Category Archive: America

Aug 16

Will The August 21st Solar Eclipse Begin A Period Of “40 Days And 40 Nights” For America?

By Michael Snyder, on August 14th, 2017

Next Monday, we are going to witness one of the strangest events in U.S. history.  This will be the first total solar eclipse to ever be seen only in the United States and nowhere else.  Millions upon millions of people are going to flock to areas of the country where the full eclipse will be visible, but everyone in the continental United States is going to be able to see at least a partial eclipse.  There are lots of very unusual numbers associated with this eclipse, but in this article I want to focus on the number 40, and as this article unfolds you will start to understand why.

Our planet is the only place where you can view a total solar eclipse, and that is because our sun and our moon appear to be the same size in the sky.  Of course the sun is much, much larger than the moon, but because the sun is approximately 400 times farther away than the moon they appear to us to be nearly the same size…

The sun and moon appear the same size in Earth’s sky because the sun’s diameter is about 400 times greater – but the sun is also about 400 times farther away.

At this particular moment in Earth’s history – although the sun’s diameter is about 400 times larger than that of the moon – the sun is also about 400 times farther away. So the sun and moon appear nearly the same size as seen from Earth. And that’s why we on Earth can sometimes witness that most amazing of spectacles, a total eclipse of the sun.

I have previously discussed the fact that the solar eclipse on August 21st is the first day in a 40 day period that ends with Yom Kippur.  But what I haven’t mentioned is that the month of Elul on the Jewish calendar begins on the very next day after the eclipse.

Elul is traditionally known as “the month of repentance”, and it is a time when people all over the world prepare for the High Holy Days

In the Jewish tradition, the month of Elul is a time of repentance in preparation for the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The word “Elul” is similar to the root of the verb “search” in Aramaic. The Talmud writes that the Hebrew word “Elul” can be understood to be an acronym for the phrase “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li” – “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3). Elul is seen as a time to search one’s heart and draw close to God in preparation for the coming Day of Judgement, Rosh Hashanah, and Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

It is also believed that the first of Elul was when Moses began a period of 40 days of fasting and prayer on behalf of the people of Israel after they worshipped the golden calf.  The following comes from Rachel Baxter

According to Jewish tradition, the month of Elul is the time that Moses spent on Mount Sinai preparing the second set of tablets after the golden calf incident (Exodus 32; 34:27-28). He ascended on Rosh Chodesh Elul and descended on the 10th of Tishri, at the end of Yom Kippur, when repentance was complete. Elul marked the beginning of a period of 40 days that Moses prayed for God to forgive the people for worshipping the golden calf.

Of course the number 40 comes up time after time throughout the Scriptures.  Here are a bunch more examples

In the Old Testament, when God destroyed the earth with water, He caused it to rain 40 days and 40 nights (Genesis 7:12). After Moses killed the Egyptian, he fled to Midian, where he spent 40 years in the desert tending flocks (Acts 7:30). Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights (Exodus 24:18). Moses interceded on Israel’s behalf for 40 days and 40 nights (Deuteronomy 9:18, 25). The Law specified a maximum number of lashes a man could receive for a crime, setting the limit at 40 (Deuteronomy 25:3). The Israelite spies took 40 days to spy out Canaan (Numbers 13:25). The Israelites wandered for 40 years (Deuteronomy 8:2-5). Before Samson’s deliverance, Israel served the Philistines for 40 years (Judges 13:1). Goliath taunted Saul’s army for 40 days before David arrived to slay him (1 Samuel 17:16). When Elijah fled from Jezebel, he traveled 40 days and 40 nights to Mt. Horeb (1 Kings 19:8).

And virtually everyone knows that the Lord Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the wilderness, and that there were 40 days between His resurrection and His ascension.

In addition, I already noted yesterday that the prophet Jonah gave the people of Nineveh 40 days to repent before judgment would strike.

It is interesting to note that there is a town known as “Nineveh” in the United States as well.  On Monday, 93 percent of the sun will be blotted out by the moon in that little town, and 7 years later the eclipse of 2024 will blot out 100 percent of the sun in that same town.

Many will dismiss the things that I have been pointing out about these eclipses as “coincidences”, but it is imperative to remember that these sorts of solar eclipses are actually very rare.  The following comes from Faithwire

But, with that said, there are some intriguing and defining elements surrounding the coming Aug. 21 event, including the fact that it is the first time since 1257 that the entirety of the total eclipse is exclusively viewable from inside the U.S.

Parade noted that the 1257 eclipse went over the Hawaiian Islands — a fact that some might say differentiates it from what’s to come this month. With that in mind, to find a comparable eclipse, the outlet said one must go all the way back more than 1,500 years to July 29, 436 (yes, the year 436). And America won’t see another such total solar eclipse that is viewable only in the U.S. until Jan. 25, 2316, when anyone currently reading this story is long gone.

For centuries, many have believed that a solar eclipse is a sign that judgment is coming upon a nation.  I don’t know if that is what this solar eclipse means, but Jesus did warn us to watch for signs in the sun, moon and stars just prior to His return.

So does this solar eclipse start a period of “40 days and 40 nights” for America?

I don’t know, but God definitely likes to use the number 40, and throughout history He has repeatedly used His calendar to get our attention.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8669

Aug 16

China implements UN sanctions against North Korea, as Trump trade probe looms

Published August 14, 2017

Fox News

In an unprecedented move against North Korea, China on Monday issued an order to carry out the United Nations sanctions imposed on the rogue regime earlier this month.

China made the announcement amid not only Pyongyang’s escalating war of words with the United States regarding the North Korea nuclear missile program, but also as President Trump was reportedly set to order an investigation into China’s trade practice — a probe which could lead the U.S. to levy its own sanctions on Beijing.

Trump has sought China’s help in dealing with North Korea, as China has remained one of the last defenders of dictator Kim Jong Un and could apply enormous financial pressure should it turn on the North Korean leader.

But in recent months, Trump has grown increasingly wary of getting any substantial aid from China, leading to the trade probe, as Axios has reported. Trump, as a presidential candidate, heavily criticized China, only to initially soften his tone upon winning the White House.

Trump tweeted Monday he was set to “focus on trade,” but didn’t specifically cite China.

Just hours before Trump was believed ready to announce the trade investigation, however, China’s Commerce Ministry on Monday announced that all imports of coal, iron ore, lead concentrates and ore, lead and seafood from North Korea would be banned.

There was some disagreement about when the sanctions would go into effect. The Associated Press reported the ban would start at midnight on Sept. 5, but Reuters wrote it could begin as early as Tuesday.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved the tough new sanctions on Aug. 5 in a bid to punish North Korea for its escalating nuclear missile programs. The sanctions include a ban on exports valued at more than $1 billion.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un salutes members of his nation’s military.  (Reuters)

The U.S.-drafted resolution looks to increase economic pressure on North Korea in an attempt to open up negotiations on the nuclear missile program.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley praised the resolution, calling it “the single largest economic sanctions passage” against Pyongyang.

However, she cautioned other council members that sanctions were not enough: “We should not fool ourselves into thinking we have solved the problem, not even close.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8667

Aug 14

12 Critical Events That Are Going To Happen Over A 40 Day Period From August 21st To September 30th

By Michael Snyder, on August 9th, 2017

We are about to witness an extremely unusual convergence of events that many believe could represent a major turning point for our nation.  By now you have probably heard that on August 21st a total solar eclipse will move across the entire continental United States for the first time in decades.  In fact, we have not seen a total solar eclipse cross from the west coast to the east coast in 99 years.  And it will be the very first total solar eclipse that is only visible in this country since the United States first became a nation.  Starting with that event, there is going to be a whole lot going on until we reach the end of September.  The following are 12 critical events that are going to happen over a 40 day period from August 21st to September 30th…

August 21 – The “Great American Eclipse” will sweep across portions of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.  Seven years later, another very unusual total solar eclipse will move across our nation, and when you plot the paths of both eclipses on a map, they form a giant “X” right over the center of the United States.

August 23 – A FEMA exercise known as “EarthEX2017” will simulate “catastrophes such as mega earthquakes, cyber terrorism or high altitude electromagnetic pulse attacks”

An exercise sponsored by FEMA and the U.S. Department of Energy set to take place on August 23 called EarthEX2017 will wargame responses to catastrophes such as mega earthquakes, cyber terrorism or high altitude electromagnetic pulse attacks.

The exercise will simulate a “subcontinent-scale, long duration power outage, with cascading failures of all other infrastructures,” according to the official Earth Ex website.

“Black sky events” are defined as, “Catastrophic occurrences caused by man or nature that bring society to its knees.”

September 1 – This marks the start of FEMA’s annual “National Preparedness Month“.

September 1 – The U.S. State Department’s ban on U.S. citizens traveling into North Korea goes into effect.  Many are concerned that this is yet another sign that we are moving toward war with North Korea.

September 11 – This will be the 16th anniversary of 9/11.

September 20 – Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset.

September 21The UN International Day Of Peace

September 23 – This is the date of what has become known as “the Revelation 12 sign”.  If you are not familiar with this alignment yet, the following is a very brief summary

On September 23rd a unique astronomical alignment of the Sun, Moon, constellation Virgo, constellation Leo, and planets Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, and Venus is going to fulfill this passage from the book of Revelation:

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.

September 24 – Very important national elections will be held in Germany.

September 29 – Yom Kippur begins at sunset, and it concludes on September 30th.  Of course September 30th will be the end of a 40 day period that began back on the day of the Great American Eclipse on August 21st.

September 29 – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that the debt ceiling will be breached on this day if Congress does not raise it by then.

September 30 – If Congress does not pass a budget by the end of this day, there will be a government shutdown just like we witnessed in 2013.

On top of everything else, the month of September is when the Federal Reserve is scheduled to begin unwinding  their 4.5 trillion dollar balance sheet

The other big market force that could ruffle markets is clearly the Fed, which is expected to begin the untested task of unwinding its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in September.

In addition, it is very interesting to note that a large asteroid will come within 4,200 miles of our planet on October 12th…

The asteroid has not been seen since its 2012 discovery, when it sped past Earth at about one-fourth the distance from Earth to the moon. It’s been too distant and too faint to be detected over the last five years. As it starts to approach Earth this summer, large telescopes will be used to detect it and re-establish the asteroid’s precise trajectory.

The asteroid, known as 2012 TC4, could come as close as 4,200 miles to Earth, NASA said. That’s actually fairly close, when you consider that the moon is about 239,000 miles away.

So what does all of this mean?

I don’t know, but I am sure that I will receive even more criticism for putting this list together.  Those of us that monitor global events and warn about where things are headed are often highly criticized.  But in this day and age, we desperately need independent thinkers that are willing to challenge the system.  Way too often people just go with the herd and will believe whatever the mainstream media tells them to think.

Never let someone else do your thinking for you.  Investigate things for yourself and come to your own conclusions.  Learning to think critically is one of the most important skills that you can have, and you will find that it is one of the most common traits among those that are truly “awake” to what is going on in the world.

The truth is out there, and if you diligently seek it you will eventually find it.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8664

Aug 14

Anne Graham Lotz Warns of God’s Judgment After Great American Eclipse

By Samuel Smith , CP Reporter | Aug 8, 2017 12:18 PM

In anticipation of the solar eclipse that will span the entire contiguous United States later this month, evangelist Anne Graham Lotz has warned that the Great American Eclipse might not be a cause for celebration.

There’s been much buzz recently about the solar eclipse that will occur on Aug. 21, which could mark the first time since 1918 that a total solar eclipse will be visible across the entire contiguous United States. It will begin in Oregon and sweep southeast across the country ending in South Carolina. According to Space.com, the phenomenon is “one of the most spectacular sights in nature.”

As many across the nation will welcome the phenomenon by hosting and participating in eclipse parties, Lotz, the daughter of world renowned evangelist Billy Graham and founder of AnGeL Ministries, took to her website on Monday to comment on the upcoming eclipse in a blog post titled “Is God’s Judgment Coming on America?”

The 69-year-old Lotz, who has previously cited the the Old Testament book of Joel to warn a number of times that God could soon cast his judgement on the United States as punishment for the sins of the nation, began the post by explaining that she felt “compelled to issue the warning once again.”

“The warning is triggered by the total solar eclipse of Aug. 21, nicknamed America’s Eclipse. For the first time in almost 100 years, a total solar eclipse will be seen from coast to coast in our nation,” she wrote. “People are preparing to mark this significant event with viewing parties at exclusive prime sites. The celebratory nature regarding the eclipse brings to my mind the Babylonian King Belshazzar who threw a drunken feast the night the Medes and Persians crept under the city gate.”

The story of Belshazzar’s feast was told in the Old Testament book of Daniel. Lotz explained that while Belshazzar and his friends partied and had a good time, “they were oblivious to the impending danger.”

“Belshazzar wound up dead the next day, and the Babylonian empire was destroyed,” Lotz stated.

Lotz also noted that Jewish rabbis have traditionally seen solar eclipses as “warnings from God to Gentile nations.”

“Therefore, my perspective on the upcoming phenomenon is not celebratory,” Lotz wrote. “While no one can know for sure if judgment is coming on America, it does seem that God is signaling us about something. Time will tell what that something is.”

In her blog post, Lotz also embedded a YouTube video of a nearly hour-long message given by Australian Pastor Steve Cioccolanti of Discover Ministries that was posted late last month. The message was titled “Is the USA in the Bible? Great American Eclipse Aug 21st, 2017 a Real End Time Sign?

“Pastor Steve articulates the warning in a very clear, undeniable, yet undogmatic way based on his understanding of biblical truth,” Lotz added.

“Please be assured that balancing God’s warning is His plea for us to return to Him and rend our hearts in sincere, heartfelt repentance,” she continued. “I can almost hear the tears in Joel’s voice as he pleads for us to repent and return to God, because ‘Who knows? He may return and have pity and leave behind a blessing’ (Joel 2:13-14).”

Lotz argued that even if the warnings about the eclipse are inaccurate, the U.S. and the world are already in “turmoil.”

“Without doubt this is the time for God’s people to get right with God. To repent of our own sin. To share the Gospel with our neighbors. And to pray that in the midst of His coming wrath, God would remember mercy,” Lotz concluded.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8662

Aug 14

This Is The Closest That The U.S. Has Been To Nuclear War Since The Cuban Missile Crisis

By Michael Snyder, on August 8th, 2017

Are we on the verge of a nuclear war with North Korea?  It has now been confirmed that North Korea has successfully created a miniaturized nuclear warhead, and last month they tested a missile that can reach at least half of the continental United States.  Since 1994 the U.S. has been trying to stop North Korea’s nuclear program, and every effort to do so has completely failed.  Last September, the North Koreans detonated a nuclear device that was estimated to be in the 20 to 30 kiloton range, and back in January President Trump pledged to stop the North Koreans before they would ever have the capability to deliver such a weapon to U.S. cities.  But now the North Koreans have already achieved that goal, and they plan to ultimately create an entire fleet of ICBMs capable of hitting every city in America.

Right now, North Korea and the Trump administration are locked in a game of nuclear chicken.  Kim Jong Un’s regime is never, ever, ever going to give up their nuclear weapons program, and so that means that either Donald Trump is going to have to back down, find another way to deal with North Korea, or use military force to eliminate their nuclear threat.

And time is quickly running out for Trump to make a decision, because now that North Korea has the ability to produce miniaturized nuclear warheads, the game has completely changed.  The following comes from the Washington Post

North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power, U.S. intelligence officials have concluded in a confidential assessment.

The new analysis completed last month by the Defense Intelligence Agency comes on the heels of another intelligence assessment that sharply raises the official estimate for the total number of bombs in the communist country’s atomic arsenal. The U.S. calculated last month that up to 60 nuclear weapons are now controlled by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Some independent experts believe the number of bombs is much smaller.

The truth is that nobody actually knows how many nukes North Korea has at this point, and they are pumping out more all the time.

Yes, the Trump administration could order an absolutely devastating military strike on North Korea.  But if the North Koreans even get off one nuke in response, it will be the greatest disaster for humanity since at least World War II.

But at this point Trump doesn’t sound like someone that intends to back down.  In fact, on Tuesday he threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” if they keep threatening us…

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump said from the clubhouse at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J. “He has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said they will be met with the fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

In response to Trump’s comments, the North Koreans threatened to hit Guam with a pre-emptive strike…

If Trump thought that his bluff would be sufficient to finally shut up North Korea, and put an end to Kim’s provocative behavior, well… bluff called because North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency reported moments ago that not only did N.Korea escalate the tensions up another notch, but explicitly warned that it could carry out a “pre-emptive operation once the US shows signs of provocation”, and that it is “seriously considering a strategy to strike Guam with mid-to-long range missiles.”

Most Americans appear to be completely oblivious to the seriousness of this crisis.  Once we hit North Korea, they will respond.  A single nuke could potentially kill millions in Tokyo, Japan or Seoul, South Korea.  And the North Koreans also have some of the largest chemical and biological weapons stockpiles on the entire planet.  If things take a bad turn, we could see death and destruction on a scale that is absolutely unprecedented.

And if the North Koreans launch an invasion of South Korea, we will instantly be committed to a new Korean War and thousands upon thousands of our young men and women will be sent over there to fight and die.

There is no possible way that a military conflict with North Korea is going to end well.  If things go badly, millions could die, and if things go really badly tens of millions of people could end up dead.

But members of the Trump administration continue to insist that “a military option” is on the table…

In an interview broadcast Saturday on MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt Show, national security adviser H.R. McMaster said the prospect of a North Korea armed with nuclear-tipped ICBMs would be “intolerable, from the president’s perspective.”

“We have to provide all options . . . and that includes a military option,” he said.

Of course letting North Korea construct an entire fleet of ICBMs that could endanger the entire planet is not exactly a palatable option either.  The Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations all kicked the can down the road year after year, and now we facing a nightmare problem that does not appear to have a good solution.

Unfortunately for Trump, time has now run out and a decision has to be made

“Today is the day that we can definitely say North Korea is a nuclear power,” Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, told USA TODAY. “There is no more time to stick our heads in the sand and think we have months or years to confront this challenge.”

Let us pray that a way can be found to derail North Korea’s nuclear program that does not involve us going to war.

Because the moment that U.S. forces start striking North Korea, the North Koreans could literally unleash hell if they are inclined to do so.

It appears that we are now closer to nuclear war than we have been at any point since the Cuban missile crisis.  A nuclear holocaust was avoided back then, and hopefully a way will be found to avoid one now.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8660

Aug 09

North Korea could soon develop a hydrogen bomb more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan

By Harry J. Kazianis Published August 04, 2017

Fox News

What can the US do to fight North Korean aggression?

As if the news out of North Korea wasn’t bad enough, things might get a lot worse within the next 18 months. We should not be surprised if the Communist dictatorship develops a hydrogen bomb – the ultimate atomic weapon – with the potential to kill millions of people.

A Defense Department official I spoke to recently on the condition of not revealing his name told me it now appears the North Koreans are working to finish development of an H-bomb, and that they could succeed in as soon as six to 18 months. Such a bomb would be many times more powerful than the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan that led to the end of World War II.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un claimed early last year to have tested an H-bomb, but most experts debunked such claims, arguing that the North had developed what is called a boosted fission weapon – or in layman’s terms, a more powerful atomic bomb. However, reports at the time coming out of South Korea claimed that North Korea was likely “one level away from a hydrogen bomb.”

If U.S. missile defenses failed to stop a North Korean H-bomb from landing in our nation’s capital it could kill roughly 500,000 people and injure another 900,000. If an H-bomb hit New York City, the death toll could reach over 1.7 million.

When North Korea test-launched a second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last Friday, it proved beyond doubt that it has the capability to hit much of the western half of our nation with such a missile.

Some experts  even argued that the ICBM tested last week could go as far as Chicago, or with some tweaking, potentially New York City or even Washington, D.C. North Korea proved earlier that it has atomic bombs, by detonating them in tests.

Importantly, some would argue we don’t have clear evidence that North Korea has developed an atomic bomb small enough to fit on a warhead atop an ICBM. And there’s no evidence that North Korea has so far developed a far more powerful hydrogen bomb – let alone a miniaturized version that could travel on top of a missile to reach our shores.

There is also no clear evidence that North Korea has perfected a way to shield a nuclear warhead so it can reenter the atmosphere and hit its target upon reentry. That’s a big obstacle, but certainly not insurmountable. America solved the reentry puzzle in 1957 when we developed the first ICBMs, so it’s absurd to say North Korea couldn’t possibly do the same 60 years later.

Hydrogen bombs are heavier than a standard atomic device, so Kim would potentially need a more advanced missile than what he has tested so far to carry a larger payload to hit the United States. But unfortunately for us, North Korea seems to be working on such a missile, known as the KN-08.

The three-stage KN-08 could have the capability to carry a hydrogen bomb over a long range, thanks to its more advanced configuration. Some have even argued this could be the next missile North Korea might test.

So just how dangerous would Pyongyang be with hydrogen bomb?

If U.S. missile defenses failed to stop a North Korean H-bomb from landing in our nation’s capital it could kill roughly 500,000 people and injure another 900,000, according to publicly available simulators on the internet developed by experts. My own office in Washington would likely be vaporized.

If an H-bomb hit New York City, the death toll could reach over 1.7 million.

Why think about such frightening scenarios? Because many politicians, defense officials, and experts talk as if such a threat is years away – as if we still have time to stop Kim from developing nuclear weapons.

The simple fact is this: we have run of out road. Yes, Pyongyang might have some technical riddles to solve, but we need to work under the premise that Kim now has nuclear weapons that can strike the U.S. homeland.

Considering how many times in the last year North Korea has shocked us – developing its deadly nuclear and missile arsenal faster than anyone expected – we simply have no choice but to carefully prepare for the possibility of being attacked by North Korea’s atomic weapons.

Unfortunately, there’s little chance we can turn back the clock and make North Korea a non-nuclear nation, but at minimum we must stop any further nuclear advances by the North.

Perhaps many people continue to deny what our eyes keep telling us about North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs for a simple reason: our brains won’t allow us to contemplate the frightening prospect.

It’s understandable that we don’t want to believe a regime so brutal to its own people – an outlaw state run by a despotic ruler who has death camps eerily similar to Nazi Germany – is now armed with weapons that can kill millions of Americans, taking its reign of terror global.

Now, to be fair, it’s hard to believe that Kim would be foolish enough to turn his repeated threats into action and attack the U.S. with atomic or hydrogen warheads mounted on ICBMS. Washington would launch a devastating counterattack that would wipe North Korea off the map. But our leaders would be irresponsible if they fail to take action to protect our nation from such a North Korean strike, no matter how unlikely it seems today.

We must abandon the stick-our-heads-in-the-sand mentality – the notion that Pyongyang simply couldn’t build nuclear weapons or ICBMs – that got us in this mess in the first place.

Denial of what is right in front of us, especially when it comes to North Korea, is a dangerous game – one we must avoid. Denying the possibility of a North Korean nuclear attack on the United States until some day in the future only invites disaster.

A U.S. attack to knock out North Korea’s missiles and nuclear forces would be a dangerous move. Since it already is armed with atomic weapons and a powerful arsenal of conventional weapons, North Korea could respond to a U.S. attack with a nuclear strike against South Korea, Japan or possibly even our own country.

Short of starting a second Korean War, the Trump administration simply has no choice but to spring into action and do all it can to stop or at least dramatically slow the North Korean nuclear threat. Our best shot at this would be to do everything we can to take away the financial resources that North Korea needs to develop, test and deploy hydrogen bombs and even more powerful ICBMs.

Considering the fact that the North Korean economy is one-third the size of Ethiopia’s, taking away any capital the regime needs would make a nuclear program harder and harder to fund. North Korea’s population is already starving, as Kim spends huge sums on weapons instead of meeting the needs of his own people.

The best way to weaken North Korea’s economy further, as I have said before, is to go after any entities that are helping the rogue regime evade international sanctions and raise capital illegally. We should also go after those who might be directly or indirectly providing aid to Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programs. And that means China will be in the Trump administration’s crosshairs, as it should be.

If we can end our denial of what North Korea’s military machine can accomplish, we might have a real chance of dramatically slowing down or stopping Kim Jong Un from developing the most dangerous of all nuclear weapons. But pretending it can’t happen is not only a bad idea – it guarantees it will happen

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8653

Aug 02

The U.S. Is Inches From A War With North Korea In Which Millions Could Die

By Michael Snyder, on July 30th, 2017

We are just inches away from the outbreak of World War III, and yet most Americans seem completely oblivious to what is happening.  On Friday, North Korea conducted a missile test which proved that it now has the capability of hitting major U.S. cities in the western half of the country.  Every diplomatic effort to end North Korea’s nuclear program has completely failed, the Chinese have shown that they do not intend to do much of anything to intervene in this crisis, and the United Nations is a dead end.  Given enough time, the North Koreans will build hundreds of ICBMs capable of delivering nukes to cities all over America, and the Trump administration has already indicated that they will never accept this.  If no other way can be found to derail North Korea’s nuclear program, President Trump will almost certainly order a military strike, and that could set off a war in which millions could die.

Personally, I am stunned that North Korea’s missile test on Friday didn’t receive more attention from the mainstream media, because the truth is that this was the biggest step toward war on the Korean peninsula since 1953

After North Korea’s missile launch on Friday, the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists shared its fears that the country’s latest weapon had the capacity to reach major US cities.

When it launched the missile on Friday, North Korea aimed it on a high trajectory which allowed the weapon to crash in to the Sea of Japan.

The ground range of the test was 6,500 miles, according to multiple agencies, and it had a flight time of around 47 minutes.

If the missile had been fired at a standard trajectory, it could have easily reached Los Angeles, Denver or Chicago.

In other words, more than half the continental United States is now within range of North Korean missiles…

Preliminary data from the launch reveals that half, if not most, of the continental U.S. would be in range of the missile tested Friday.

“Looks like it pretty much can get to New York, Boston and probably falls just short of Washington,” David Wright, co-director and senior scientist for the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told CNBC.

This is supposed to be a red line for President Trump, and it will be extremely interesting to see how he responds in the days ahead.

On Twitter, Trump sounded like a man that is completely out of patience with North Korea

“Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”

In addition to Trump, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is also indicating that time for diplomatic maneuvering has run out

The time for talk is over. The danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all.”

The Trump administration has already made it very clear that they will not be going to the UN Security Council with this matter because they believe that would be a dead end.

At this point, the available options for dealing with North Korea are narrowing rapidly, and direct military action appears to be gaining favor.  In fact, General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy released a statement on Saturday night warning that the U.S. is ready to use “rapid, lethal and overwhelming force”

The U.S. and its allies are prepared to use “rapid, lethal and overwhelming force,” if necessary, against North Korea, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces warned Saturday night.

The statement from Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander, came after the militaries of the U.S., South Korea and Japan spent 10 hours conducting bomber-jet drills over the Korean Peninsula.

Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced that American citizens are now banned from traveling to North Korea.  That is the kind of action that you would take just prior to a war.

But an attack on North Korea would not be easy.  We don’t even know exactly how many nuclear weapons they actually have, and they are promising to start launching nukes if we choose to strike them…

“If the Yankees . . . dare brandish the nuclear stick on this land again . . . the DPRK will clearly teach them manners with the nuclear strategic force,” the spokesman said.

North Korea is honeycombed with underground tunnels and bunkers.  There is no possible way that we could hit all of their nukes on a first strike, and if the North Koreans even get off a single nuke in response it is going to be an unprecedented disaster.

Could you imagine what would happen if a North Korean nuke hit Tokyo or Seoul?

Even one nuke could kill millions in those densely populated cities, and financial markets all over the world would almost instantly implode.

And North Korea also has some of the largest chemical and biological weapons stockpiles on the entire planet.  Within moments of an attack, thousands of North Korean artillery pieces and rockets would start raining fire on Seoul, and even just a few chemical or biological warheads would cause immense devastation in that city of about 10 million people.

In addition, North Korean forces are poised to invade South Korea at literally any moment, and the only way that South Korea could survive such an invasion would be direct intervention by U.S. forces.

On top of everything else, what if the North Koreans were able to successfully launch a nuke or two toward our major cities?  Or what if they already have the technology to set off an EMP blast high in the atmosphere above the continental United States?  Or what if their agents that are already embedded here start releasing biological agents in our major cities?

These are nightmare scenarios that most Americans never even consider, but they would be very real possibilities in the event that we go to war with North Korea.

I just don’t see how a direct military conflict with North Korea could possibly end well.  For those that still doubt this, please consider the words of General Mark Milley

“A war in the Korean Peninsula would be highly deadly. It would be horrific,” warned Gen. Milley. “The United States military along with the South Korean military would utterly destroy the North Korean military — but that would be done at high cost.”

“But we are at a point in time where tough choices will have to be made,” he continued. “We are going to have to make conscious decisions that are going to have significant consequences and I will just stop there. It’s not going to be a pretty picture — I can tell you that. It’s going to be very violent.

A war with North Korea would be the most disastrous event for our planet since World War II, and it is something that we want to avoid at all costs.

Unfortunately, events are moving us in the direction of such a war very rapidly now, and it is very difficult to see how we are going to avoid such a scenario.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8641

Jul 17

U.S. Moves Toward Acting Alone on N. Korea Amid UN Stalemate

The United Nations logo is displayed on a door at U.N. headquarters in New York February 26, 2011.

July 12, 2017Chinese companies and banks funneling money into Pyongyang’s weapons program is now prompting the United States to move towards unilaterally tightening sanctions on North Korea.

Breitbart reporting on the subject said that, recently unsealed court filings as offering clues that the White House is ready to act on its own in sanctioning banks. In those filings, the Justice Department pointed to a network associated with five companies linked to a Chinese national that hid transactions to help finance the North Korean regime.

Analysts told the Journal that some Chinese banks handle allegedly laundered money that could be targeted. While efforts to shut down North Korea’s missile program have stumbled in recent years, officials said the missile launch was a game changer, particularly as it put Alaska within reach.

The Trump administration has shown a more muscular stance on North Korea and had been eyeing more sanctions even before the launch. However, the unilateral option will look more enticing to U.S. officials considering the stalemate in the U.N. Security Council

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8636

Jul 17

The Most Unusual (And Significant?) Solar Eclipse In U.S. History Will Happen Next Month On August 21

July 11, 2017 by Michael Snyder

 

August 21st is the date of “the Great American Eclipse”, and the hype around it is already starting to reach a fever pitch. It is being called “the Great American Eclipse” because this will be the first total solar eclipse ever that is only visible in the United States. In other words, since the United States became a nation there has never been a total eclipse that was only visible here and nowhere else. And this will be the first total solar eclipse to cross from the west coast to the east coast in 99 years. So for those that love astronomy, this is bigger than the Super Bowl.

Close to 200 million people live within a day’s drive of “the totality zone”, and many are projecting that this will be the most-viewed eclipse ever. In fact, many hotels and campsites along the path of the eclipse are already completely booked. So if you want to see it live, you better make your arrangements quickly.

Of course the “main event” will not last for very long. Depending on the location, the total eclipse will only last for about two or three minutes.

But if you count from the time that the moon will begin to cover the sun until the time when the sun is completely uncovered again, it will take approximately two and a half hours for the entire process to unfold. The following comes from Newsweek

If you are in the band of totality, you will see (if you look through special ‘solar filters’ that darken the Sun by a factor of about 100,000) the Moon gradually covering the sun for about 75 min, then the beautiful totality, and then the uncovering for another 75 min.

Of course in the heavens things will be taking place at very high speed. For example, the moon’s shadow will actually be crossing the U.S. at a speed of close to 1,700 miles per hour.

And even if you are not in the “totality zone”, you will still notice what is happening on August 21st. That is because this eclipse will actually cast a “shadow” over the entire nation.

Could it be possible that has some sort of significance?

I don’t know, but without a doubt there will be a whole lot of speculation going on as we get closer to the date.

Many have pointed out that this solar total eclipse in 2017 will be followed by another total solar eclipse nearly seven years later on April 8th, 2024.

And when you plot the projected courses of these two solar eclipses on a map, they form a giant “X” over the center of the United States…

Could this be some sort of extremely bizarre coincidence?

And if it isn’t a coincidence, what could it mean?

I am afraid that I don’t have the answers to those questions right now, but I do find it to be extremely interesting that the heart of this “X” just happens to fall in the middle of the New Madrid fault zone.

Back in 1811 and 1812, the New Madrid Fault zone was hit by a series of absolutely massive earthquakes. At one point the shaking was so bad that it even caused church bells in Boston to start ringing. If similar earthquakes happened in our day and time, the damage would be absolutely unimaginable. The following comes from Smithsonian.com

The Midwest was sparsely populated, and deaths were few. But 8-year-old Godfrey Lesieur saw the ground “rolling in waves.” Michael Braunm observed the river suddenly rise up “like a great loaf of bread to the height of many feet.” Sections of riverbed below the Mississippi rose so high that part of the river ran backward. Thousands of fissures ripped open fields, and geysers burst from the earth, spewing sand, water, mud and coal high into the air.

Could you imagine “thousands of fissures” suddenly opening up all over the middle of the country?

One insurance company tried to estimate what the economic toll would be if similar quakes happened today, and they came up with a figure of “about 300 billion dollars”

A series of big shakes — of the sort last seen in 1811 and 1812 — would cause about $300 billion in damage, Swiss Re says. The cost would be double the damage from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.

Houses — especially brick ones — would collapse. Buildings would sink sideways into liquefying earth. Bridges might tumble into the rivers. The route of the Mississippi River could change — as it did in the last big quake.

People would die, perhaps by the thousands. Being mainly a property reinsurer, Swiss Re didn’t estimate the human toll.

And we should also consider the fact that there are 15 nuclear reactors along the New Madrid fault zone. And so during a major catastrophe we could be looking at Fukushima times 15.

Let us hope that the next major New Madrid earthquake is put off for as long as possible. Nobody should ever want to see that kind of devastation.

But scientists tell us that the Earth’s crust is “mechanically weaker” under the New Madrid fault zone than it is in other areas of the country, and they assure us that given enough time there will be more massive quakes in the region someday.

It is entirely possible that it could just be a complete coincidence that these two eclipses form a giant “X” directly over the heart of the New Madrid fault zone, but I think that it would be a mistake to dismiss this phenomenon altogether without reflecting on what it might mean. Because as Pastor Mark Biltz has pointed out, it appears that God specifically used solar eclipses back in Biblical times

“An archaeological find of cuneiform tablets was found in the 19th century describing events in Nineveh. A famous eclipse mentioned in the tablets was known as the Bur-Sagale eclipse, which is verified by NASA as occurring on June 15, 763 BC. The path of totality was right over Nineveh. God had declared the sun and the moon were for signs, and now the Ninevites saw the wrath of God coming even before Jonah arrived a couple months later. When Jonah arrived, they were ripe for repentance.”

Our world is a very strange place, and it is getting stranger with each passing day.

And one thing is absolutely certain – the entire nation will be looking up into the sky on August 21st, and what they will see will be truly historic

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8634

Jul 10

Experts: North Korea’s missile was a ‘real ICBM’ — and a grave milestone

By Joby Warrick July 4 at 8:36 PM

The North Korean missile that soared high above the Sea of Japan on Tuesday was hailed by state-run television as a “shining success.” But to U.S. officials, it was a most unwelcome surprise: a weapon with intercontinental range, delivered years before most Western experts believed such a feat possible.

Hours after the apparently successful test, intelligence agencies continued to run calculations to determine precisely how the missile, dubbed the Hwasong-14, performed in its maiden flight. But the consensus among missile experts was that North Korea had achieved a long-sought milestone, demonstrating a capability of striking targets thousands of miles from its coast.

Initial Pentagon assessments said North Korea had tested a “land-based, intermediate-range” missile that landed in the Sea of Japan just under 600 linear miles from its launch point, Panghyon Airfield, near the Chinese border. The State Department and the Pentagon later confirmed North Korea had launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM. Government and independent analyses showed the missile traveling in a steep arc that topped out at more than 1,740 vertical miles above the Earth’s surface.

If flown in a more typical trajectory, the missile would have easily traveled 4,000 miles, potentially putting all of Alaska within its range, according to former government officials and independent analysts. A missile that exceeds a range of 3,400 miles is classified as an ICBM.

“This is a big deal: It’s an ICBM, not a ‘kind of’ ICBM,’ ” said Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “And there’s no reason to think that this is going to be the maximum range.”

[North Korea at top of agenda as U.S., South Koreans hold summit]

David Wright, senior scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists, calculated in a published analysis that the Hwasong-14’s demonstrated capability exceeded 4,100 linear miles, based on estimates released Tuesday.

“That range would not be enough to reach the Lower 48 states or the large islands of Hawaii, but would allow it to reach all of Alaska,” Wright said.

North Korea’s apparent accomplishment puts it well ahead of schedule in its years-long quest to develop a true ICBM. The Hwasong-14 tested Tuesday could not have reached the U.S. mainland, analysts say, and there’s no evidence to date that North Korea is capable of building a miniaturized nuclear warhead to fit on one of its longer-range missiles. But there is now little reason to doubt that both are within North Korea’s grasp, weapons experts say.

“In the past five years, we have seen significant, and much more rapid than expected, development of their ballistic-missiles capability,” said Victor Cha, a former director of Asian affairs for the George W. Bush administration’s National Security Council. “Their capabilities have exceeded our expectations on a consistent basis.”

While U.S. intelligence officials have sought, with some success, to disrupt North Korea’s progress, Pyongyang has achieved breakthroughs in multiple areas, such as the development of solid-fuel rocket engines and mobile-launch capabilities, including rockets that can be fired from submarines. Early analysis suggests that the Hwasong-14 uses a new kind of indigenously built ballistic-missile engine, one that North Korea unveiled with fanfare on March 18. Nearly all the country’s previous ballistic missiles used engines based on modifications of older, Soviet-era technology.

“It’s not a copy of a crappy Soviet engine, and it’s not a pair of Soviet engines kludged together — it’s the real thing,” Lewis said. “When they first unveiled the engine on March 18, they said that the ‘world would soon see what this means.’ I think we’re now seeing them take that basic engine design and execute it for an ICBM.”

In announcing the test in a special TV broadcast Tuesday, North Korean officials proclaimed that the country had achieved an ICBM capability that would safeguard the communist government from attacks by the United States and other adversaries. According to U.S. analysts, leader Kim Jong Un has long calculated that nuclear-armed ICBMs are the best deterrence against threats to his survival, as any perceived aggression against him could trigger a retaliatory strike targeting U.S. cities.

“As the dignified nuclear power who possesses the strongest intercontinental ballistic rocket which is capable of hitting any part of the world along with the nuclear weapons, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will fundamentally terminate the U.S. nuclear war threats and blackmail and credibly protect the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region,” a government spokeswoman said in a bulletin read on state-run television.

The spokeswoman said that the missile’s trajectory was deliberately set “at the highest angle” to avoid harming nearby countries.

That claim rang true to U.S. analysts, who agreed the high arc was probably intended to avoid the possibility of hitting Japanese territory. Moreover, the rocket’s flight path would help North Korea secure another objective: secrecy. By sending the spent engine splashing into the deep waters of the Sea of Japan, Pyongyang ensured it would be hard, if not impossible, for U.S. and Japanese divers to retrieve the parts.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8629

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