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

Image result for 1755 massachusetts earthquakeThe 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

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.

50 Palestinians Injured in Clashes Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Palestinian protesters burn tires during clashes with Israeli soldiers after a protest against the U.S. Middle East peace plan, in the West Bank city of Hebron, Jan. 31, 2020. (Photo by Mamoun Wazwaz/Xinhua)

50 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers in West Bank, Gaza

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-01 00:19:06|Editor: huaxia

GAZA/RAMALLAH, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) — At least 50 Palestinian demonstrators were injured on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, medics said.

The clashes happened during demonstrations against the U.S. Middle East peace plan, known as the Deal of the Century.

Earlier on Friday, an Israeli army tank fired several shells on central Gaza Strip in response to three mortars launched from eastern Gaza into southern Israel. No injuries were reported.

Can the antichrist claw back credibility?

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr attends prayers at the Kufa Mosque in Najaf, last November. (Reuters)
Now what? Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr attends prayers at the Kufa Mosque in Najaf, last November. (Reuters)
The Iraqi street has grown accustomed to al-Sadr’s artful dodging but observers misdiagnosed al-Sadr’s “great betrayal” of the October uprisings.
Sunday 02/02/2020

Twenty-four hours after supporters of the Sadrist trend arrived at Baghdad’s Liberation Square in white air-conditioned buses, the movement’s populist leader Muqtada al-Sadr ordered their withdrawal.

This marked, as media reporting framed, the beginning of the end of al-Sadr’s support of Iraq’s October uprising. The great betrayal, as some described, cost al-Sadr credibility that he may struggle to claw back as a permanent fixture of the political system that Iraqis want abolished.

Online backlash to al-Sadr’s call for anti-American protests by demonstrators and diaspora a week earlier can explain the sudden change of the fickle-minded leader who sits atop the largest bloc in parliament.

In a purely political act, al-Sadr’s calls fall into a wider trend seen before: veering protests off track to engineer their outcomes.

This happened in March 2015 and again in May 2016, loyalists were deployed to expedite demands that included the “replacement of muhasasa,” a political system in which allotted seats are determined by patronage, and “to uproot corruption and its enablers.”

Those ultimatums and the deployment of al-Sadr’s expansive populist base in Baghdad helped blur the original character of protest movements — a successful hijacking.

However, the October uprising survived Sadrist-engineered co-optation. The nationalist movement maintained its independence, even in the unrelenting face of state-sanctioned violence.

What might be different this time is the steadily rising death toll — estimated at 650-900. The tempestuous situation makes it difficult to corroborate figures, as well as insufficient state-led casualty counting efforts. Al-Sadr’s capitulation to a system guilty for the loss of hundreds of lives may stand in the way of ambitions for his movement.

October protests, like the current Iraqi government, were leaderless. Al-Sadr inserted himself into the mix but his constituents, as residents of Baghdad’s poorest pockets, have the choice to leave or stay.

By cutting ties, al-Sadr removed himself but not necessarily his followers. His withdrawal of backing creates an opportunity for protest ranks to grow, away from the private interests of politically minded Sadrists and those seeking to ride the tide of popular dissent.

“Al-Sadr pulls support” should not be conflated with “al-Sadr withdraws protection” as protection-rackets were nowhere to be seen when unarmed youth were gunned down in Nasiriya, Sinak Bridge, Mohammad-Qasem highway and elsewhere.

The appetite for violence is likely to grow, owing not so much to al-Sadr’s withdrawal but rather the threat the uprisings pose to a political class desperate to maintain its weight in the country.

Al-Sadr’s frequent visits to Tehran dealt a blow already difficult to recover from. His attempt to disguise his political stripes beneath the claim of “neutrality,” as he has tweeted, may never see him able to claw back the credibility his fickleness has cost. Political self-interest is a fact of daily exploitation that the common masses live under but will no longer tolerate.

As the only standing ideologue of one of two important Shia families in Iraq’s post-2003 order, al-Sadr is an unpredictable horse that Iran may regret betting on. The other, the Hakim clergy family, failed to renew its appeal altogether but carved its own path in lucrative businesses without institutions of its own to extort.

Before it splintered, the Hakim-led Supreme Council was supported by al-Sadr in Iraq’s 2010 election. In Iraq’s first elections in 2005, a 31-year-old fresh-faced al-Sadr joined the Shia mainstream, the United Shia Alliance that Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani refused to endorse.

In 2011, al-Sadr stood by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s side urging reform while hundreds of thousands rallied nationwide to reject Maliki’s sectarian-inspired rule. In March 2016, Sadrists broke into the Green Zone but withdrew after occupying the fortified area and parliament buildings for 48 hours.

Similarly, al-Sadr intervened to discipline the political system under Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that, at the time, he said “must straighten its path.”

These tricks amounted to little more than oxygen for the ailing political order but, with protest momentum building, has al-Sadr’s luck run out?

The Iraqi street has grown accustomed to al-Sadr’s artful dodging but observers misdiagnosed al-Sadr’s “great betrayal” of the October uprisings by missing the fact that an alliance between him and protesters never existed.

Al-Sadr’s trademark to promote an oppositionist brand of politics that animates hostility against the United States while cosying up to Iran has ratcheted distrust towards al-Sadr. There may be no remedy for al-Sadr’s bruised credibility.

The White House is CLUELESS on Iran

In three weeks, Iranians will go to the polls to choose a new parliament. For President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate and ardent supporter of the now-moribund international agreement curbing Iran’s nuclear program, the parliamentary vote on Feb. 21 could be the first note in his political swan song. With some 90 percent of Iran’s reform candidates disqualified in a decision issued by the hard-line Guardian Council this week and reformists threatening an election boycott, it seems highly unlikely that Iran’s pro-reform bloc will be able to stitch together much of a showing at the polls. That’s bad news for Iranians, and probably for Americans too.

The tattered state of Iran’s reformers, who are led by Rouhani, underscores the high cost of the Trump administration’s decision to assassinate the top Iranian military commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in early January. Any hope that the nuclear deal could be saved from the dumpster fire of Trump’s Iran policy was lost the day a U.S. drone strike took Soleimani out in Iraq. The latest machinations around the upcoming parliamentary elections suggest that before things get better in Iran, they are bound to get much worse. This is a problem Washington will have to face, whether it’s the Trump administration or a new Democratic administration this time next year.

With Soleimani gone and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in poor health and turning 81 in April, conservatives and hard-liners alike are closing ranks in anticipation of a major shakeup of the hierarchy in Tehran. The Guardian Council’s move to cut reformist and moderate candidates out of the competition for parliament’s 290 seats leaves roughly 5,000 revanchist candidates on the rolls, potentially positioning the hard-liners to dominate parliament for the next four years.

After the killing of Soleimani and massive protests in response to the shooting down of a Ukrainian commercial airliner near Tehran, for which the Iranian authorities initially refused to admit responsibility, it is clear that Iran’s reformists have run into a dead-end. They don’t appear to have contemplated a Plan B in the event that their highly risky investment of political capital in the nuclear deal went south. The costs of that miscalculation was also on display this week as Iranian lawmakers called for the ouster of one of the chief negotiators of the nuclear agreement, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, after he suggested in an interview with the German news outlet Der Spiegel that diplomacy with the U.S. may seem remote now while Trump is in office, but talks are not out of the question once Trump leaves the White House.

Nearly three years into his second presidential term, Rouhani is facing the possibility that the next parliament will do everything it can to dismantle the last vestiges of the movement for incremental change he has long championed. In a country where journalists, human rights advocates and activists of any kind are routinely arrested, it’s a stretch to call Rouhani a moderate. Still, other than Zarif, an American-educated diplomat, few Iranian politicians rivaled Rouhani’s credibility when it came to taking bold stances on opening up, even slightly, Iran’s political and economic institutions and promoting the possibility of détente with the United States. While Rouhani has continued to press publicly for Iranians to turn out for the polls, the trend lines on voter participation are pointing downward.

Rather than weaken the regime, the things that the Trump administration wants to see in Iran all have the effect of strengthening hard-liners.

Under the Trump administration’s chaos theory of American diplomacy, the current political disarray in Iran might easily be misinterpreted as a sign that the theocratic regime is losing legitimacy and domestic support. Indeed, if Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s self-righteous tweets about the public backlash against the Iranian regime over the downing of the Ukrainian jet are to be believed, Tehran is inches away from a popular uprising. But even if the Trump administration is wrong now, what happens if its fantasy of political implosion and even regime collapse really does come true in the future?

Iran’s economy has already been pushed to the brink by renewed U.S. sanctions under Trump’s campaign of so-called “maximum pressure,” contracting by an estimated 9.5 percent in 2019. As some Iranian scientists have noted, Iran is also facing unprecedented stresses on its economy due to the government’s inability to manage shocks to the system due to climate change, including the “drying of lakes and rivers, dust storms, record-breaking temperatures, droughts, and floods.” Iran’s population is growing, set to reach some 84 million this year, but it has less arable land for cultivation than neighboring Afghanistan and more than twice the population.

It’s only a matter of time before Iran’s environmental degradation and economic decline metastasize into political entropy. This is not a scenario to welcome, as the Trump administration would. Especially if hard-liners emerge from February’s parliamentary vote with the upper hand, as expected, and are strengthened even more by the anticipated transition of power from Khamenei to his anointed successor as supreme leader, what then? Would a regime facing such domestic pressure seek to deescalate tensions with the United States, or ratchet them up in attempt to shore up its legitimacy?

Next, imagine what could happen in 2021, when Rouhani’s term ends. If a hard-liner wins the presidency, many Iranians might respond, as they did in 2009, with mass protests. Would the vestiges of the 2009 Green Movement be able to survive the inevitable state repression that would follow? The chances are slim.

Rather than weaken the regime, the things that the Trump administration wants to see in Iran—a choked economy, cracks in the political hierarchy—all have the effect of strengthening hard-liners. That only makes engagement with the U.S. harder, further undoing the positive effects of the nuclear deal. Short of a direct military confrontation with Iran, which Trump walked the U.S. to the edge of before backing off this month, the U.S. and Iran could soon be right back to square one in their standoff, with no diplomatic solution in sight.

Candace Rondeaux is a senior fellow and professor of practice at the Center on the Future of War, a joint initiative of New America and Arizona State University. Her WPR column appears every Friday.

Iran Hits US Bases Again (Revelation 6:6)

5 shells hit military base housing U.S. forces in Iraq

1 February 2020 05:11 (UTC+04:00)

A total of five shells struck a military base housing U.S. forces in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, the Iraqi military said, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

The attack took place in the night when the shells landed on al-Qayyara air base in south of the provincial capital city of Mosul, the media office affiliated with the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement.

The were no human or material casualties by the attack, the statement said.

A security source in Mosul told Xinhua that Katyusha rockets landed at the perimeter of al-Qayyara air base without causing casualties.

The attack came a week after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Baghdad upon the request of the Iraqi prominent Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr, in which he called for a scheduled withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq through peaceful means.

The Iraqi parliament passed a resolution requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq on Jan. 5, two days after a U.S. drone strike killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq’s paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.

Over 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against Islamic State militants, mainly providing training and advising to the Iraqi forces.

IDF Planes Hit Weapons Facility Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Palestinians walk at the site of an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip, Friday. (REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

IDF Planes Hit Underground Hamas Weapons Facility

YERUSHALAYIM –IDF planes struck Hamas targets in Gaza early Friday, in response to the firing of rockets at Israeli targets on Thursday night. The IDF said that it had hit several Hamas installations, including an underground site where weapons were manufactured. The statement said that the attack was also in response to several balloon terror attacks.

In the attack Thursday night, three rockets were fired by Gaza Arab terrorists at Israeli targets. The communities targeted were in the Gaza border area. Iron Dome defensive missiles knocked out two of the rockets, and the third fell in an open area. One Israeli injury was reported – when a mother who was running to a shelter when Red Alert sirens went off dropped her three week old infant, badly injuring her. The infant was taken to Soroka Hospital in Beersheva for treatment, and its condition was improved Friday morning, doctors said.

Earlier Thursday, IDF forces attacked Hamas sites in Gaza after damage was caused to security cameras on the Gaza border. The cameras were apparently damaged by machine gun fire by Gaza Arab terrorists. That attack followed several discoveries of terror balloons in southern Israel.

On Friday morning, bomb squad workers were called to the Be’eri Forest near the Gaza border, as another bunch of balloons with an incendiary device attached was discovered. The device was successfully defused by the workers.

Modi Beating the Nuclear War Drum (Daniel 8 )

Modi beating nuclear war drum in region: Analysts

Modi Beating Nuclear War Drum In Region: Analysts

 (@imziishan)  

Defense analysts have said that BJP’s hegemonic agenda is posing nuclear threat to regional peace. India has become a declining state due to unwise decisions and fascist policies of BJP

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 30th Jan, 2020 ) :Defense analysts have said that BJP’s hegemonic agenda is posing nuclear threat to regional peace. India has become a declining state due to unwise decisions and fascist policies of BJP.

Talking in a Radio Program, they said Indian government continuously threatened Pakistan to commit a misadventure but Indian leadership was well aware of the fact that any aggression would be answered with befitting response.

They said India should avoid giving such irresponsible and provocative statements against Pakistan.

A defense Analyst Lt. Gen retd Raza Muhammad Khan said Pakistan believed in peaceful coexistence adding our security forces were capable enough to give befitted response to any aggression.

He said Modi was committing blunders due to frustration and insecurities.

The whole India was demonstrating protests against Modi’s fundamental policies, he added.

He said Indian political and military leadership was under the influence of RSS and Hindutva ideology .

Lt Gen Retd Abdul Quyyum also said, Modi has tarnished the secular and democratic face of India. BJP led government had just promoted hate and polarized the Indian society on religious basis, he added.

He said Modi believed in fascism and wants to make India a Hindu state where minorities were forced to live as second class citizens.

Anti-Muslim sentiments had blinded the BJP leadership, he added.

Unfortunately, the world powers have failed to play an effective role to pressurize India to stop worst human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir.While Brig retd Saed Nazeer said Indian political and military leadership was habitual of making provocative statements against Pakistan to divert attention of the world from India’s internal crises.

He said bashing Pakistan and suppressing Muslims ware the top priority agenda of BJP.