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

shutterstock_538623013New 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

How the Antichrist Fooled the US (Revelation 13)

battle of najaf

How Najaf became the Marines’ forgotten battle in Iraq

By Blake Stilwell | Feb. 08, 04:27 PM

 

In the Battle of Fallujah, Marines swept in to take the city away from ins

urgent forces, only to have politicians pull them out — and send them right back in months later. The first and second Battles of Fallujah have entered Marine Corps lore, alongside Iwo Jima and Chapultepec.

But what many don’t know is what happened at the Battle of Najaf, which played out before the 2nd Battle of Fallujah kicked off.

An Najaf is another sacred city in Iraq. It has approximately seven square miles of cemeteries — as above, so below. Under the cemeteries are miles of catacombs, haunting places where enemy fighters could be hiding, concealed in the dark.

A major player in the battle was the insurgent leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shia cleric who brought disgruntled Iraqis together under the idea of an Islamic democracy. To enforce that idea, he created a military wing, Jaysh al-Mahdi, also known as the Mahdi Army. He suddenly turned on the coalition, demanding an immediate withdraw of all coalition forces from Iraq.

Though the mayor of An Najaf brokered a ceasefire between the coalition and the Mahdi Army in June 2004, this only lasted until the end of August. In July of that year, the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit took over operational command from Task Force Dragon. That’s when the fighting in the city started to escalate.

In August, the Mahdi Army attacked the 1st Battalion 4th Marines, starting a significant battle of the new Iraq War. The next days were long and drawn out, characterized by house-to-house fighting, open-street engagements, and fighting across open farm fields. For eight days, the battle raged through the city.

Battle of Najaf

Much like what happened in Fallujah a few months earlier, Marines and soldiers were taking the fight to insurgents. American troops were surprised by incoming small arms fire and indirect fire. Though the enemy forces were not well trained, there was a lot of them, which compensated for their lack of real infantry tactics.

At one point, the battle swept over the city’s huge cemetery, which was the stage for some of the most intense fighting of the entire Iraq War. Surrounded by the resting dead, Marines fought against extreme numbers and both sides suffered heavy casualties. Fighting on the surface was so brutal that soldiers and Marines were also forced to fight in the catacombs below.

battle of najaf

Fallujah was the biggest urban battle since Hue City and An Najaf saw the first tunnel fighting since Vietnam.

The end of the battle brought with it a final tally of dead and wounded. Twelve Americans were killed in action and 94 were wounded. Iraqi soldiers also saw significant losses. The numbers for the Mahdi Army, however, are far greater, with 1,500 killed in action and an unknown number wounded, estimated to be in the thousands.

The battle removed Al-Sadr and most of those loyal to him from the city. Marines began to secure their area of operations and returned to rebuilding Najaf and the surrounding region. However, some of the Mahdi Army’s militiamen stayed in the city, challenging the 1st battalion, 4th Marines at every opportunity.

battle of najaf

Instead of their normal black militia uniforms, they now wore street clothing. This allowed them to blend into the local populace. Coalition troops could no longer differentiate between friend or foe when the streets turned to a battlefield.

Marines and soldiers at the Battle of Najaf should be proud of the accomplishment of securing the city. As time passes, they remain hopeful that Americans will know about the heroes that came out of the battle and the ones who fell there — that we never let this battle be lost to history.

It will be remembered, just as much as The Battles of Fallujah.

Pakistan Enlarging Her Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistan developing new types of nuclear weapons: US

PTI

WASHINGTON: Pakistan is developing new types of nuclear weapons, including short-range tactical ones, that bring more risks to the region, America’s intelligence chief warned on Tuesday.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats’ remarks came days after a group of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorists struck the Sunjuwan Military Camp in Jammu, killing seven people including six soldiers.

Pakistan is developing new types of nuclear weapons, including short-range tactical weapons, Coats told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing on worldwide threats organised by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Pakistan continues to produce nuclear weapons and develop new types of nukes, including short-range tactical weapons, sea-based cruise missiles, air-launched cruise missiles, and longer-range ballistic missiles, he warned.

These weapons will introduce new risks for escalation of dynamics and security in the region, Coats said, reflecting on the risks involved in developing such types of nuclear weapons.

Coats also warned that Pakistan-supported terrorist groups would continue to carry out attacks inside India, thus risking escalation of tension between the two neighbours.

Militant groups supported by Islamabad will continue to take advantage of their safe haven in Pakistan to plan and conduct attacks in India and Afghanistan, including against US interests,” Coats said during the hearing on ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment’ of the US intelligence community.

Coats said North Korea will be among the most volatile and confrontational weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threats to the US over the next year.

North Korea’s history of exporting ballistic missile technology to several countries, including Iran and Syria, and its assistance during Syria’s construction of a nuclear reactor — destroyed in 2007 — illustrates its willingness to proliferate dangerous technologies.

In 2017 North Korea, for the second straight year, conducted a large number of ballistic missile tests, including its first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) tests.

Pyongyang is committed to developing a long-range, nuclear-armed missile that is capable of posing a direct threat to the United States.

It also conducted its sixth and highest yield nuclear test to date.

We assess that North Korea has a longstanding Biological Weapons (BW) capability and biotechnology infrastructure that could support a BW programme. We also assess that North Korea has a Chemical Weapons (CW) programme and probably could employ these agents by modifying conventional munitions or with unconventional, targeted methods, he said.

Coats said state efforts to modernise, develop, or acquire WMD, their delivery systems, or their underlying technologies constitute a major threat to the security of the United States, its deployed troops, and its allies.

Both state and non-state actors have already demonstrated the use of chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria.

Biological and chemical materials and technologies — almost always dual-use — move easily in the globalised economy, as do personnel with the scientific expertise to design and use them for legitimate and illegitimate purposes.

Information about the latest discoveries in the life sciences also diffuses rapidly around the globe, widening the accessibility of knowledge and tools for beneficial purposes and for potentially nefarious applications.

Preparing for the Inevitable (Revelation 15)

img_1488How to be prepared if there’s a nuclear attack

Lexi Sutter

PHOENIX – In 2018, the threat of a nuclear attack remains as real as ever.

Wendy Smith-Reeve is the Deputy Director and Emergency Management Director for the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs in Arizona.

She handles the state’s worst case scenarios.

“Our biggest hazards would be flooding and wildfires. Those are the two natural hazards affecting a majority of Arizona,” Smith-Reeve said.

However, planning an escape from mother nature is only one aspect of emergency preparedness for people today.

Last month, officials in Hawaii accidentally sent an emergency alert warning of an incoming missile attack, sending thousands running into the streets in a panic.

Smith-Reeve said leaders in Arizona have learned from that mistake.

“We do have safeguards in place so that message is not sent out live when it’s not a true message,” said Smith-Reeve.

But if that message is true, Smith-Reeve said it’s important families have a plan.

“They can build a kit and be informed of the hazards that could affect their area,” said Smith-Reeve.

Today’s nuclear weapons are 3,000 times more powerful than the ones used decades ago.

If Arizona faced an attack, people would only have about 15 minutes to prepare.

There are several necessities to put in an emergency bag, such as a battery or crank-powered radio, food and water for 72 hours, first-aid supplies, medications taken daily, a flashlight, and wet wipes to take any dust off the skin.

In a nuclear scenario, you need to be prepared to stay in a sheltered place for at least 24 hours.

Announcements and information would come from Smith-Reeve’s emergency operations center in Phoenix.

“What we have planned for are all hazard situations,” explained Smith-Reeve. “We’ve identified in our state emergency response and recovery programs all partners that have the resources to support the community.”

The New Nuclear Arms Race (Revelation 15)

The Nuclear Posture Review signals a new arms race

By Katrina vanden Heuvel

On Friday, the Pentagon released its 2018 Nuclear Posture Review. Its debut demands more attention, because it announced a renewed round in the nuclear arms race, one inevitably bringing us ever closer to the unthinkable — a nuclear war of catastrophic consequences.

The review clearly seeks to calm fears about President Trump’s finger on the nuclear trigger. Ignoring the many accidents and close calls during the Cold War, the review asserts that the United States has “measures and protocols” to ensure that intercontinental ballistic missiles are “safe, secure and under constant control.” Furthermore, the Pentagon says that “any U.S. decision to employ nuclear weapons would follow a deliberative process.” Despite these assurances, the review’s plans for the nuclear arsenal and nuclear strategy should rouse alarms and spark congressional hearings and public debate.

The United States has an active stockpile of more than 4,000 nuclear weapons, arrayed in the triad of land-based launch sites, nuclear submarines and strategic bombers, including nuclear armed ICBMs, air- and sea-launched cruise missiles, and gravity bombs. More than enough to destroy the world several times over, the arsenal’s “credibility” is not in issue. Yet, the review reaffirms the Obama administration’s commitment to a new generation of missiles, nuclear submarines, strategic bombers and nuclear bombs. It warns of a “rapid deterioration of the threat environment,” making it imperative not to “delay modernization of our nuclear forces if we are to preserve a credible nuclear deterrent.”

The Trump administration goes beyond President Barack Obama’s buildup by enhancing America’s “non-strategic nuclear forces,” that is, lower-yield nuclear bombs, on the order of those that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The stated rationale is to correct an imaginary Russian misperception that greater capacity in this area could give them the possibility of successfully waging a limited nuclear war. The buildup will give the president — yes, Donald Trump — nuclear weapons that are theoretically more usable in a regional conflict.

The review hastens to reassure us that, in the mad logic of mutually assured destruction, the forward deployment of more usable low-yield nuclear weapons will somehow raise, not lower, the “nuclear threshold.” The reality, though, as Physicians for Social Responsibility detailed, is that even a “limited” regional exchange of nuclear weapons could leave more than a billion people facing starvation from reduced food stocks. A weeklong “regional” war could kill more than died in the course of World War II.

The review reaffirms the United States is ready to use nuclear weapons first in an alarmingly wide range of scenarios. It remains “the policy of the United States to retain some ambiguity regarding the precise circumstances” that might lead to a nuclear response. The United States reserves the right to unleash nuclear weapons first in “extreme circumstances” to defend the “vital interests” not only of the United States but also of its “allies and partners” — a total of some 30 countries. “Extreme circumstances,” the review states explicitly, include “significant non-nuclear attacks,” including conventional attacks on “allied or partner civilian population or infrastructure.” The United States also maintains a “portion of its nuclear forces” on daily alert, with the option of launching those forces “promptly.”

As for arms treaties, the review states that the United States will continue to comply with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty while refusing to sign it. The review explicitly reserves the right to resume “nuclear explosive testing” if “necessary to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.” The review admits that arms-control agreements can help “sustain strategic stability,” but concludes “further progress is difficult to envision.” The document ignores the U.N. Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which obligates the United States and other nuclear power signatories to move toward nuclear disarmament. This comes as growing tensions between Russia and the United States are beginning to unravel agreements that do exist.

In sum, the United States is building a new generation of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, will deploy more usable nuclear weapons in “forward” areas, remains committed to possible “first use” of nuclear weapons even against non-nuclear attacks in defense of 30 countries, retains missiles on active alert ready to launch, is skeptical of the possibility of any progress in arms control and is hostile to the global movement to make nuclear weapons illegal. All this as tensions with Russia and China rise, relations with North Korea remain literally explosive, and the nuclear deal with Iran stays under constant assault from the president.

Not surprisingly, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently adjusted its doomsday clock to two minutes to midnight, the highest level of alarm since 1953, when the Soviet Union exploded its first hydrogen bomb. In their statement, the scientists warned: “Major nuclear actors are on the cusp of a new arms race, one that will be very expensive and will increase the likelihood of accidents and misperceptions. Across the globe, nuclear weapons are poised to become more rather than less usable because of nations’ investments in their nuclear arsenals.”

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Despite numerous close calls and false alarms, the world has avoided a nuclear war since the start of the Cold War. The Nuclear Posture Review suggests that nuclear weapons make violence less likely.

In reality, the world will either find a way to get rid of nuclear weapons completely or they will eventually be used, either intentionally or by mistake. This reality deserves greater attention in the media and Congress. We need to revive momentum for reducing nuclear weapons, not for “modernizing” them. As Beatrice Fihn, who accepted the Nobel Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in 2017, stated in response to the review , “There are only two possible endings to this story: either the end of nuclear weapons or the end of us all.”