Two Centuries Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

The worst earthquake in Massachusetts history 260 years ago

It happened before, and it could happen again.

By Hilary Sargent @lilsarg

Boston.com Staff | 11.19.15 | 5:53 AM

On November 18, 1755, Massachusetts experienced its largest recorded earthquake.

The earthquake occurred in the waters off Cape Ann, and was felt within seconds in Boston, and as far away as Nova Scotia, the Chesapeake Bay, and upstate New York, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Seismologists have since estimated the quake to have been between 6.0 and 6.3 on the Richter scale, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

While there were no fatalities, the damage was extensive.

According to the USGS, approximately 100 chimneys and roofs collapsed, and over a thousand were damaged.

The worst damage occurred north of Boston, but the city was not unscathed.

A 1755 report in The Philadelphia Gazette described the quake’s impact on Boston:

“There was at first a rumbling noise like low thunder, which was immediately followed with such a violent shaking of the earth and buildings, as threw every into the greatest amazement, expecting every moment to be buried in the ruins of their houses. In a word, the instances of damage done to our houses and chimnies are so many, that it would be endless to recount them.”

The quake sent the grasshopper weathervane atop Faneuil Hall tumbling to the ground, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

An account of the earthquake, published in The Pennsylvania Gazette on December 4, 1755.

The earthquake struck at 4:30 in the morning, and the shaking lasted “near four minutes,” according to an entry John Adams, then 20, wrote in his diary that day.

The brief diary entry described the damage he witnessed.

“I was then at my Fathers in Braintree, and awoke out of my sleep in the midst of it,” he wrote. “The house seemed to rock and reel and crack as if it would fall in ruins about us. 7 Chimnies were shatter’d by it within one mile of my Fathers house.”

The shaking was so intense that the crew of one ship off the Boston coast became convinced the vessel had run aground, and did not learn about the earthquake until they reached land, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

In 1832, a writer for the Hampshire (Northampton) Gazette wrote about one woman’s memories from the quake upon her death.

“It was between 4 and 5 in the morning, and the moon shone brightly. She and the rest of the family were suddenly awaked from sleep by a noise like that of the trampling of many horses; the house trembled and the pewter rattled on the shelves. They all sprang out of bed, and the affrightted children clung to their parents. “I cannot help you dear children,” said the good mother, “we must look to God for help.

The Cape Ann earthquake came just 17 days after an earthquake estimated to have been 8.5-9.0 on the Richter scale struck in Lisbon, Portugal, killing at least 60,000 and causing untold damage.

There was no shortage of people sure they knew the impretus for the Cape Ann earthquake.

According to many ministers in and around Boston, “God’s wrath had brought this earthquake upon Boston,” according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

In “Verses Occasioned by the Earthquakes in the Month of November, 1755,” Jeremiah Newland, a Taunton resident who was active in religious activities in the Colony, wrote that the earthquake was a reminder of the importance of obedience to God.

“It is becaufe we broke thy Laws,

that thou didst shake the Earth.

O what a Day the Scriptures say,

the EARTHQUAKE doth foretell;

O turn to God; lest by his Rod,

he cast thee down to Hell.”

Boston Pastor Jonathan Mayhew warned in a sermon that the 1755 earthquakes in Massachusetts and Portugal were “judgments of heaven, at least as intimations of God’s righteous displeasure, and warnings from him.”

There were some, though, who attempted to put forth a scientific explanation for the earthquake.

Well, sort of.

In a lecture delivered just a week after the earthquake, Harvard mathematics professor John Winthrop said the quake was the result of a reaction between “vapors” and “the heat within the bowels of the earth.” But even Winthrop made sure to state that his scientific theory “does not in the least detract from the majesty … of God.”

It has been 260 years since the Cape Ann earthquake. Some experts, including Boston College seismologist John Ebel, think New England could be due for another significant quake.

In a recent Boston Globe report, Ebel said the New England region “can expect a 4 to 5 magnitude quake every decade, a 5 to 6 every century, and a magnitude 6 or above every thousand years.”

If the Cape Ann earthquake occurred today, “the City of Boston could sustain billions of dollars of earthquake damage, with many thousands injured or killed,” according to a 1997 study by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Iran Rejects Trump’s “Let’s Make a Deal”

Defiant Iran rejects talks with US

Tehran — Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Saturday there would be no meeting with the United States in the near future following Washington’s reimposition of sanctions.

Asked by the conservative Tasnim news agency if there was any plan to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Zarif said: „No, there will be no meeting.“

He said there were also no plans for a meeting with US officials on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York next month, which both Iranian President Hassan Rohani and his US counterpart Donald Trump are due to attend.

„On Trump’s recent proposal (of talks), our official stance was announced by the president and by us. Americans are not honest and their addiction to sanctions does not allow any negotiation to take place,“ Zarif told Tasnim.

It was Iran’s most explicit rejection of talks to date, after much speculation that economic pressure would force its leaders back to the table with Washington.

The US reimposed sanctions on Tuesday, following its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers in May.

Zarif met repeatedly with then US secretary of state John Kerry during the agreement’s negotiation and implementation.

Rohani said last week that Iran „always welcomed negotiations“ but that Washington would first have to demonstrate it can be trusted.

„If you’re an enemy and you stab the other person with a knife and then you say you want negotiations, then the first thing you have to do is remove the knife.“

Rohani dismissed a US call for talks without preconditions last Monday, hours before Washington moved to impose new sanctions in line with President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a 2015 agreement over Iran’s nuclear program.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday they had killed ten „militants“ overnight in a security operation conducted in the northwest of the country near the border with Iraq, the official news agency IRNA reported.

„A well-equipped terrorist group … intending to infiltrate the country from the border area of Oshnavieh to foment insecurity and carry out acts of sabotage was ambushed and at least 10 terrorists were killed in a heavy clash,“ the Revolutionary Guards said in a statement carried by IRNA.

There has been sporadic fighting with Iranian Kurdish militant groups based in Iraq as well as Daesh fighters near Iran’s porous border with Iraq.

In July, there were at least two clashes in the mountainous border area, in which at least 10 Guards and three militants were killed. — Agencies

Who is the Antichrist, the Religious Cleric Who Won Iraq’s Election Recount?

Who is Muqtada Al-Sadr, the Religious Cleric Who Won Iraq’s Election Recount?

The popular figurehead stormed the election back in May on a fiercely anti-corruption platform, while pledging to rid Iraq of unwanted foreign – particularly US – interference.

The manual recount of votes cast in Iraq’s election held in May is now complete, with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s alliance holding on to all of the 54 seats that it initially won.

Iraq’s Independent High Commission released the results of the recount in the early hours of Friday, confirming that Sadr’s ‘Sairoon alliance’ has indeed snatched the popular vote.

© AP Photo / Karim Kadim

Now that the Sairoon alliance — a concoction of religious nationalists and secular communists —  has been confirmed as victorious, it is set to enter strenuous negotiations with members of parliament on the sufficient conditions for forming a new government. This comes nearly three months after national elections were held on May 12.

The manual recount was demanded by Iraq’s parliament, and amongst swathes of the population, following widespread allegations of voter fraud, which ruptured the country’s trust in the integrity of the electoral process. The May poll deployed a new electronic system for calculating votes cast, rather than by manual count, which some argue primed the system for vote-rigging.

Despite the manual recount, Baghdad’s incumbent Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, blasted the results, and asserted that there had been “unprecedented breaches” of the first election, rendering the recount null and void.

Abadi’s dismissal notwithstanding, the United Nations threw its weight behind the recount, hailing it is “credible,” and noting that it had been “conducted in a manner that is credible, professional and transparent.”

Despite the continued celebration amongst Western powers of Iraq’s post-2003 transition to democracy, many Iraqis remain weary and mistrusting of the country’s political class, with only 44.5 percent turning out for the election in May.

Who is Muqtada Al-Sadr? 

Mr Sadr was sanctioned as public enemy number one by Washington following the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. The Shiite strongman, who doubles up as a religious cleric outside of his political life, led a band of militiamen throughout the early days of the country’s occupation, called the ‘Mahdi Army,’ who attempted to vanquish coalition forces through armed force, causing many fatalities amongst Western soldiers.

Despite the best efforts of the Iraqi and US armies, Sadr and his men — who came to epitomize the post-invasion insurgency — continued to control large parts of Baghdad, most notably the so-called ‘Sadr city’ district, almost unhindered.

The cleric turned militia leader was such a thorn in the side of coalition forces, that by the year 2006 Newsweek had plastered his image on their front page, branding him “the most dangerous man in Iraq.”

Sadr still remains an unremitting critic of the US military presence in his country — which currently numbers at nearly 8,000 personnel — and the US-backed central government in Baghdad. According to scholars of the Middle East, much of Sadr’s legitimacy is derived from cocktail of nationalism and religiosity, which has made him a credible leadership figure, particularly in the eyes of Iraq’s poor, to whom he has promised the complete removal of US influence in Baghdad.

Sadr is also notorious for his staunch opposition to the corruption that has plagued Baghdad’s central government since 2003. Most famously, he and his supporters staged a 2016 sit-in within Baghdad’s fortified ‘Green Zone’ — the centre of government established after the 2003 invasion — demanding greater government accountability. Eventually, Prime Minister Abadi was forced to reorganise his cabinet in what was perceived as an unprecedented act of appeasement.

Sadr will now set out to begin negotiating the formation of a new government with his former political rivals, including Iran-backed militia chief Hadi Al-Amiri, who came in second place in the parliamentary election and led the fight against Daesh in Mosul.

Whether the Iraqi populist will be able to reform Baghdad as he wishes remains to be seen, but one thing does appear certain: that his victory will cause somewhat of a headache for US foreign policy in the Middle East.

Ahmadinejad Prepares the Iranian Horn (Daniel 8)

Ahmadinejad Asks Rouhani to Resign

Friday, 10 August, 2018 – 08:15 –

File photo of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadine…

London – Asharq Al-Awsat

Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has asked President Hassan Rouhani to resign.

In a video published on his official website, Ahmadinejad said Rouhani, the Larijani brothers and the conservative and reformative blocs are responsible for the current situation in Iran.

The return of calm hinged on the three authorities stepping down, he said.

Ahmadinejad said that Rouhani is not accepted by the Iranians, posing the question of ‚Who is responsible for the current situation in the country?‘

Five years have already passed, and the economy in the country is collapsing – the confidence in the regime is almost at zero level, he said. Ahmadinejad added that the people don’t want Rouhani and his presence undermines the country. He implicitly hinted at the nuclear deal, saying that it offered privileges but the people received nothing.

This is the second time in six months that Ahmadinejad demands the heads of the three authorities to resign. In February, Ahmadinejad responded to a speech delivered by Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei on the delay of social justice and the necessity of apologizing to the Iranians 39 years after the Iranian revolution.

Ahmadinejad called on Khamenei to take tangible steps given his position and vast powers in the regime, in order to maintain the confidence of the public – he demanded to amend the constitution and to hold quick and free presidential and parliamentary elections.

The demands of Ahmadinejad coincide with the return of US sanctions and the renewal of popular protests. He finds himself comfortable in renewing his demands, especially that it was confirmed last week that Rouhani would appear in front of the parliament to answer questions on his government’s handling of Iran’s economic struggles.

Two pro-regime clerics Hossein Noori Hamedani and Naser Makarem Shirazi criticized the government and the judiciary over the slow pace in dealing with corruption files.

Larijani said Wednesday, after withdrawing confidence from the Iranian minister of labor, that it is a shame that launching accusations has become a trend, hinting at speeches delivered by Ahmadinejad in a number of cities in Iran.

Iranian government efforts to confront the country’s worsening economic crisis have backfired and things are likely to get worse after the US reimposed sanctions on the country following its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

The government sought to stabilize the currency by pegging it at a set rate to the dollar but this measure ended up speeding the rial’s decline, Bloomberg said.

The rial’s value has gone down down 70 percent since May.

In the runup to the Aug. 7 resumption of US sanctions, President Hassan Rouhani got stern directives from a few corners of Iran.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei urged him to deal with corruption. The Revolutionary Guards commander told him to focus on Iran’s slumping currency, while a sizable chunk of Parliament summoned Rouhani to harangue him about the sinking economy. None of them, however, had any advice on how to ease the growing sense of despair and outrage in the streets, reported Bloomberg.

Over the past few weeks, there has been a 50 percent rise in the price of some food items, triggering scattered protests.

Fawaz al-Elmi, an expert in international trade, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Iran will likely “face the worst of scenarios.”

“The US sanctions will have severe repercussions on the Iranian economy,” he said, adding that 105 international companies have withdrawn from the Iranian market and the riyal has lost another 12 percent of its value since the sanctions have gone into effect on Tuesday.

Only three years after the nuclear deal was signed, though, instead of enjoying the fruits of the accord, Rouhani has to explain what went wrong—and how he’s going to fix it

To some observers, Rouhani’s attempts to deal with the situation have been reactionary and not part of a coherent strategy. “They’re dealing with crises as they happen,” Saeed Laylaz, a pro-reform economist who has advised the government, told Bloomberg.

“The people have lost their trust, and they are craving efficiency. They don’t care if it comes from men with beards (religious figures in Iran) or neckties.”

Rouhani has governed as a moderate. He now finds himself on precarious middle ground. To the right, he faces pressure from conservative clerics who were critical of the nuclear deal to begin with. On the left, he’s blamed for not doing enough to reform the political or economic system during the two years the deal was in effect. Progress was made—oil exports surged, for example—but job creation couldn’t meet demand in a country where more than 60 percent of the population is under 30.