The Ramapo: The Sixth Seal Fault Line (Revelation 6:12)

Image result for ramapo fault lineThe Ramapo fault and other New York City area faults 

 Map depicting the extent of the Ramapo Fault System in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania

The Ramapo Fault, which marks the western boundary of the Newark rift basin, has been argued to be a major seismically active feature of this region, but it is difficult to discern the extent to which the Ramapo fault (or any other specific mapped fault in the area) might be any more of a source of future earthquakes than any other parts of the region. The Ramapo Fault zone spans more than 185 miles (300 kilometers) in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. It is a system of faults between the northern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont areas to the east. This fault is perhaps the best known fault zone in the Mid-Atlantic region, and some small earthquakes have been known to occur in its vicinity. Recently, public knowledge about the fault has increased – especially after the 1970s, when the fault’s proximity to the Indian Point nuclear plant in New York was noticed.

There is insufficient evidence to unequivocally demonstrate any strong correlation of earthquakes in the New York City area with specific faults or other geologic structures in this region. The damaging earthquake affecting New York City in 1884 was probably not associated with the Ramapo fault because the strongest shaking from that earthquake occurred on Long Island (quite far from the trace of the Ramapo fault). The relationship between faults and earthquakes in the New York City area is currently understood to be more complex than any simple association of a specific earthquake with a specific mapped fault.

A 2008 study argued that a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake might originate from the Ramapo fault zone, which would almost definitely spawn hundreds or even thousands of fatalities and billions of dollars in damage. Studying around 400 earthquakes over the past 300 years, the study also argued that there was an additional fault zone extending from the Ramapo Fault zone into southwestern Connecticut. As can be seen in the above figure of seismicity, earthquakes are scattered throughout this region, with no particular concentration of activity along the Ramapo fault, or along the hypothesized fault zone extending into southwestern Connecticut.

Just off the northern terminus of the Ramapo fault is the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, built between 1956 and 1960 by Consolidated Edison Company. The plant began operating in 1963, and it has been the subject of a controversy over concerns that an earthquake from the Ramapo fault will affect the power plant. Whether or not the Ramapo fault actually does pose a threat to this nuclear power plant remains an open question.

The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)



Updated | An earthquake is long overdue to hit New York and America isn’t prepared, author and environmental theorist Kathryn Miles told Trevor Noah on Tuesday’s Daily Show.

Miles is the author of a new book, Quakeland, which investigates how imminently an earthquake is expected in the U.S. and how well-prepared the country is to handle it. The answer to those questions: Very soon and not very well.

“We know it will, that’s inevitable, but we don’t know when,” said Miles when asked when to expect another earthquake in the U.S.

She warned that New York is in serious danger of being the site of the next one, surprising considering that the West Coast sits along the San Andreas fault line.

“New York is 40 years overdue for a significant earthquake…Memphis, Seattle, Washington D.C.—it’s a national problem,” said Miles.

Miles told Noah that though the U.S. is “really good at responding to natural disasters,” like the rapid response to the hurricanes in Texas and Florida, the country and its government is, in fact, lagging behind in its ability to safeguard citizens before an earthquake hits.

“We’re really bad at the preparedness side,” Miles responded when Noah asked how the infrastructure in the U.S. compares to Mexico’s national warning system, for example.

“Whether it’s the literal infrastructure, like our roads and bridges, or the metaphoric infrastructure, like forecasting, prediction, early warning systems. Historically, we’ve underfunded those and as a result we’re way behind even developing nations on those fronts.”

Part of the problem, Miles says, is that President Donald Trump and his White House are not concerned with warning systems that could prevent the devastation of natural disasters.

“We can invest in an early warning system. That’s one thing we can definitely do. We can invest in better infrastructures, so that when the quake happens, the damage is less,” said the author.

“The scientists, the emergency managers, they have great plans in place. We have the technology for an early warning system, we have the technology for tsunami monitoring. But we don’t have a president that is currently interested in funding that, and that’s a problem.”

This article has been updated to reflect that Miles said New York is the possible site of an upcoming earthquake, and not the likeliest place to be next hit by one.

Iraq Exorcises Babylon the Great

Shiite alliance turns on Iraqi PM as election looms

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi is fighting for his political career even as he rides a wave of popular support thanks to his victories on the battlefield. (FIle/Reuters)

BAGHDAD: Shiite political and paramilitary groups have called for the withdrawal of the remaining US troops in Iraq as they seek to make electoral gains on the man who helped empower them, Prime Minister Haider Abadi.

The demand by the opposition Al-Fattah alliance is just the latest sign that the Iranian-backed forces who played a key role in the defining achievement of his premiership — the defeat of Daesh in much of the country — are trying to outmaneuver the Iraqi leader before a nationwide vote that will decide his fate this spring.
While the two sides continue to cooperate militarily and there is no suggestion of their political rivalry degenerating into violence, their contest could have far-reaching consequences for Iraq.

Parliamentary elections for the 329-member Council of Representatives are scheduled to be held on May 12. The MPs will then choose Iraq’s prime minister and president, meaning Abadi is fighting for his political career even as he rides a wave of popular support thanks to his victories on the battlefield.
Last week the Al-Fattah alliance submitted a draft resolution to the national assembly calling for the final few thousand American soldiers in Iraq to be withdrawn “as their mission has been achieved.” Although the resolution cannot become legislation under Iraqi law, it is highly symbolic of the precarious position in which Abadi finds himself.

Having built his reputation on the defeat of Daesh, the prime minister is being pressured into making political concessions by the very militias he used to crush the extremists and strengthen his hold on the country.

The resolution calling for the Americans to withdraw is “a typical way to embarrass him,” an MP and Al-Fattah alliance member told Arab News on condition of anonymity. “He is the Americans’ man, so let them protect him.”
A former electrical engineering student who spent several years in exile in the UK during the regime of Saddam Hussein, Abadi is himself a Shiite Muslim. He returned to Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion and was elected to Parliament less than three years later.

He was appointed prime minister in September 2014 and has had to face down a Kurdish referendum for independence, as well as the Daesh insurgency that swept through Iraq.
The challenge he now faces, however, comes from former allies backed by Iran and their pressure may already be paying off.

On Thursday, the prime minister issued a decree that will allow an assortment of Shiite militias from the Al-Fattah alliance to be formally absorbed into Iraq’s security forces. The move will go some way to appeasing his political opponents, but it is unlikely to silence them entirely with the election just two months away.

The Al-Fattah alliance is made up of some of Iraq’s most powerful paramilitary groups including the Badr Organization and Asai’b Ahl Al-Haq, two groups that played pivotal roles in the bloodshed and sectarian violence that dominated the early years of the US-led occupation.

The Badr Organization has its roots in the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which fought on the side of Tehran in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. Many of its members joined the Iraqi security forces after the 2003 American invasion.

The Asai’b Ahl Al-Haq is an offshoot of the Iranian-backed Mahdi Army, which fought pitched battles with US troops in the cities of Baghdad and Najaf in 2004.

Last December the US said it had 5,200 troops in Iraq and Abadi has insisted these remaining forces only provide security and logistical support, and are not involved in combat.

Sa’ad Al-Hadaithi, a spokesman for the Iraqi government, told Arab News the country still needed American military help.
“Until the battle with Daesh is resolved on the Syrian side (of the border) and pockets of Daesh militants are eliminated in those areas, we still need the support of the coalition forces,” he said.
The US insists its continued presence in Iraq will be “conditions-based.”

In recent years, it has launched air strikes in aid of Shiite militias fighting Daesh, but the upcoming elections have emboldened the paramilitary groups and their allies in Parliament, giving them the confidence to turn the tables on both Abadi and Washington.
“We are not the only ones who demand the departure of these forces; this decision is consistent with the will of the Iraqi people,” said Mahmoud Al-Rubaiai, a leading member of Al-Fattah.

He added that if the US troops did not leave, “then we will consider them as occupation forces and deal with them on that basis.”

How the Iran Deal Will be Killed

Trump-Kim Meeting Could Have Negative Implications for Iranian Nuclear Deal, Officials Say

A summit with North Korea could persuade the president that killing the Iran agreement may strengthen his hand with Pyongyang

By Laurence Norman
March 10, 2018 7:57 a.m. ET

BRUSSELS—The planned meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May will make it more likely the administration will kill the Iranian nuclear agreement, some current and former western officials said.

The Kim meeting could come within days of Mr. Trump’s May 12 deadline for deciding whether to extend U.S. sanctions waivers on Iran. The president has repeatedly attacked the Iran agreement and warned he may refuse to sign the waivers, a step that would likely breach the agreement’s terms and could see Iran revive key nuclear work.

People involved in the Iran deal have long said its fate could weigh heavily on diplomacy with Pyongyang. They argued that abandoning the 2015 Iranian accord will lead Mr. Kim to conclude that security guarantees he will almost certainly seek from the U.S. in exchange for scaling back his nuclear program can’t be relied on.

Now, some of the same voices said they fear the opposite will happen. With the diplomatic window suddenly opening with North Korea, it could persuade Mr. Trump that killing the Iran deal could strengthen his hand with Mr. Kim.

Wendy Sherman, the lead U.S. negotiator on the Iran deal who also led years of diplomacy with North Korea in the Clinton administration, said “the logic is that if the United States leaves” the Iran deal, it would undermine Washington’s credibility.

“However the president may, because of the way he operates, believe that somehow, tearing it up, will say that he won’t negotiate what he calls a ‘bad deal.’ That would be a disaster because he would then have two nuclear crises on his hands at the same time,” she said.

Another senior western diplomat said the Kim talks are likely bad news for the Iran agreement, which lifted most international sanctions in exchange for temporary but tight restrictions on most Iranian nuclear work. “There’s a risk that he says this was a bad agreement and we’ll show you how to do business,” the person said of Mr. Trump.

Some Iran deal critics agree. James Carafano, vice president of the right-leaning Heritage Foundation, who worked on the Trump transition team, said the president is serious that the Iranian deal isn’t good enough.

Kim is going to learn that if he thinks he is going to cut a deal, it’s going to have to be way more ironclad than the JCPOA,” he said, referring to the formal name of the Iranian nuclear deal.

Diplomats and analysts have long cautioned against drawing too close a parallel between the North Korean and Iranian nuclear challenges.

North Korea’s nuclear program is advanced and its tests have made clear that the country has nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. Its economy also has limited international ties.

Iran’s economy is much more open and susceptible to sanctions. While Tehran produced enough nuclear material—enriched uranium—that could have been used for a weapon, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in December 2015 its work on weaponizing the material had likely made modest progress.

One of Mr. Trump’s biggest criticisms of the Iranian nuclear deal, which saw most international sanctions lifted on Tehran in exchange for tight but temporary restrictions on much of its nuclear program, was that it was kicking a nuclear problem down the road, much as previous deals with North Korea had failed to stop Pyongyang’s march to the bomb.

Advocates of the Iran deal say its obligations stretch well beyond what North Korea agreed to and allow the international community to deal with other challenges from Tehran without Iran brandishing the nuclear threat.

Chagai Tzuriel, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of intelligence said the illicit development of North Korea’s nuclear program had impacted on decisions made in Tehran and in Washington about Iran. At times, he said, North Korea and Iran may have consulted on how to contend with international pushback to their nuclear work.

Given the volatile decision-making process in Washington, not everyone is sure how North Korean-U.S. talks, if they proceed, will impact the Iran deal.

Richard Nephew, a former top U.S. Treasury official who was part of the U.S. negotiating team with Iran, said the apparent breakthrough with Pyongyang could give Mr. Trump the kind of bipartisan backing that lifts political pressure on him from Republicans to abandon the Iran agreement.

“But it may also open space to do so since he wouldn’t have two crises to manage. Moreover, he may feel that threatening war and massive sanctions worked” with Pyongyang “and that it would be good to run that play again with Iran,” he said.

False Reassurance Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Quake shouldn’t shake faith in Indian Point’s safety: Letter

1:56 pm EST February 13, 2018

The earthquake that hit the Hudson Valley on the morning of Feb. 7 seems to have shaken some anti-nuclear activists to the core. They’re back at it again with their fearmongering about Indian Point being vulnerable to seismic activity.

As the former plant manager of Indian Point 2, I know that this is categorically untrue.

The recent earthquake is just another example that demonstrates just how safe Indian Point is. Indian Point was built to withstand an earthquake thousands of times more powerful than the one that recently occurred. In other words: Indian Point is as solid and secure as you can get.

The men and women who operate that plant are absolute professionals, and we’re fortunate to have this safe and secure energy source powering our region for another three years.

John Basile

The writer, a Village of Stillwater trustee, is a former Indian Point plant manager for Consolidated Edison.

The Threat of the Iranian Nuclear Horn

Wade Bennett

Iran on Monday said the country was capable of producing higher enriched uranium within two days if the United States followed through with its threat to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal.

President Donald Trump has continually expressed his displeasure of the deal, suggesting drastic changes and further sanctions on Iran, but many European countries involved with the deal may not be on board with the President’s idea.

On Tehran’s Arabic language al-Alam TV, Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said that “If America pulls out of the deal … Iran could resume its 20-percent uranium enrichment in less than 48 hours.” Uranium refined to 20-percent fissile purity is well-beyond the 5 percent normally required to fuel civil nuclear power plants, Reuters reported, but it’s still short of the highly enriched purity of 80 to 90 percent needed for nuclear bombs.

Speaking in regard to the U.S.’ recent desire to revise the 2015 nuclear deal, Kamalvandi also stated that it is not re-negotiable. The deal was intended to curb Iran’s uranium enrichment to help ensure the production was for peaceful purposes only. In return, financial and economic sanctions on the country would be lessened. While the deal’s other partners, including Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China, all support preserving the deal, the U.S. has threatened to withdraw completely.

It was recently reported that the U.S. State Department be in agreement with White House’s stance, stating that the U.S. will stop providing Iran with sanctions relief and kill the deal.

“This is a last chance,” a State Department official said. “In the absence of a commitment from our European allies to work with us to fix the deal’s flaws, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time the President judges that agreement is not within reach, the United States will withdraw from the deal immediately.”