The Sixth Seal: More Than Just Manhattan (Revelation 6:12)

New York, NY – In a Quake, Brooklyn Would Shake More Than Manhattan
By Brooklyn Eagle
New York, NY – The last big earthquake in the New York City area, centered in New York Harbor just south of Rockaway, took place in 1884 and registered 5.2 on the Richter Scale.Another earthquake of this size can be expected and could be quite damaging, says Dr. Won-Young Kim, senior research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.
And Brooklyn, resting on sediment, would shake more than Manhattan, built on solid rock. “There would be more shaking and more damage,” Dr. Kim told the Brooklyn Eagle on Wednesday.
If an earthquake of a similar magnitude were to happen today near Brooklyn, “Many chimneys would topple. Poorly maintained buildings would fall down – some buildings are falling down now even without any shaking. People would not be hit by collapsing buildings, but they would be hit by falling debris. We need to get some of these buildings fixed,” he said.
But a 5.2 is “not comparable to Haiti,” he said. “That was huge.” Haiti’s devastating earthquake measured 7.0.
Brooklyn has a different environment than Haiti, and that makes all the difference, he said. Haiti is situated near tectonic plate.
“The Caribbean plate is moving to the east, while the North American plate is moving towards the west. They move about 20 mm – slightly less than an inch – every year.” The plates are sliding past each other, and the movement is not smooth, leading to jolts, he said.
While we don’t have the opportunity for a large jolt in Brooklyn, we do have small, frequent quakes of a magnitude of 2 or 3 on the Richter Scale. In 2001 alone the city experienced two quakes: one in January, measuring 2.4, and one in October, measuring 2.6. The October quake, occurring soon after Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, “caused a lot of panic,” Dr. Kim said.
“People ask me, ‘Should I get earthquake insurance?’ I tell them no, earthquake insurance is expensive. Instead, use that money to fix chimneys and other things. Rather than panicky preparations, use common sense to make things better.”
Secure bookcases to the wall and make sure hanging furniture does not fall down, Dr. Kim said. “If you have antique porcelains or dishes, make sure they’re safely stored. In California, everything is anchored to the ground.”
While a small earthquake in Brooklyn may cause panic, “In California, a quake of magnitude 2 is called a micro-quake,” he added.

The Iranian Nuclear Horn Responds With More Lies

France, Germany and Britain say Iran’s plans to produce uranium metal has ‘potentially grave military implications’ [File: Reuters]

Iran responds to European alarm over uranium metal

Iran says it is advancing research on uranium metal production with the aim of feeding a research reactor in Tehran.

Maziar Motamedi17 Jan 2021

Tehran, Iran – Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation has called on a global nuclear watchdog to prevent “misunderstandings” after three European powers issued a warning over the country’s advancing nuclear programme.

As required by a law passed by Iran’s parliament in early December, the country’s nuclear organisation has five months to prepare for producing uranium metal – an element that provides the nuclear fuel used to generate electricity in nuclear power stations.

In a statement on Saturday, France, Germany and the United Kingdom – the three European signatories of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers – said Tehran’s plans to produce uranium metal has “potentially grave military implications” and the country has “no credible civilian use” for the product.

“We strongly urge Iran to halt its activity and return to compliance with its JCPOA commitments without further delay if it is serious about preserving the deal,” they said in reference to the formal name of the accord, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

‘Unnecessary details’

Their statement came after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported Iran had said it is advancing research on uranium metal production with the aim of feeding a research reactor in Tehran.

“We hope that the IAEA will prevent creating misunderstandings by mentioning unnecessary details in its reports,” the organisation said.

As part of the 2015 accord, which was also signed by the United States, China and Russia, Iran agreed to a 15-year ban on producing or acquiring uranium metals, among other things. It received sanctions relief in return.

But one year after outgoing US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned that deal in May 2018 and imposed harsh sanctions, Iran gradually scaled back its commitments under the deal.

In November last year, top Iranian nuclear and military scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated, escalating tensions and prompting the Iranian parliament to pass the law calling for further rollbacks of commitments under the accord until sanctions are lifted.

US President-elect Joe Biden, who has vowed to revitalise the nuclear deal he helped seal under former president Barack Obama, has until February 21 to return to the accord before Iran further increases nuclear activity and asks IAEA inspectors to leave the country.

‘Avoid absurd nonsense’

In an interview published on Saturday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Eves Le Drian said Iran is building up its nuclear weapons capacity and Tehran and Washington must return to the nuclear deal quickly.

He also called for negotiations over Iran’s “ballistic proliferation” and its “destabilisation of its neighbours in the region”, issues that Iran has said are off the table.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif delivered a harsh rebuke of his French counterpart on Sunday, saying European leaders have been following Washington’s lead and have done nothing to maintain the JCPOA.

“Remember Emmanuel Macron’s stillborn initiative or UK non-payment of court-ordered debt?” he said on Twitter.

“JCPOA is alive because of Iran and not E3,” he said, addressing Le Drian.

Macron had pushed for a $15bn credit line for Iran in September 2019 to bring Iran back to full compliance with the JCPOA, a plan among several European schemes that was blocked by Washington.

The UK owes Iran 400 million pounds ($543m) over a purchase of chieftain tanks by the country’s late shah more than four decades ago that was never delivered.

Zarif also addressed Le Drian’s comment about Iran’s regional influence, saying, “You kick-started your cabinet career with arms sales to Saudi war criminals. Avoid absurd nonsense about Iran”.

The Division of Babylon the Great: Revelation 18

President Donald Trump is the only U.S. president to be impeached twice.

CNHI file photo

Historian says U.S. division needs to be addressed, not ‘papered over’

APRILE RICKERT | CNHI News Indiana Jan 14, 2021

Carl Kramer

Southern Indiana historian and author Carl Kramer said the unprecedented second impeachment of President Donald Trump this week — the third Kramer has witnessed in his adult life of a sitting president — is something he never thought he’d see.

But Kramer, who taught at IU Southeast before his retirement, said he believes the events leading up to the historic House vote Wednesday demand the president be convicted in the Senate and said it will take more than a general call for unity to address the division in the nation — one that’s been repeated in history.

“It’s something that is necessary and tragic that we have a president whose actions, and in some cases inactions, have necessitated a second impeachment,” he said.

The vote to impeach for the second time came less than a week after pro-Trump protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol the day Congress was set to confirm the Electoral College votes for President-Elect Joe Biden, after months of claims by Trump that the election was unfairly stolen by Democrats.

As he listened to the House debate Wednesday with his wife, Kramer said he honed in on two very different themes coming from the two parties represented in the House.

Democrats, he said, spoke of the Jan. 6 invasion, the “clear and present danger” of the potential for Trump to incite more violence and the need for accountability.

He heard some Republicans speak against impeachment, in the name of restoring national unity.

“Looking back at the history, I have to say unity is essential but not at the cost of papering over very severe division,” said Kramer, who is a Democrat, adding “If you don’t deal with the problem today, it will come back to bite you.”

He looked back to the post-Civil War reconstruction era, when leaders sought to rebuild after the years of bloodshed and dissent of the domestic conflict.

Andrew Johnson, who became president after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, had butted heads with Congress on how to lead the post-war rebuilding. Kramer said Johnson had sought to keep the Southern status quo by pardoning and reinstating the Confederate lawmakers who had been in office during the war, a position that northern lawmakers did not agree with.

This set off the late 1800s passage of the Military Reconstruction Act, which called for regional generals to oversee several Southern military districts and aid in drafting new constitutions.

Still the president and Congress disagreed, with Johnson wanting to appoint generals who had a more “conservative [and] white supremacist bent,” Kramer said, while Congress wanted generals who were more attuned to making sure Black Americans had voting rights — and protecting those rights.

Johnson later became the first president to be impeached after violating the Tenure of Office Act by firing the Secretary of War — a man appointed by Lincoln who agreed with the Congressional ideals — although Kramer said historians debate whether Johnson did in fact violate the act.

Kramer said with many fixed on reunification, what was swept under the rug were the fights for the rights of many Black Americans, which had been the core of the war itself.

“My concern is similar things can happen if we don’t deal with white supremacy, racism and growing influence of white radicals [such as those who] invaded the Capitol last Wednesday,” he said, adding that he feels it’s important for Trump to be convicted in this impeachment “to make a step toward reducing his influence on Republicans in politics.”

But, Kramer said, he believes control should not be fully with one party, but be balanced with American values as the foundation.

“This country needs a strong competition between a center left party and a center right party, both of which adhere to common value of the rule of law, equal access to justice, the recognition of the rights and privileges of all citizens, regardless of race creed or color, gender…,” he said.

“We need to be able to debate policy whether it’s immigration or tariff or taxes without condemning people for who they are.”

South Korea’s ‘last-ditch’ effort before going nuclear

South Korea’s Moon says will make ‘last-ditch’ effort for North Korea breakthrough

Sangmi Cha

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Monday he remains committed to engaging with North Korea, and that cooperation on issues such as anti-epidemic work could help lead to a breakthrough in stalled talks in the last years of his term.

Seoul will make efforts to jumpstart talks between the United States and North Korea as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office, Moon said during his annual New Year’s speech.

“Dialogue and co-prosperity are key drivers of the peace process on the Korean Peninsula,” he said. “Our will to meet anytime, anywhere, and willingness to talk…remains unchanged.”

Moon, whose term ends in 2022, has made engagement with North Korea one of his signature goals, and he said he would liaise closely with Biden’s administration.

Talks aimed at convincing North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and improve relations with the United States and South Korea have been stalled, with Pyongyang accusing Seoul and Washington of maintaining hostile policies.

“We will strengthen the alliance with the United States in line with the inauguration of the Biden administration, while making last-ditch efforts for a grand breakthrough in stalemated North Korea-U.S. and inter-Korean talks,” Moon said.

North Korea has been holding an ongoing party congress, where leader Kim Jong Un discussed called for developing more advanced nuclear weapons and revitalising the country’s economy.

Over the weekend Kim blasted South Korea for offering cooperation on “inessential issues” such as the coronavirus, humanitarian aid, and tourism.

Kim said inter-Korean relations could be restored if the South changes its attitudes and stops actions such as buying new weapons and conducting military drills with the United States.

In October, however, Kim said that he hoped the two Koreas could reconcile after the end of the pandemic.

Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Writing by Josh Smith; Editing by Tom Hogue and Raju Gopalakrishnan

The Last Attempt to Evade Nuclear War: Revelation 16

The Great Evasion Two related events—the 75th anniversary of the January 24, 1946 UN General Assembly Resolution 1 (which established a commission to plan for the abolition of nuclear weapons) and the January 22, 2021 entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (designed to finally implement that goal)—should be a cause for worldwide celebration. In fact, however, they are a cause for shame.  The nine nuclear powers have refused to sign the treaty and, instead, today continue to engage in a nuclear arms race and to threaten nuclear war—a war capable of destroying virtually all life on earth. A similarly reckless pattern characterized the nuclear arms race that emerged out of World War II.  But an upsurge of popular protest and wise diplomacy led to nuclear arms control and disarmament treaties, as well as unilateral actions, that dramatically reduced nuclear arsenals.  It also made nuclear war increasingly unthinkable. Unfortunately, however, as the nuclear danger receded, the nuclear disarmament campaign ebbed.  As a result, government officials, no longer constrained by popular pressure, began to revert to their traditional ways, based on the assumption that nuclear weapons promoted national “strength.”  India and Pakistan became nuclear powers.  North Korea developed nuclear weapons.  In the United States, the administration of George W. Bush withdrew from the ABM Treaty and pressed hard to begin building “mini-nukes.” Ascending to the presidency, Barack Obama made a dramatic attempt to rally the planet behind the goal of building a nuclear-free world.  But neither Republican nor Russian leaders liked the idea, and the best he could deliver was the last of the major nuclear disarmament agreements, the New START Treaty.  And even that came at a heavy price—an agreement with Senate Republicans, whose support was necessary for treaty ratification, to back a major U.S. nuclear weapons “modernization” program. After Donald Trump entered the White House, nuclear arms control and disarmament were no longer on the agenda—for the United States or for the world.  Trump not only failed to generate any new international constraints on nuclear weapons, but withdrew the United States from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the Iran nuclear agreement, and the Open Skies Treaty and allowed the New START Treaty to lapse without renewal.  Nor did the other nuclear powers show much interest in retaining these agreements.  Indeed, the Russian government, after a brief, perfunctory protest at Trump’s destruction of the INF Treaty, which it had long privately deplored, immediately ordered the development of the once-prohibited missiles.  The Chinese government said that, although it favored maintaining the treaty for the United States and Russia, it would not accept treaty limits on its own weapons. Meanwhile, all nine nuclear powers, instead of reducing the existential danger to the world from their possession of 13,400 nuclear weapons (91 percent of which are held by Russia and the United States), are busily “modernizing” their nuclear forces and planning to retain them into the indefinite future.  In December 2019, the Russian government announced the deployment of the world’s first hypersonic nuclear-capable missiles, which President Vladimir Putin boasted could bypass missile defense systems and hit almost any point on the planet.  Indeed, the Russian president touted several new Russian nuclear weapons systems as ahead of their time. “Our equipment must be better than the world’s best if we want to come out as the winners,” he explained. Trump, always determined to emerge a “winner,” had publicly stated in December 2016:  “Let it be an arms race.  We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”  Consequently, expanding the earlier U.S. nuclear “modernization” plan to a $2 trillion extravaganza, he set the course for the upgrading of older U.S. nuclear weapons and the development and deployment of a vast array of new ones.  These include the development of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (at a cost of $264 billion) and the production and deployment of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile warhead that will make starting a nuclear war easier. The new nuclear weapons are designed to not only win the arms race, but to intimidate other nations and even “win” a nuclear war.  Early in his administration, Trump publicly threatened to obliterate both North Korea and Iran through a nuclear onslaught.  Similarly, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has repeatedly threatened a nuclear attack upon the United States.  Furthermore, the U.S. government has been engaging recently in a game of “nuclear chicken” with China and Russia, dispatching fleets of nuclear bombers and nuclear warships dangerously close to their borders.  Such provocative action is in line with the Trump administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, which expanded possibilities for displays of nuclear “resolve” and the first use of nuclear weapons.  Subsequently, the Russian government also lowered its threshold for initiating a nuclear war. The incoming Biden administration has the opportunity and, apparently, the inclination to challenge this irresponsible behavior.  As a long-time supporter of nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements—as well as a sharp critic of the Trump administration’s nuclear policies during the 2020 presidential campaign—the new president will probably advance measures dealing with nuclear issues that differ significantly from those of his predecessor.  Although his ability to secure U.S. ratification of new treaties will be severely limited by Senate Republicans, he can (and probably will) use executive action to rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement, re-sign the Open Skies Treaty, block the U.S. production and deployment of particularly destabilizing nuclear weapons, and reduce the budget for nuclear “modernization.”  He might even declare a no first use policy, unilaterally reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and show some respect for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Of course, this won’t be enough.  But it would provide a start toward terminating the nuclear powers’ disgraceful evasion of their responsibility to safeguard human survival.

Joe Biden’s Early Test From the Russian and Chinese Nuclear Horns: Daniel 7

Joe Biden’s Early Test From Moscow and Beijing

An expiring arms-control deal is a chance to address hypersonics and make China come to the table.

By John Bolton

President-elect Joe Biden’s advisers have been signaling that they will rely on arms-control agreements with Russia to reduce the Defense Department budget. This is no surprise from a new, liberal administration promising dramatically increased domestic spending. Yet a second Trump term might have been little better. Eager to indulge in Covid-19 stimulus spending and convinced of Pentagon mismanagement, even under his own appointees, Mr. Trump was easy prey for Senator Rand Paul.

But reliance on arms-control deals with Russia is a fool’s paradise. Whatever relatively small near-term fiscal savings might accrue will be outweighed in the long term by increased threats not only from Moscow, but also from Beijing and rogue states aspiring to become nuclear powers.

Mr. Biden’s first arms-control decision will be whether and for how long to extend the New Start treaty. It expires Feb. 5, but can be extended for up to five more years, in whole or in part. The threat of the treaty’s expiration should be negotiating leverage for the U.S., but Mr. Biden appears certain to extend it in some form. Vladimir Putin recently proposed a one-year extension, perhaps worried he had received no signals from the president-elect. Mr. Biden should offer six months, thus keeping the heat on, and showing that his team will be more than stenographers for Moscow’s diplomats.

The hard policy questions are still the ones Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and I discussed in August 2018, continued by Marshall Billingslea until the 2020 election rendered Mr. Trump a lame duck. Whether and how seriously Mr. Biden’s negotiators address these issues will determine whether a revised New Start agreement has any chance of being approved by the constitutionally required two-thirds Senate majority.

New Start has three broad substantive defects: It omits tactical nuclear weapons; it is technologically outdated and doesn’t address developments like hypersonic weapons; and China is not a signatory.

The existing deal doesn’t cover tactical nuclear weapons—those generally intended for battlefield use, as opposed to strategic nuclear weapons, typically more powerful and longer-range, intended for targets in the enemy’s homeland or other essential locations. During the 2010 ratification debate, this omission persuaded two-thirds of Republican senators to vote against the treaty. The global tactical-weapons threat has not eased in the intervening 10 years. Further Russian deployments, typically associated with violations of other treaty constraints on delivery vehicles, and significant increases in China’s tactical nuclear arsenals are serious and continuing.

Even Russian officials acknowledge that capabilities such as hypersonic glide-missile technology weren’t contemplated in New Start and should be addressed. Moscow and Beijing are both ahead of Washington in operational deployment of hypersonics and other advanced technologies. It would be strategic and budgetary malpractice if Mr. Biden believed he could count on Russia’s treaty compliance, let alone China’s, to prevent the U.S. from falling even further behind in this vital field.

Russia is willing to include China in negotiations about New Start’s successor, but Moscow has nonetheless so far accepted Beijing’s demurral that its current strategic nuclear arsenal is too small to warrant participating. But that is precisely the point: Is the U.S. supposed to wait until China reaches its comfort level of strategic warheads, and only then commence negotiations about reducing its capabilities? Contemporary arms control isn’t a serious effort if China is a bystander. To assuage Beijing’s concerns, the administration should invite Paris and London to join the talks. All five legitimate nuclear-weapons states would thus be involved, depriving China of ground to complain.

Mr. Biden’s advisers also seem open to Russia’s desire to revive the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, from which America withdrew in 2019. Whether through a new agreement or by incorporation into a revised Start framework, resurrecting the INF is dangerous. Russian overtures and promises to resolve compliance issues, worth as much as earlier Russian pledges, may appeal to those focused on Europe. But Europe is a secondary consideration. The impetus for INF withdrawal was that it didn’t bind China—the bulk of whose ballistic-missile inventory would violate the treaty—nor the likes of Iran and North Korea. Russia’s noncompliance, China’s absence, and the rogue-state proliferators meant that the U.S. was the only country in the world actually complying with INF limits. Beijing’s surging rearmament won’t stop because of resumed U.S.-Russian constraints on launchers, but that reinforces why China must be included in any follow-on New Start.

These are heavy-duty questions. This is not Mr. Biden’s first arms-control rodeo, but what he does and how he does it could define both his presidency’s ideological direction and its competence.

Mr. Bolton is author of “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.” He served as the president’s national security adviser, 2018-19, and ambassador to the U.N., 2005-06.

The Hypocrisy of Babylon the Great

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: Just fine with Iran’s tweets about eliminating Israel, killing Jews?

The coldly logical British fictional detective Sherlock Holmes once famously solved a murder mystery because “the dog didn’t bark” — i.e., a highly trained guard dog didn’t bark at the time of a murder because the dog was well acquainted with the perpetrator.

Applying this same logic, the question is, why isn’t Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey  barking — i.e., self-righteously and with great publicity removing  Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei from Twitter, who has repeatedly promised he will eliminate Israel and kill all its Jewish inhabitants, all in violation of Twitter rules?  After all, Dorsey barked loudly in a series of oh, so sensitive agonizing tweets, tying himself into easily undone knots, indicating how much he cares, really cares about freedom of speech but also worries oh, so much about setting a dangerous precedent in deplatforming Donald J. Trump (R).  Monica Showalter rightly called this out as gaslighting.  But  Dorsey isn’t even quietly growling about Khamenei’s violent rhetoric displayed in multiple tweets.

Nearly six months ago, Twitter deliberately decided not only to remain silent, but to excuse its silence when Israeli government officials asked Twitter to restrict Khamenei and remove him from Twitter.  According to this New York Post report, when asked about Iran’s numerous tweeted threats to destroy Israel:

Twitter’s Vice President of Public Policy Sinéad McSweeney said the hateful screed did not violate their policies.

“World leaders use Twitter to engage in discourse with each other, as well as their constituents,” McSweeney wrote in the June 15 letter obtained by the Post.

“Presently, our policies with regards to world leaders state that direct interactions with fellow public figures, comments on current affairs, or strident statements of foreign policy on economic or military issues are generally not in violation of the Twitter Rules,” she continued.

“Our assessment is that tweets you have cited are not in violation of our policies at this time, and they fall into the category of foreign policy saber-rattling on economic or military issues of our approach to world leaders,” McSweeney wrote.

Khamenei  denies that the Shoah (Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were slaughtered) occurred; has actively engaged troops in Syria, which is on Israel’s border; and tweets about Iran’s nuclear advances, to cite a few statements, but McSweeney, vice president of Twitter’s public policy, dismisses all this as “strident statements of foreign policy” and “foreign policy saber-rattling.”

Oh.

Here is McSweeney’s full doublethink letter on this that only a Twitter executive could issue.

And Dorsey’s future plots have been just revealed by Project Veritas’s James O’Keefe.