The Sixth Seal Is Past Due (Revelation 6:12) 

New York City is Past Due for an Earthquake

by , 03/22/11

filed under: News

New York City may appear to be an unlikely place for a major earthquake, but according to history, we’re past due for a serious shake. Seismologists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory say that about once every 100 years, an earthquake of at least a magnitude of 5.0 rocks the Big Apple. The last one was a 5.3 tremor that hit in 1884 — no one was killed, but buildings were damaged.

Any tremor above a 6.0 magnitude can be catastrophic, but it is extremely unlikely that New York would ever experience a quake like the recent 8.9 earthquake in Japan. A study by the Earth Observatory found that a 6.0 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and a 7.0 magnitude hits about every 3,400 years.

There are several fault lines in New York’s metro area, including one along 125th Street, which may have caused two small tremors in 1981 and a 5.2 magnitude quake in 1737. There is also a fault line on Dyckman Street in Inwood, and another in Dobbs Ferry in Westchester County. The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation rates the chance of an earthquake hitting the city as moderate.

John Armbruster, a seismologist at the Earth Observatory, said that if a 5.0 magnitude quake struck New York today, it would result in hundreds of millions, possibly billions of dollars in damages. The city’s skyscrapers would not collapse, but older brick buildings and chimneys would topple, likely resulting in casualities.

The Earth Observatory is expanding its studies of potential earthquake damage to the city. They currently have six seismometers at different landmarks throughout the five boroughs, and this summer, they plan to place one at the arch in Washington Square Park and another in Bryant Park.

Won-Young Kim, who works alongside Armbuster, says his biggest concern is that we can’t predict when an earthquake might hit. “It can happen anytime soon,” Kim told the Metro. If it happened tomorrow, he added, “I would not be surprised. We can expect it any minute, we just don’t know when and where.”

Armbuster voiced similar concerns to the Daily News. “Will there be one in my lifetime or your lifetime? I don’t know,” he said. “But this is the longest period we’ve gone without one.”

Via Metro and NY Daily News

Images © Ed Yourdon

Babylon the Great Prepares for Nuclear War (Revelation 15) Lawmakers Seek to Increase Nuclear Attack Preparations

Bipartisan bills in the House and Senate could remove Cold War era emergency planning restrictions.

By Alex Visser
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

For the first time in more than 30 years, emergency planning in Washington state could include preparations for potential nuclear attacks thanks to bipartisan bills entering both the House and Senate.

In 1983, the Legislature voted to ban nuclear war preparations from emergency planning procedures. The prohibition specifically applies to planning for evacuation and relocation of citizens. The move was made as a result of increasing tensions between the United States and the former Soviet Union. With former President Ronald Reagan taking an aggressive stance against what he called the “evil empire,” lawmakers in Washington state were concerned that preparing for a nuclear war would draw the ire of Russian leaders.

Rep. Dick Muri (R-Steilacoom) said that such fears have been extinguished with the fall of the Soviet Union and the United States’ status as the world’s sole superpower. A retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, Muri stated that a routine part of his job during the Cold War involved surveying air fields in case of nuclear attacks. He believes the biggest threat of nuclear war today comes from “rogue” nations like North Korea and Iran. Muri is the primary sponsor of House Bill 2214, which would remove the prohibition on preparing for a nuclear attack.

“The idea is that we would hopefully have some plans in place that would mitigate any potential attack,” Muri said at the bill’s public hearing Jan. 22. “It’s unthinkable, but we should plan.”

President Donald Trump said in August 2017 that North Korea would face “fire and fury” should they continue nuclear testing. The comment was made in response to a U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency report that suggested the communist regime had developed nuclear missiles capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

HB 2214 passed the House Committee on Public Safety on Tuesday afternoon and now heads to the House floor for debate. A companion piece of legislation, Senate Bill 5936, will be heard in committee Friday morning.

Seattle resident James Thomas testified in opposition to the bill, citing the same concerns that brought about the ban in the first place. Thomas said he has been studying nuclear policy since 1981.

Relocation of people in anticipation of an attack could be perceived by our adversaries as a step leading to a first nuclear first strike and would increase international tensions,” Thomas said. “Washington state should not do anything to add fuel to the fire.”

Another concerned citizen, Glen Anderson, argued against the bill, but focused his criticisms on the logistics of preparing for nuclear war.

“I believe in honesty and practicality,” said Anderson, a previously honoree of the Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County. “Public policy should help people recognize truth and not deceive people.”

Anderson believes a bill like this would create an “illusion” that nuclear war is survivable, a notion which he said has been discredited. Anderson said there is no feasible response to a nuclear attack, and that the effort would be better spent on reducing and eventually eliminating nuclear weapons.

But Muri expressed an opinion to the contrary. The bill sponsor said that in the event of a nuclear attack it would be necessary to assist survivors. He said this would include developing shelters and ensuring that enough supplies are on hand to deal with the effects of radiation and fallout.

“Everybody thinks that a nuclear weapon hitting a part of our state would be the end of the world,” Muri said. “It would not.”

This report was produced by the Olympia bureau of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association.

Trump Overreacts to North Korea’s Threat

Trump: North Korea’s ‘reckless pursuit’ of nuclear weapons could soon threaten the US

Jeff Daniels | Mike Calia

President Donald Trump struck a dire note of warning about North Korea’s nuclear ambitions in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Trump: No regime has oppressed its own citizens more brutally than North Korea
President Donald Trump struck a dire note of warning about North Korea’s nuclear ambitions in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland,” Trump said.

The president said the United States was applying “maximum pressure” to prevent any such attack.

“Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation,” Trump said. “I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this very dangerous position.”

Last year, North Korea test launched at least three intercontinental ballistic missiles, including a Hwasong-15 in late November that raised concerns in the U.S. defense community as showed the regime’s powerful new missile can reach more than 8,000 miles, including major cities on the U.S. East Coast.

Indeed, the president’s harsh comments about North Korea follows CIA Director Mike Pompeo predicting Monday in a BBC broadcast that Pyongyang will be capable of delivering a nuclear-tipped ICBM to the U.S. mainland in “a handful of months.”

U.S. defense experts have said that Pyongyang has the technology to have a long-range ballistic missile survive the re-entry phase from space into the earth’s atmosphere. They also expect North Korea to return to testing its missiles despite a recent two-month break.

There has been recent talk that hawks in the Trump administration are pushing for the U.S. military to conduct a limited strike, or a so-called preventive attack, against North Korea. There have also been reports the administration may be looking to make a “bloody nose” strike on Pyongyang.

In perhaps a sign of the administration leaning toward a military option, the White House is no longer planning to nominate Korea scholar Victor D. Cha as its ambassador to South Korea. Cha recently opposed the “preventive strike” option in an op-ed. The New York Times reported late Tuesday that the “long-delayed plans to nominate” Cha, a former official in the President George W. Bush administration, to the Seoul post had been dropped.

Trump also called out at North Korea for its mistreatment of Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old student who died last June shortly after being returned from North Korea in an unconscious state. In 2016, Warmbier confessed to trying to steal a propaganda banner in North Korea and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in prison.

“We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and to our allies,” said Trump.

Trump also introduced Warmbier’s family, including his parents and siblings, who were invited guests attending the State of the Union address. They received lengthy applause and standing ovations.

“You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength truly inspires us all,” the president said after introducing the family. “Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto’s memory with total American resolve.”

Finally, Trump introduced Ji Seong-ho, a North Korean defector who fled the isolated regime in 1996 as a starving boy. The president said Seong-ho, who is now an activist living in Seoul, was a “witness to the ominous nature of this regime.”

According to Trump, Seong-ho lost limbs in an accident, was tortured by North Korean authorities and later “traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom. Most of his family followed. His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.”

Seong-ho raised his wooden crutches to loud cheers and a standing ovation during the State of the Union address.

Push For The Australian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

Renewed push for Australia to build nuclear weapons

By Peter Symonds
30 January 2018

A discussion has begun over the past month in Australian strategic and military circles about the necessity of building nuclear weapons, or developing the capacity to do so, against the alleged threat posed by nuclear-armed powers, above all China.

The debate, in public at least, is quite cautious, given the widespread popular hostility to war and thus the potential for protests to erupt against any move to create a nuclear arsenal. However, the very fact that the issue is actively being discussed is another sign of rapidly sharpening geo-political tensions and the accelerating arms race by major powers around the world.

The renewed push for nuclear arms is connected to a wider strategic debate about the growing danger of conflict between the US and China. For the most part, the Turnbull government and opposition parties, as well as the media and think tanks, have lined up behind the Trump administration’s bellicose stance toward China, along with North Korea. The government has backed the new US defence strategy that identifies China and Russia, not terrorism, as the over-riding threat.

Under conditions of the mounting danger of war, however, doubts have been expressed about the willingness and capacity of the United States to come to the aid of Australia, including in the event of a nuclear attack.

Hugh White, who previously advocated encouraging the US to cut a deal with China to ease tensions, wrote an extensive article in the Quarterly Essay entitled “Without America: Australia in the New Asia.” He argued that in the not too distant future the US will not be able to match China militarily and Australia will have to go it alone.

White, a professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University (ANU), bluntly declared: “The chilling logic of strategy therefore suggests that only a nuclear force of our own, able credibly to threaten an adversary with major damage, would ensure that we could deter such a threat [from China] ourselves.” Having raised the issue, however, he qualified the remark, writing that he was neither “predicting nor advocating that Australia should acquire nuclear weapons.”

Paul Dibb, an emeritus professor of strategic studies at the ANU, made a similar suggestion obliquely in an article in the Australian last October, entitled “Our nuclear armament position is worth reviewing.” Dibb said Australia did not require nuclear weapons at present, but times were changing and “it would be prudent to revisit reducing the technological lead time.”

Australian currently has no commercial power reactors and only one research establishment, at Lucas Heights in Sydney run by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). On paper, this facility is devoted to the peaceful use of nuclear technology. As a result, the infrastructure to obtain the basic ingredient for a nuclear weapon—enriched uranium or plutonium—is lacking and would take years to build.

What Dibb suggested is that Australia, under the guise of generating nuclear power or on another pretext, acquire the essential technology to produce the fissile material needed to build a nuclear weapon. The hypocrisy involved is staggering. Analysts making such proposals accuse countries like Iran and North Korea of putting such plans into practice, and support a US pre-emptive attack to eliminate the supposed threat.

Dibb is well aware that Australia is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). He noted that it would be difficult to argue under its “supreme interests” clause that Australia is facing an existential threat. Any move by Australia to “reduce the lead time” also could “seriously concern the US and other countries … and might stimulate further nuclear proliferation.”

In fact, before signing the NPT in 1970 and ratifying it in 1973, the Australian government drew up plans for a commercial nuclear power plant at Jervis Bay, south of Sydney, that would covertly supply the enriched uranium needed to manufacture nuclear weapons. The Jervis Bay project, which was promoted by Prime Minister John Gorton, was mothballed after he was ousted in 1971 by Billy McMahon.

Associate Professor Wayne Reynolds, author of the book Australia’s Bid for the Atomic Bomb, told the Australian last year in that period “Germany, Italy, the Netherlands—all wanted nuclear weapons but Australia was top of the list because of our uranium resources, our scientists and our enrichment program.”

While White and Dibb, who both held senior positions in the Australian defence and intelligence establishment, are chary about openly pushing for nuclear weapons, others are calling for the matter to be discussed and for steps to be taken.

In an article entitled “Wrestling a nuclear-armed 800-pound gorilla” on December 9, Andrew Davies, director of the defence and strategy program at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), chided White and Dibb for their “coyness and willingness to defer grappling with the logical conclusion of their arguments.”

Davies wrote: “The key question, which we shouldn’t dance around, is whether we judge the risk of an attack from China to be high enough and serious enough to warrant developing an independent nuclear deterrent.” While not answering the question, he declared that “there is a serious strategy discussion to be had.” ASPI receives funds from the government and armaments companies.

Fellow ASPI analyst Malcolm Davis, in an article “Going nuclear?” on January 9, added a note of urgency: “To deter nuclear threats requires nuclear weapons, and having such a capability would reinforce any future non-nuclear deterrent … Australia would not consider such a step lightly, but don’t expect much time for deep consideration if our policy makers are forced to confront this option.”

Lowy Institute analyst Peter Layton proposed in an article on January 17 that Australia consider “sharing nuclear weapons” rather than developing an independent arsenal. He suggested the placement of US nuclear weapons on Australian soil on the same basis as in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy and Turkey, or alternatively, cost-sharing with Britain to build its fleet of Dreadnought-class nuclear submarines, armed with Trident nuclear missiles.

This discussion is tied to a broader push to boost military spending in preparation for war. Retired Major-General Jim Molan, soon to be confirmed as a Liberal Party senator, argued in the Australian on January 4 that US military capacity had declined markedly. Australia must “address our critical vulnerabilities on fuel security and high-end weapons holdings. Without doing so, we could be reduced to impotence in less than a week. In the medium to longer term, we need more stable security guarantees.”

In its 2016 defence white paper the government already foreshadowed a multi-billion dollar military expansion, lifting the defence budget to at least 2 percent of gross domestic product and purchasing advanced weapons systems. In a related move, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday announced a vast expansion of military industries in the name of a drive to export arms and become one of the world’s top ten weapons exporters.

None of these steps has anything to do with “defence” or preserving peace. Rather in a world where geo-political tensions are accelerating, Australia is seeking the military means to pursue its own imperialist interests, either in league with the US, as it has done since World War II, or independently if need be. The military and political establishment is coming to the conclusion that in order to do this it needs the ultimate in “high-end weapons”—a nuclear arsenal.

The First Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

See the source imagePakistan Could Have Over 100 Nuclear Weapons (And Could Kill Millions in a War)

January 31, 2018

Kyle Mizokami

Sandwiched between Iran, China, India and Afghanistan, Pakistan lives in a complicated neighborhood with a variety of security issues. One of the nine known states known to have nuclear weapons, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and doctrine are continually evolving to match perceived threats. A nuclear power for decades, Pakistan is now attempting to construct a nuclear triad of its own, making its nuclear arsenal resilient and capable of devastating retaliatory strikes.

Pakistan’s nuclear program goes back to the 1950s, during the early days of its rivalry with India. President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto famously said in 1965, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.”

The program became a higher priority after the country’s 1971 defeat at the hands of India, which caused East Pakistan to break away and become Bangladesh. Experts believe the humiliating loss of territory, much more than reports that India was pursuing nuclear weapons, accelerated the Pakistani nuclear program. India tested its first bomb, codenamed “Smiling Buddha,” in May 1974, putting the subcontinent on the road to nuclearization.

Pakistan began the process of accumulating the necessary fuel for nuclear weapons, enriched uranium and plutonium. The country was particularly helped by one A. Q. Khan, a metallurgist working in the West who returned to his home country in 1975 with centrifuge designs and business contacts necessary to begin the enrichment process. Pakistan’s program was assisted by European countries and a clandestine equipment-acquisition program designed to do an end run on nonproliferation efforts. Outside countries eventually dropped out as the true purpose of the program became clear, but the clandestine effort continued.

Exactly when Pakistan had completed its first nuclear device is murky. Former president Benazir Bhutto, Zulfikar Bhutto’s daughter, claimed that her father told her the first device was ready by 1977. A member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission said design of the bomb was completed in 1978 and the bomb was “cold tested”—stopping short of an actual explosion—in 1983.

Benazir Bhutto later claimed that Pakistan’s bombs were stored disassembled until 1998, when India tested six bombs in a span of three days. Nearly three weeks later, Pakistan conducted a similar rapid-fire testing schedule, setting off five bombs in a single day and a sixth bomb three days later. The first device, estimated at twenty-five to thirty kilotons, may have been a boosted uranium device. The second was estimated at twelve kilotons, and the next three as sub-kiloton devices.

The sixth and final device appears to have also been a twelve-kiloton bomb that was detonated at a different testing range; a U.S. Air Force “Constant Phoenix” nuclear-detection aircraft reportedly detected plutonium afterward. Since Pakistan had been working on a uranium bomb and North Korea—which shared or purchased research with Pakistan through the A. Q. Khan network—had been working on a uranium bomb, some outside observers concluded the sixth test was actually a North Korean test, detonated elsewhere to conceal North Korea’s involvement although. There is no consensus on this conclusion.

Experts believe Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile is steadily growing. In 1998, the stockpile was estimated at five to twenty-five devices, depending on how much enriched uranium each bomb required. Today Pakistan is estimated to have an arsenal of 110 to 130 nuclear bombs. In 2015 the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center estimated Pakistan’s bomb-making capability at twenty devices annually, which on top of the existing stockpile meant Pakistan could quickly become the third-largest nuclear power in the world. Other observers, however, believe Pakistan can only develop another forty to fifty warheads in the near future.