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.

Babylon the Great broadens her nuclear horn: Daniel 7

US officials double down on push for nuclear modernization

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.

A top U.S. nuclear security official and the leaders of three key national laboratories doubled down Friday on the push to modernize the country’s nuclear arsenal and the science and technology that back it up. 

During a virtual forum, the officials acknowledged global pressures that include more investment by Russia and China in nuclear weapons and advanced laser capabilities. They said the United States is at a “tipping point” when it comes to maintaining its own arsenal and that boosting production capabilities cannot be put off.

The United States has an opportunity to re-imagine its entire nuclear enterprise — from how weapons are designed, engineered and produced to how related business systems are managed, said Kim Budil, the director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. She said new technology and tools are being developed that will be key for speeding that process along and keeping costs down.

She pointed to three-dimensional simulations that can be done in a day now, rather than months.

Budil and the directors of Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories, which are both in New Mexico, also talked about the global race to attract the next generation of scientists. 

“It’s true in computing, it’s true in materials, AI, machine learning — you name a critical technology and the competition in the (science and technology) arena is extraordinary on the international stage today,” Bidul said. “So it is something we think about, and it’s important that the U.S. establish not just our production infrastructure, which is critically important, but that we sustain that intellectual leadership that really is a vital part of our deterrent.” 

There has been a flurry of hiring at the labs, partly to meet the demands of deadlines imposed by the federal government to deliver a certain number of the plutonium cores that are used to trigger nuclear weapons in the coming years. That work will be split between the Los Alamos lab and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

Critics have argued that new plutonium cores are not needed. Concerns about inflated budgets and security problems have been raised by nuclear watchdog groups and others during recent congressional hearings.

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm testified Thursday before a U.S. Senate committee that as long as nuclear weapons exist, the U.S. must maintain the effectiveness of its arsenal. 

While President Joe Biden has proposed a budget increase for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the administration is conducting a formal review of the modernization efforts that started under the Obama administration and were continued by President Donald Trump. The review is expected to take months.

true
FILE – This undated file aerial photo shows the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M. A top U.S. nuclear security official and the leaders of three key national laboratories doubled down Friday, June 25, 2021, on the push to modernize the country’s nuclear arsenal and the science and technology that back it up. (The Albuquerque Journal via AP, File) Uncredited AP

The US and France worry about the Chinese nuclear horn: Daniel 7

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Paris on Friday.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Paris on Friday.Andrea Mantovani for The New York Times

France and U.S. Agree on the Perils of a Rising China, Blinken Says

After meeting with President Emmanuel Macron of France, who says Europe should be less dependent on U.S. leadership, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told The Times they see eye to eye on key issues.

June 25, 2021

PARIS — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, speaking in an interview after a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron of France, said the United States and France were “on the same page” in their determination to resist the possibility of a Chinese-led world order that would be “profoundly illiberal in nature.”

On his first visit as secretary to France, where he lived for nine years in his youth and attended high school, Mr. Blinken said “our purpose is not to contain China” or “try to hold China back.” But when it comes to defending a free and open international order, “we will stand up.”

The alternative, he suggested, was either no order — a world of chaos that “inevitably leads to conflict and that almost inevitably brings us in” — or Chinese domination. The challenge for democracies was “to deliver for their people and hopefully for people around the world” in order to reinforce a model challenged in recent years by its own internal fractures and by rising autocracies.

“And I found that President Macron was thinking in exactly the same way and focused on the need to bring practical results,” Mr. Blinken said.

Mr. Blinken’s pleasure at being back in France was evident. At a meeting earlier in the day, France’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, greeted the secretary as “My dear Tony” and said, “Welcome home.”

Asked about this, Mr. Blinken said, “Oh yes, it is a sacred home for me. I was here from age 9 to 18. I had a life-changing experience.”

Having said Thursday in Berlin that the United States has “no better friend in the world than Germany,” he said he would say the same thing about France. As he turned to the foundations of America’s oldest alliance, Mr. Blinken’s emotion was evident.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s foreign minister, welcoming Mr. Blinken to the Élysée Palace on Friday.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s foreign minister, welcoming Mr. Blinken to the Élysée Palace on Friday.Pool photo by Andrew Harnik

“It comes down to something pretty basic,” he said. “You know, we throw out a lot of words and we just kind of say them by rote. But at our best, our countries have worked to actually give meaning to liberty, equality, fraternity. They’ve tried to give meaning to freedom of speech. They’ve tried to give meaning to human rights. They’ve tried to give meaning to democracy.”

He continued: “And ultimately — obviously there are differences of culture, of history, of so many things — but when it comes to a basic set of shared values, there are few countries that are closer.”

This amounted to a deeply felt personal call for France and the United States to renew their bond by standing together at a time of challenges, from the coronavirus pandemic to the rise of China, that present “an imperative for cooperation, for coordination, for working together,” in Mr. Blinken’s words.

Nevertheless, the convergence of American and French views was a little surprising in that Mr. Macron has made several remarks recently insisting on the importance of Europe’s strategic autonomy.

Former President Donald J. Trump disparaged traditional alliances, started trade wars and resisted confronting Russian aggression. U.S. allies have expressed relief that President Biden has turned American foreign policy back in more familiar directions, but their experience with Mr. Trump left them warier than ever of following Washington’s lead.

Mr. Macron has appeared more conciliatory than the United States toward China and has insisted that Europe be at the table in arms control negotiations between the United States and Russia.

On the eve of the Group of 7 and NATO meetings earlier this month, Mr. Macron said: “Unless my map has a problem, China is not part of the geography of the Atlantic” — a clear jab at NATO confronting China.Mr. Blinken with President Emmanuel Macron of France on Friday.Pool photo by Andrew Harnik

Such Gaullist assertions of independent French strategy tend to play well here, and Mr. Macron plans to run for re-election next year. In the end, France joined the other large, wealthy democracies at the G7 in making clear that they saw China and Russia as repressive and aggressive ideological rivals, and other NATO members in saying China presents “systemic challenges” to “areas relevant to military security.”

China’s Belt and Road Initiative has built roads, ports, railways and communications networks across Africa and elsewhere, expanding Beijing’s economic and security influence with the countries that sign on, leaving them beholden and often deeply indebted.

Turning to the Biden administration’s attempt to counter China’s strategy through a “Build Back Better for the World” program, dubbed B3W, Mr. Blinken made clear in the interview which he thinks the better option is for low and middle-income countries.

“We’re offering something positive and affirmative,” he said. “It so happens that what China is offering is not so positive and not so affirmative. Well, I think the contrast is clear.”

With China, he said, “there are always strings attached,” including “the use of vaccines as a coercive tool with other countries.” The West, by contrast, was pledging one billion vaccine doses to end the pandemic “with no political strings.”

After six rounds of nuclear talks with Tehran and no agreement to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which Mr. Trump abandoned, Mr. Blinken said that the progress of Iran’s nuclear program could become an insurmountable obstacle.

“If this continues, if they continue to spin more sophisticated centrifuges at higher and higher levels, we will get to a point where it will be very difficult as a practical matter” to return to the parameters of the original nuclear deal, he said.

“I can’t put a date on it,” Mr. Blinken said of the day when the Biden administration might walk away from the nuclear talks, but “it’s getting closer.”Mr. Blinken posing for a photo at a youth event on democracy and human rights in Paris on Friday.Pool photo by Andrew Harnik

During a news conference earlier in the day with Mr. Le Drian, Mr. Blinken warned that “serious differences” persist with Tehran over its nuclear program but that preventing an Iranian nuclear weapons capability remains in the American national interest.

Of his planned meeting next week in Italy with the new Israeli foreign minister, Yair Lapid, Mr. Blinken said one aim was to “try to rebuild a little bit more trust and confidence between Israelis and Palestinians so that at some point the conditions may exist to actually to move forward again on negotiations, on a lasting peace.”

The Biden administration strongly supported the Abraham Accords, concluded under the Trump Administration, normalizing Israel’s relations with four Arab states, Mr. Blinken said.

Referring to Israel’s recent war with Hamas in Gaza, as well as clashes in Israel and the occupied West Bank, he added, “But we also know — and I think we’ve just seen evidence of that — that they are not a substitute for dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian issue.”

Michael Crowley contributed reporting from Paris.

Israel carries out more strikes Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Carried out strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza :IDF

GC NewsDesk

Twl Aviv: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have confirmed that they have struck several targets in the Gaza Strip which they said served as militant camps or contact points for Hamas.“The Israeli Air Force recently delivered strikes on Hamas military facilities that served as camps and meeting places for terrorist militants in the city of Khan Yunis and Gaza City. Terrorist activities were carried out at the attacked sites,” the IDF said on Twitter.Media reports claimed that the air strikes were a response to the militants in the Palestinian territory sending incendiary balloons into southern Israel.These airstrikes are the first major flare-up between Israel and Gaza since the May 21 ceasefire that ended 11 days of hostilities.

Rattling Before the Sixth Seal: Revelation 6:12

The earthquake was centered near Woodlawn, Md., an unincorporated area of Baltimore County about 10 miles outside of Baltimore.
The earthquake was centered near Woodlawn, Md., an unincorporated area of Baltimore County about 10 miles outside of Baltimore.Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Earthquake of 2.6 Magnitude Rattles Area Outside Baltimore

No damage or injuries were reported after the earthquake, which was detected on Friday afternoon near Woodlawn, in Baltimore County, Md.

June 25, 2021

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 2.6 was detected in Baltimore County, Md., on Friday afternoon, the U.S. Geological Surveysaid, but there were no reports of injuries or damage.

“We received a few calls, I think it was four, from people reporting that they felt or heard something unusual,” said Elise Armacost, a spokeswoman for the county’s fire department.

Firefighters were sent to scan for damage, she said. As of 4:30 p.m., no damage was reported.

There was seemingly more commotion online than in Woodlawn, Md., an unincorporated area of Baltimore County near the center of the quake about 10 miles outside of Baltimore.

One person said on Twitter that it “sounded more like an explosion” when the earthquake rippled.

Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the Geological Survey, said that earthquakes in the Maryland area occur infrequently but that they are not unheard-of. The earthquake on Friday happened along a “tiny” fault line, which is why it was not as strong, he said.

“It’s nothing like the San Andreas,” Mr. Caruso said, referring to the major fault line in California. “The largest earthquake that can occur on a fault is directly related to the size of the fault. That’s why the San Andreas is capable of such large magnitude earthquakes.”

There are small fault lines throughout the United States that have the potential to generate tiny earthquakes, Mr. Caruso said.

It was unclear whether there would be any aftershocks from Friday’s quake, but Mr. Caruso said that by definition any aftershock would be weaker than the original earthquake.

Iraqis’ hopes for reform dashed as Antichrist’s men dig in against weak state

A file photo shows Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces marching in Baghdad. (AFP)

Iraqis’ hopes for reform dashed as militias dig in against weak state

A series of recent events has demonstrated the impunity of paramilitary groups mainly aligned to Iran.
Friday 25/06/2021

A file photo shows Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces marching in Baghdad. (AFP)

BAGHDAD – Iraq’s government appears increasingly weak in the face of militias and parties that are expected to entrench their power in an upcoming election, dashing the hopes of protesters who were promised reform, say activists, officials and diplomats.

The Baghdad government has painted an early vote in October as the answer to Iraq’s woes and the West has thrown its support behind Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and President Barham Salih in calling for the election, which the United Nations has agreed to monitor.

But a series of recent events has demonstrated the impunity of paramilitary groups mainly aligned to Iran. Iraq’s biggest parties, all linked to armed groups, are already positioning themselves to divide up election spoils while pro-reform activists are gunned down in the streets.

“The Iraqi state is not in control of the situation,” said Hanaa Edwar, a prominent Iraqi rights activist. “Activists and candidates are being assassinated and threatened. It will be very difficult to hold (free) elections in these circumstances.”

A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said militias are “stronger than the state itself … the old guard are in control. An internationally-monitored election will just lend them legitimacy.”

A spokesperson for the government was not immediately available for comment.

— A climate of impunity —

After the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, toppling its Sunni Muslim leader Saddam Hussein, Shia parties aligned with Iran dominated state institutions and successive governments.

In late 2019, huge crowds of Iraqis took part in mass protests calling for the removal of that elite. Hundreds of protesters were killed when the security forces and militia fired on the demonstrators. The government of the day was forced to resign.

Since then, interim premier Kadhimi has promised to hold to account people responsible for the killing of protesters and to enact electoral reform for a vote that would weaken the grip of armed groups.

But almost two years later, no one has been successfully prosecuted for killing protesters. The old elite appears on track to strengthen its power and activists complain that political freedoms have been eroded even further.

The United Nations says at least 32 anti-establishment activists have died in targeted killings by unidentified armed groups since October 2019. Iraqi officials privately blame groups allied to Iran, although those groups deny any role.

For Hisham al-Mozany, an activist who had co-founded a new political party, it was a series of deployments by supporters of rival militias in Baghdad this year that scared his party off from running in elections.

“There’s no law and order in Baghdad, no (strong) security apparatus … the state is dying,” he said.

In February, armed supporters of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr paraded through Baghdad over what Sadr said was over a threat to Shia holy sites. In March, supporters of Iran-aligned militias took to the streets over government delays in passing an annual budget. On both occasions state security forces did not intervene.

Last month, militiamen deployed inside Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings. The militiamen were demanding the release of Qasim Muslih, a senior paramilitary commander arrested for what government and security officials said was involvement in killing activists and firing rockets at a US base. Two weeks later, Muslih was freed.

— New law, old parties —

Activists including Mozany continue to be threatened. “I left my home after (militias) raided my home and torched my car,” he said.

The ongoing intimidation and impunity is creating an environment in which big parties and groups linked with militias will do well in the October vote, officials and diplomats say.

Iraq passed a new election law in 2019 that in theory favours independent candidates, a move meant to encourage young, pro-democracy candidates to run. But so far, few are standing.

“Security is one of the main reasons I haven’t yet announced my candidacy,” said one activist, on condition of anonymity. “I don’t feel safe if I do so.”

A spokesperson for Iraq’s election commission said many registered candidates had recently withdrawn.

Meanwhile, the old parties say they are feeling confident ahead of the election.

“We meet regularly at someone’s home and discuss alliances. We know each other from many years back, we’re on speaking terms no matter the general political tension,” said the leader of one party.

Activists have lost all hope.

Mohammed Aldhamat, whose brother Amjad was gunned down in a targeted killing in 2019, said he would boycott the election entirely.

“There’s no point taking part,” he said.

Renewed Concern for War With the Chinese Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

WW3 fears after China vows it WILL invade Taiwan if it seeks independence

13:48 ET,

WORLD War 3 fears have risen again after China vowed it will invade Taiwan if it seeks independence as the US Navy flexes its military muscle.

Beijing warned Taiwan today that any move toward gaining independence would mean “war”.

China's President Xi Jinping could send in troops to Taiwan
China’s President Xi Jinping could send in troops to TaiwanCredit: Rex
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has vowed to defend the island's freedom and not be coerced
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has vowed to defend the island’s freedom and not be coercedCredit: Alamy Live News
China has staged a number of incursions into Taiwan's airspace
China has staged a number of incursions into Taiwan’s airspaceCredit: AFP

Chinese defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said at a regular press briefing that Taiwan’s unification with the mainland is a “historical inevitability.”

The spokesman added any attempt to declare independence would be a “dead-end road” resulting in “war”.

On Wednesday Taiwan’s Foreign Minister said the island “needs to prepare” for a military conflict.

“As Taiwan decision makers, we cannot take any chances, we have to be prepared,” Wu told CNN in Taipei.”When the Chinese government is saying they would not renounce the use of force, and they conduct military exercises around Taiwan, we would rather believe that it is real.”

“Stopping ‘Taiwan independence’ is the necessary condition for maintaining peaceful cross-strait relations,” said Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office. “Joseph Wu has repeatedly and arrogantly provoked ‘Taiwan independence’ … we will take all necessary measures to severely punish such ‘Taiwan independence’ diehards for life in accordance with the law.”

The comments come after US Senator Tammy Duckworth said earlier this month the US “won’t abandon Taiwan” following a trip to Taipei to confirm a shipment of 750,000 Covid vaccine doses.

The trip by Duckworth, along with Senator Chris Coons and Senator Dan Sullivan, was part of US efforts to strengthen ties with Taiwan.

Beijing condemned the visit at the time.

Relations between Taiwan and China have been strained after the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen hit back at the ‘One China’ policy pursued by Beijing, which does not recognise Taiwanese independence.

Under the ‘One China’ policy Taiwan is viewed as a breakaway province of the country rather than a separate country with its own government.

The One China policy is a key cornerstone of Sino-US diplomatic relations and was recognised by former president Donald Trump.

Washington, however, has always maintained a “robust unofficial” relationship with Taiwan and has continued to sell arms to the island.

Four H-6K bombers were part of the lethal troop of aircraft deployed by China
Four H-6K bombers were part of the lethal troop of aircraft deployed by ChinaCredit: AP
The largest incursion to date also saw four J-10 fighter jets fly in Taiwanese airspace
The largest incursion to date also saw four J-10 fighter jets fly in Taiwanese airspaceCredit: Getty

Taiwanese officials have also proposed moves that have angered Beijing.

Yao Chia-wen, a senior adviser to Tsai, proposed in April changing the country’s name to “Republic of Taiwan” from “Republic of China,” Taiwan News reported.

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, vowed to retaliate if Taiwan adopted a new name.

Ren said on Thursday Taiwan is an “inalienable part of China,” and that China is “firmly opposed to any form of official exchanges or military contacts between the United States and Taiwan.”

Ren added the US “cannot stop Chinese advancement” or economic rise, and that the US should abide by the one-China principle and three US-China joint communiqués.

The growing hostility comes after China put on a show of military strength in Taiwan’s airspace in April.

The mission saw an impressive squadron of 14 J-16 and four J-10 fighter jets, accompanied by four H-6K bombers.

The deadly troop of aircraft, that are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, were joined by two anti-submarine aircraft and an early warning aircraft, according to Taiwan’s defence ministry.

Taiwanese combat aircrafts were launched to intercept and deter the Chinese jets, which followed a route near to the Pratas Islands, while missile systems were deployed to monitor them.