A Closer Look At The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

A Closer Look At The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

A Look at the Tri-State’s Active Fault Line

Monday, March 14, 2011

By Bob Hennelly

The Ramapo Fault is the longest fault in the Northeast that occasionally makes local headlines when minor tremors cause rock the Tri-State region. It begins in Pennsylvania, crosses the Delaware River and continues through Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris, Passaic and Bergen counties before crossing the Hudson River near Indian Point nuclear facility.

In the past, it has generated occasional activity that generated a 2.6 magnitude quake in New Jersey’s Peakpack/Gladstone area and 3.0 magnitude quake in Mendham.

But the New Jersey-New York region is relatively seismically stable according to Dr. Dave Robinson, Professor of Geography at Rutgers. Although it does have activity.

“There is occasional seismic activity in New Jersey,” said Robinson. “There have been a few quakes locally that have been felt and done a little bit of damage over the time since colonial settlement — some chimneys knocked down in Manhattan with a quake back in the 18th century, but nothing of a significant magnitude.”

Robinson said the Ramapo has on occasion registered a measurable quake but has not caused damage: “The Ramapo fault is associated with geological activities back 200 million years ago, but it’s still a little creaky now and again,” he said.

“More recently, in the 1970s and early 1980s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to Indian Point,” according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.

Historically, critics of the Indian Point Nuclear facility in Westchester County, New York, did cite its proximity to the Ramapo fault line as a significant risk.

In 1884, according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website, the  Rampao Fault was blamed for a 5.5 quake that toppled chimneys in New York City and New Jersey that was felt from Maine to Virginia.

“Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 Earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault,” according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.

Indian Point Restarts Before the Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

Image result for indian pointPower restored at Indian Point after more than two-week shutdown

Thomas C. Zambito, Rockland/Westchester Journal News
Published 4:59 p.m. ET April 1, 2019 

John and Diane Tangen recount their personal history with Indian Point. Ricky Flores/lohud

This was the first time in ten years that both reactors were down at the same time

Indian Point’s Unit 2 reactor resumed generating power Monday, following a shutdown of more than two weeks caused by a malfunction in a generator.

Unit 2 — one of the Buchanan power plant’s two working nuclear reactors — was returned to service around noon Monday, according to Jerry Nappi, a spokesman for Indian Point’s owner, Entergy.

The unplanned shutdown occurred while the plant’s other working reactor, Unit 3, was already down for its biennial refueling and maintenance. It was the first time in 10 years both reactors were down at the same time.

Unit 2 automatically shut down around 3 p.m. on March 15 when there was a malfunction in a generator on the non-nuclear side of the plant. Power was temporarily restored for nearly 13 hours on March 24 before the reactor shut down again.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s on-site inspectors have been monitoring Indian Point’s efforts to restore power to the reactor and said public safety was never in jeopardy.

“Our Resident Inspectors assigned to Indian Point were aware that Indian Point Unit 2 was restarting and have been following power-ascension activities,” NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said. “They will continue to do so.”

Unit 2 is scheduled to shut down for good in 2021. Unit 3 will shut down next year.

Read or Share this story: https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/indian-point/2019/04/01/indian-point-restored/3335593002/

Jihad Planned Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Members of the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group march during a military parade in Gaza City on October 4, 2018. (Anas Baba/AFP PHOTO)

Reports: Islamic Jihad planning large Gaza attack to derail ceasefire talks

Anonymous Israeli security officials said to warn of recent suspicious activity by the Iran-backed group along the security fence surrounding the Strip

Members of the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group march during a military parade in Gaza City on October 4, 2018. (Anas Baba/AFP PHOTO)

Israeli defense officials on Monday warned that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad appeared to be planning to conduct a large-scale terror attack on the Gaza border in order to derail ongoing ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas, according to two Hebrew media reports.

The unnamed officials told Palestinian affairs correspondents from the Ynet news site and Channel 14 television station that members of the Iran-backed group had been seen conducting “suspicious activities” near the security fence over the past day.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad is the second-most powerful terror group in the Gaza Strip, after the coastal enclave’s de facto rulers, Hamas, though it is believed to have a slightly larger arsenal of rockets and mortar shells, mostly locally manufactured varieties based

The group is also suspected of being responsible for a barrage of rockets fired at southern Israel in the predawn hours of Sunday morning, which struck open fields in the Eshkol region, causing neither injury nor damage.

According to Monday’s reports, the PIJ operatives along the border appeared to be preparing for some kind of an attack, though the details were unclear. The anonymous officials said it could be the firing of an anti-tank guided missile at Israeli troops; a large-scale improvised explosive device attack; or some type of cross-border assault.

In recent weeks Israel and Hamas have been holding indirect ceasefire negotiations, with Egypt and the United Nations acting as mediators.

Under the Egyptian-led plan, Israel is to offer economic incentives for Gaza in exchange for calm. These are said to include easing restrictions on imports and exports, expanding fishing zones and more.

There appeared to be a breakthrough in these talks over the weekend, when Hamas maintained relative calm along the border during large Land Day protests on Saturday.

Israel, in turn, reopened its two crossings with the Gaza Strip on Sunday, having closed them last week after a rocket attack struck a home in central Israel and injured seven people, and on Monday significantly expanded the permitted fishing area around the coastal enclave.

According to the anonymous officials, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Beirut-based leadership appeared to be trying to derail these ongoing ceasefire efforts with rocket fire and its planned attack along the border.

On Sunday afternoon, a mortar shell was launched from Gaza toward Israel but it failed to clear the border and landed inside the Strip.

Over 40,000 Palestinians took part in the rallies at the Gaza border Saturday afternoon, with some rioters throwing grenades and explosives toward the security fence as well as lobbing rocks at troops and burning tires.

The enclave’s Hamas-run health ministry said three 17-year-old Palestinians were killed during the protests, while at least 300 were injured. Another Palestinian was shot and killed in the early morning before the main demonstration began, as he took part in a late-night riot along the border. Most of those hurt were lightly wounded, but three were said to suffer critical injuries.

The army said soldiers responded with “riot dispersal means” as well as live fire in accordance with IDF regulations, noting that most Palestinians attending the one-year anniversary of the “March of Return” protests remained at a distance from the border.

Iranian Hegemony in Iraq (Daniel 8:3)

Image result for iran hegemony iraqA year after US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iran digs in

Barbara Slavin

Nearly a year after the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, it is loudly proclaiming the harsh impact of reinstated US secondary sanctions on the Iranian economy.

As a result of reduced revenues, US officials assert that Iran is under increasing pressure to scale back its support for proxy groups that have widened Iran’s regional reach.

Tehran appears to be digging

in, prepared to wait out

Trump in hopes that he will

be a one-term president.

But although Iranians are clearly suffering from high inflation and unemployment, there are no signs that their government is willing to talk to Trump officials about a “better” deal or that it is abandoning long-standing regional partners. Instead, Tehran appears to be digging in, prepared to wait out Trump in hopes that he will be a one-term president and that a successor administration would return to the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Iran has undoubtedly taken notice that half a dozen Democratic candidates for president have pledged to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if elected in 2020. Meanwhile, pro-JCPOA analysts at US think tanks are already providing road maps for resumed US compliance and new negotiations on a “more-for-more” agreement. (The Brookings Institution is the latest.)

The Trump administration has described its policy on Iran as “maximum pressure”. But US ability to further squeeze Iran in the next 18 months is constrained by a number of factors.

While sanctions have cut Iran’s oil exports by about a million barrels a day and are causing obvious pain to the Iranian population, Iran is still selling enough oil – about 1.2 million barrels – to get by and has the benefit of about $100 billion in hard currency reserves unfrozen after implementation of the JCPOA in 2016.

In May, the Trump administration must decide whether to renew waivers to a half dozen countries permitted to buy Iranian oil without threat of US sanctions. A failure by the administration to renew waivers to key importers such as China and India risks spiking global oil prices at a time when Venezuelan crude exports are also restricted by US sanctions. In recent weeks, oil prices have flirted with $70 a barrel – a level that appears to worry President Donald Trump.

It is also unlikely that the US will seek to punish the European Union for trying to maintain minimal economic ties with Iran. The EU has come up with a mechanism called INSTEX to facilitate trade in food and medicine with Iran. The Europeans are waiting for Iran’s parliament to pass anti-money laundering legislation before activating INSTEX later this year.

The US must also balance conflicting interests with regard to Iraq, which shares a long border with Iran and relies on Iranian natural gas for nearly half its electricity. The Trump administration recently renewed waivers for Baghdad to keep importing Iranian natural gas for another three months. The last thing the US wants to see is more unrest in Iraq this summer because of electricity shortages and climate change-goosed high temperatures.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the press alongside Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil (Photo: US State Department/Flickr)

On a recent visit to the Middle East, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Iraq to clamp down on Iran-backed Shi’ite Muslim militias that took part in the campaign to defeat the Islamic State group. Iraq has instead put these militias on the government payroll. A US decision to declare Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group – reportedly being pushed by Pompeo – would put Iraq in an extremely difficult situation given the guards’ strong ties with Iraqi militias and politicians. It could also put the few thousand US troops in Iraq at greater risk.

In Lebanon, which Pompeo also visited on his recent tour, he harshly attacked Hezbollah, Iran’s oldest regional partner, as a terrorist organization that “stands in the way of the Lebanese people’s dreams” and whose “foot soldiers serve at Tehran’s bidding”.

However, Lebanon’s foreign minister, Gebran Bassil, contradicted Pompeo’s view. Standing next to the American chief diplomat, Bassil told reporters, including Americans covering Pompeo, “Hezbollah is a political party … it is not terrorist” and it has “huge political support” in Lebanon. Indeed, supporters of the group won 70 of 128 seats in the Lebanese parliament in elections last year.

The Trump administration claims to be building a global coalition against Iran’s “malign” activities. But while many Western countries would like to see Iran pull back from regional interventions, curb its ballistic missile program and treat its own citizens better, US policy is strongly supported by only a handful of Iran’s rivals in the Middle East. In an interview on 28 March, Pompeo acknowledged:

We’ve got the Gulf states and Israel sharing our view of the threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Even that coalition is shaky because of the nearly two-year-old blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which has forced Qatar to deepen ties with Iran. In Washington, the Saudis are increasingly unpopular not just because of the embargo but the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and a seemingly unending war in Yemen. The US Congress has demanded accountability for Khashoggi’s gruesome death in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and majorities in both houses oppose continued US support for the Saudis and Emiratis in Yemen, now the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

Ordinary Iranians are caught between their own government’s malfeasance and a hostile Washington. They are angry at their government’s poor performance, as evidenced in poor preparation for recent floods, but derive little comfort from an aggressive US propaganda campaign that seeks to blame every problem on Iranian officials.

Renewing the Cold War (Revelation 16)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The demise of the only U.S.-Russia arms control pact limiting deployed nuclear weapons would make it harder for each to gauge the other’s intentions, giving both incentives to expand their arsenals, according to a study released on Monday.

The expiration of the New START accord also may undermine faith in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which calls on nuclear states such as the United States and Russia to work toward nuclear disarmament, as well as influence China’s nuclear posture, historically one of restraint.

The study, produced by the CNA Corp non-profit research group, is the most comprehensive public examination to date of the consequences of New START’s demise. It argues for extending the 2011 treaty, which expires in February 2021 but can be extended for five years if both sides agree.

The Trump administration is deliberating whether to extend the pact, which President Donald Trump has reviled as a bad deal and his national security adviser, John Bolton, has long opposed. Russia has said it is prepared to extend New START but wants to discuss what it regards as U.S. violations first.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the administration’s deliberations.

Trump has said Washington will withdraw from another arms pact, the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, this summer unless Moscow ends its alleged violations, compounding tense ties. Russia denies violating the INF treaty.

The New START treaty required the United States and Russia to cut their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550, the lowest level in decades, and limit delivery systems – land- and submarine-based missiles and nuclear-capable bombers.

It also includes extensive transparency measures requiring each side to allow the other to carry out 10 inspections of strategic nuclear bases each year; give 48 hours notice before new missiles covered by the treaty leave their factories; and provide notifications before ballistic missile launches.

Both sides must also exchange data declaring their deployed strategic nuclear warheads, delivery vehicles and launchers, as well as breakdowns of how many of each are located at individual bases.

All of that would end if the treaty expires.

“Neither country would have the same degree of confidence in its ability to assess the other’s precise warhead levels,” CNA’s Vince Manzo wrote in the study (bit.ly/2JUdSvW). “Worst-case planning is also more likely as a result.

“Increased opacity between U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces would unfold within the broader context of growing mistrust and diverging perceptions about strategy, intentions, and perceptions,” he added.

Without the data, the United States would have to reassign its overworked satellites, possibly devoting more surveillance to Russia and less to China, Iran and North Korea.

Another casualty of the treaty’s expiration could be global nonproliferation, making non-nuclear states doubt the United States and Russia will keep working toward nuclear disarmament under the NPT, the study said.

 

While it was impossible to predict how China – estimated to have about 280 nuclear warheads – would react to New START’s expiry, the study cites factors that could make Beijing expand its capability.

Without a treaty limiting U.S. and Russian nuclear forces, China could overestimate their arsenals. Unconstrained U.S. and Russian forces could also strengthen voices in China that view a large arsenal as symbolically important, as well as those already advocating for more nuclear weapons.

The study recommends steps for the United States and Russia to mitigate the risks from the treaty’s expiration, including voluntarily sticking to its limits and continuing to exchange data. It also recommends Washington propose annual exchanges of nuclear weapons information and dialogue with Beijing.

Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Landay; Editing by Mary Milliken and Dan Grebler

Russia Much More Prepared Than Babylon the Great (Revelation 16)

Nuclear War Plans: How Moscow Would Survive an Atomic Attack (Lots of Bunkers)

But would it work? 

The “sphere” style of bunker was developed as a way to improve the survivability of shallow bunkers since shallow bunkers are cheaper to build than deeper ones. To attain greater survivability, an outer bunker is made in the form of a sphere. This sphere is placed inside a shallow circular shaft. Shock absorbers are placed around the sphere connecting into an internal bunker. Those absorbers cushion the occupants from the shock waves of a nuclear explosion.

According to Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, in the event of a nuclear attack on Moscow, there is space in underground facilities for all of the population. While this is a very bold claim, Moscow is famous for the massive amount of bunkers it has available for Civil Defense (гражданской обороны) and the military. The average Muscovite usually has an odd story or two about how bunkers have popped up in their daily life. But what types of bunkers are there? How protected are they?

(This first appeared in 2018.)

On the largest level, the bunkers in Moscow can be classified into four types: basement, metro, metro-2, and sphere. The first two types are largely used for Civil Defense. The last two are primarily used by military and government agencies.

The largest and most famous civil defense system in Russia is the Moscow Metro. The metro is specifically engineered to protect against nuclear attack, boasting not only depth but reinforcements on the tunnels and blast doors that allow for a total seal against blast pressure and fallout. These doors are usually restricted to the main stations, outlying stations may have less or no blast protection.

Newer stations are usually built with blast protection using modern military methods. Notably, the “Park Pobedy” station is built using armablocks and utilized upwards excavation for shafts. Normally, shafts are excavated downwards from the surface, but upwards excavation minimizes the likelihood of satellite reconnaissance finding the locations of shafts as the construction equipment and spillage cannot be seen if it is underground.

In addition to the metro, various other civil bomb shelters are dotted around Moscow. These shelters are usually fairly shallow and feature limited protection from the overpressure of a blast. Their presence is usually found by the presence of various chimneys and air vents that feed fresh air into these bunkers. Some of these shelters have been repurposed into businesses and parking lots. These are generally of the “basement” type.

Details for these bunkers are public knowledge, as there are documents describing the minimum specifications. All bunkers must be able to survive an airblast of up to one hundred kilopascal and have stores of food and water for two days. Air filtration systems also are standard. Power generation is also provided to run the air filtration and lighting systems.

After a period of stagnation, the government appears to be spending money on this aspect of the infrastructure again, with a program started in 2015 that builds or renovates old civil defense bunkers. Large-scale drills were undertaken in 2016, which involved over 40 million people.

Much less information is available on the military bunkers, but they tend to be deeper than the civilian bunkers. While military bunkers were first built in the “basement” and “metro” types (the Tagansky Bunker 42 complex is a good example of an early bunker in “metro” style), the military moved onto “sphere” and “metro-2” bunker types in the 1970s and 1980s.

The “sphere” style of bunker was developed as a way to improve the survivability of shallow bunkers since shallow bunkers are cheaper to build than deeper ones. To attain greater survivability, an outer bunker is made in the form of a sphere. This sphere is placed inside a shallow circular shaft. Shock absorbers are placed around the sphere connecting into an internal bunker. Those absorbers cushion the occupants from the shock waves of a nuclear explosion.

Other bunkers that use similar technology in which the central bunker is suspended on shock absorbers in a central structure might also be present, with various variations on the shape of the central bunker. “Cylinder” and “Nut bolt” (hexagonal) types are also rumored to exist.

The infamous “metro-2” bunker style is laid out similarly to the older “metro” style but is deeper underground for greater blast resistance and secrecy. It was said to be built in two phases, with the first being in the 1970s and 1980s, called D-6 ,and the second being between 1990–2000 by the TIS (OAO Трансинжстрой) firm, which also builds civilian metro stations.

However, most sources reporting on Metro-2 are speculative, with the primary ones being reports of hobbyists who may have stumbled upon some Metro-2 entrances or exits or a 1990s DIA report on the system.

Despite the vast number of bunkers, recent advances in fuzing technology for nuclear weapons are threatening to make the minimum civil defense standard obsolete. As fuzing technology improves, such as that used on the American Super Fuze, it’s more likely that pressure levels experienced by the civil defense bunkers will far exceed their design rating.

Charlie Gao studied political and computer science at Grinnell College and is a frequent commentator on defense and national-security issues.