with the long-term decline in conventional military spending. This is acutely accurate in the case of Pakistan. Pakistan’s conventional military expenditure has been constantly on decline since the nuclear tests. Military expenditure (% of GDP) in Pakistan was measured at 5.3 % in 1998, according to the World Bank. In 2012 that expenditure was 3.13 %. This is a clear instance where nuclear capability served as a major cause to diminish military expenditure in Pakistan.
Moreover, we have to not forget that the Pakistan nuclear establishment is also progressive in the peaceful use of nuclear technology. The use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes especially in energy sector can generate some of the largest economic benefits due to the size and the number of workers needed to operate the nuclear plants. The 100 nuclear units in the U.S. are generating substantial domestic economic value in electricity sales and revenue up to $40-$50 billion each year. Canada’s nuclear energy industry has revenues of about $6.6 billion. Pakistan can also achieve the same feat by the extent of civilian benefits from nuclear weapons spending.

Pakistan has the experience of operating nuclear technology, which spans over four decades. Pakistan has the qualified manpower and professionals and it is now constructing a fourth and fifth nuclear power plants. Pakistan has reached a remarkable milestone in scientific research by becoming an associate member of the European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN). Pakistan can utilize nuclear science and technologies for its national programmes for the benefit and improvement of the society especially in energy sector. Thus, Pakistan will be able to facilitate other countries of the region in peaceful uses of nuclear energy and this cooperation will generate revenue to stabilize our economy.

The constructive uses of nuclear science are visible in applied sciences, food, agriculture, biotechnology, human health, energy and industry. Today Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission PAEC has numerous institutes to render facilities for Research & Development in these benign areas. The major institutes which are performing research in nuclear physics are Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH); Nuclear Institute of Agriculture (NIA); Nuclear Institute of Agriculture and Biology (NIAB); Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA); National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE) and National Institute of Lasers and Optronics (NILOP). These all institutes are sharing their part in social inspiration.
I feel wrought up when people say, what is the use of being a Nuclear power when people are dying of poverty? This is the fact that social development should be the first and primary focus, but cutting down on our nuclear budget is not the answer. So we have to understand that Pakistan’s economic deprivation is not because of its nuclear weapons, however these weapons are source that provide channels to take economic strides and develop the nation. Hence, economic progress can also be achieved as Pakistan accomplished its nuclear feat; all we need is devotion and sincerity of purpose.

Babylon Is Feeding The Beast (Isaiah 13)

The Obama Administration Has Made A Striking Choice In Iraq
Asaib Ahl al-Haq
Youssef Boudlal/ReutersMilita fighters with Asaib Ahl al-Haq Shi’ite, a proxy of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, from the south of Iraq run during a mission to take control of Sulaiman Pek village from Islamist State militants, in the northwest of Tikrit city September 1, 2014.

The US is stepping up its assistance to the Iraq, with plans to send 175 M1 Abrams tanks and scores of armored vehicles to an army that’s hasn’t been a trustworthy recipient of American aid.
And now Bloomberg is reporting that Iranian-backed Shi’ite sectarian militias are receiving equipment intended for the Iraqi military’s sole use, with the likely complicity of officials in Iraq’s security apparatus.

According to Eli Lake and Josh Rogin, US weapons are “winding up in the possession of the country’s Shiite militias.” American policymakers are aware of this but have decided that the moral hazard of supplying an Iraqi army that in turn supplies Shi’ite militias pales in comparison to the dangers of another ISIS blitz.

“One senior administration official told us that the U.S. government is aware of this, but is caught in a dilemma,” Bloomerg reports. “The flawed Iraqi security forces are unable to fight Islamic State without the aid of the militias, who are often trained and sometimes commanded by officers from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. And yet, if the U.S. stopped sending arms to the Iraqi military, things would get even worse, with IS overrunning more of the country and committing human-rights horrors on a broader scale. The risk of not aiding them was greater than the risk of aiding them, the official said, adding that this didn’t mean the administration was unconcerned about the risks involved.”

Iran has been closely advising Iraq’s military during the anti-ISIS fight. Sunni tribes — a crucial but fledgling partner in the US strategy in Iraq — have accused the Iraqi government of handing over military power to Iranian advisors as IRGC and Hezbollah fighters enter the country.
“Since the outbreak of the conflict Iran has wanted to turn Iraq into its own backyard through its agents,” Anbar tribal chief Sheikh Abdul Qadir al-Nael told Rudaw. “Now the military presence of Iran in Iraq has become clear as it has exceeded the Iranian advisers to thousand of other soldiers.”

The Shia Militias

As Matt Bradley and Ghassan Adnan reported for the Wall Street Journal in December, Shi’ite militias are more motivated, better trained, and more tactically proficient than Iraq’s national military. But these aren’t exactly virtues, considering Iraq’s ethnic and religious diversity, when those militias are burning Sunni villages to the ground.

The militias’ high morale and competence has fueled and enabled a spate of sectarian human rights abuses, “including mass shootings of prisoners and Sunni civilians and the forced displacement of Sunni families on a scale approaching ethnic cleansing.”


REUTERS The areas of control in Iraq as of October. The front lines have not drastically changed.
So the administration’s calculation may actually undersell the risks of indirectly supplying Iranian proxies. Although Lake and Rogin don’t directly name the militias that are receiving US weapons, a few possibilities come to mind — and none of them are encouraging.

The most important Shi’ite militia might be the Badr Brigade, a pro-Iranian militia turned political party that was one of the most brutal combatants in Iraq’s civil war last decade. And Iraq’s new interior minister, Mohammed al-Ghabban, served as a senior official in the Badr militia.

Then there’s Kataib Hezbollah, a group that (in this case ironically) began life as “a small elite force of around 400 fighters to carry out operations against the United States and Coalition Forces in Iraq” according to Iraq analyst Joel Wing.

Kataib Hezbollah leader Abu Mahi Muhandis received training in Iran and was implicated in terrorist attacks on American targets in Kuwait in 1983; he is also closely allied with former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, another notorious Shi’ite sectarian.

There’s also Kataib Imam Ali, whose secretary general “was once a noted figure in Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army — and reportedly one of its more vicious sectarian leaders” according to Matthew Levitt and Philip Smyth of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The group Asai’b ahl al-Haq was actually kicked out of the Sadrist camp during the US campaign in Iraq because of its especially close ties to Iran and its anti-nationalist, pan-Shi’ite ideology. Wing characterizes the group, which fought against the US-led coalition during last decade’s Iraq war, as a member of the “ad hoc-force” Maliki called upon to fight ISIS over the summer as Iraq’s regular military disintegrated.

A Choice By The Administration

The militias’ rise is one of the factors helping to erode Iraqi nationhood as a concrete reality. Much of what remains of Iraq’s deeply sectarian national army doesn’t fly the national flag anymore. And Iraq’s Shi’ite militias have close ties to Shi’ite Iran, a country that hardly shares the US’s vision of a federated, democratic, and fully-autonomous multi-ethnic state.

In indirectly supplying these groups, the Obama administration is essentially deciding that preventing ISIS from spreading beyond its current front-lines is a higher priority than preserving a unitary Iraq.
This isn’t a position inconsistent with past US decisions in the country. The US’s empowerment of Sunni tribal militias last decade, or its intervention over the summer to prevent ISIS from overrunning the capital of the Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, both represented pragmatic US attempts at leveraging armed forces outside of Baghdad in order to keep a baseline of order inside the country.

The trouble in this case is that it’s the Shi’ite-dominated Baghdad government that’s been funneling weapons to these brutal militias. Lake and Rogin’s report is another example of how the administration has decided that defeating ISIS requires effectively picking sides in Iraq’s sectarian struggle. It’s a decision that could result in the containment or even the eventual defeat of the group — while empowering Iran and effacing all semblance of Iraqi nationhood in the process.

Back Into The Lion’s Den (Isaiah 30:6)

Iran, US to resume bilateral nuclear talks

Talks on Iran’s disputed nuclear programme set to resume in Geneva on January 15, as a third deadline for a deal approaches
US Secretary of State John Kerry has pushed Iran nuclear talks forward as part of the P5+1 group (AFP)
American and Iranian negotiators will resume bilateral talks on Iran’s disputed nuclear programme next week in Geneva as a third deadline for a deal looms, a US official said on Thursday.

Acting Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman, who has led the US delegation for more than two years, will head the team of senior officials and advisors to the next round of bilateral negotiations on January 15-17 in the Swiss city, the State Department said.

The two sides will also be joined by the EU’s political director Helga Schmid who will chair the next round of talks between the group known as the P5+1 and Iran in Geneva on January 18.

In a sign that there are still tough talks ahead, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced his distrust of Washington on Wednesday as he weighed the prospects of a complex nuclear deal.
Under an interim deal between world powers and Tehran in force since January 2014, Iran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment, which can produce material for an atomic bomb.

In return, Iran, which denies seeking to develop an atomic weapon insisting its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes only, received limited relief from crippling sanctions.

But two deadlines for a comprehensive accord with the P5+1 group of nations – the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia plus Germany – have since been missed.

The teams have now set a July 1 ultimatum, although they hope to reach a framework accord sometime in March, leaving the most complex technical details to be finalised afterwards.

Amid pressure from the US Congress to impose more sanctions, Washington has also insisted that in the initial stages of a deal it would only suspend, not entirely lift, the measures.

“The United States arrogantly says that if Iran makes concessions in the nuclear case, they will not at one stroke lift sanctions. With this reality, how can we trust such an enemy?” Khamenei said in a speech in Tehran.
“We are not against negotiations… Let them talk all they want, but they must negotiate based on reality, not on imaginary points.”
Khamenei will have the last word on Iran’s conditions for any final agreement.

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