Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Let Every Vote Count; Indeed!

This is instructive insofar as how liberals act when the foot is in the other mouth. (Pardon the mixed metaphor, please. It just seemed so apropos.) -IC

Let Every Vote Count: A Tale of Two Cities

By Horace Cooper

January 17, 2005

"Not only do we have a winner. We have a duty to uphold the Constitution and laws," the Senate majority leader said in a floor speech overruling objections to the November elections. "We don't have a compelling reason to delay."

Was this Tennessee Republican Bill Frist slamming the door on Democrat complaints about George Bush's 100,000-plus margin of victory in Ohio? No, Washington State Democrat Sen. Lisa Brown dismissing a challenge to Democrat Christine Gregoire's 129-vote victory gleaned after two recounts.

It is a tale of two cities that shows political posturing at its worst. Democrats in Washington, D.C., protest irregularities in the November presidential election while remaining silent about problems in Washington State where, by most accounts, a real travesty has occurred.

Where is the provocative and inflammatory rhetoric from Democrats concerned about voter intent or insuring that "every vote count?" Apparently what Sen. Barbara Boxer, (D-CA) called a "matter of electoral justice" when it involved President Bush's decisive 100,000-vote plus win over Sen. John F. Kerry in Ohio is irrelevant in the other Washington, when Gregoire's current margin of victory is less than 130 votes out of 2.9 million cast.

Rather than seek an inquiry, state and national Democratic Party leaders have put up a stonewall that would embarrass Richard Nixon. Since Election Day the Washington State

Democrat Party has raised more than $1.5 million in donations including $250,000 each from John Kerry's campaign, the Democratic National Committee and Moveon.org. Even Howard Dean's online fundraiser, Democracy for America, has jumped on board with $200,000.

Yet according to published reports, the irregularities overwhelm any comparison to the Ohio presidential election and even the Florida presidential election debacle of 2000. Even the payment for the recount has now come under scrutiny. The local media are reporting that the lion share of the recount fee was paid for by "powerful interest groups, including labor unions, tribes and trial lawyers" all of whom gave substantially more than they would have been allowed to give to the campaign.

Amazingly neither Boxer nor the Congressional Black Caucus has seen fit to weigh in. In fact, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and his cohort of minority demagogues have chosen to eschew any rhyming protests about disenfranchised voters whatsoever. Apparently King County and Washington State just don't lend themselves to any artistically sonorous uses.

Alas, since the "court of rhythmic appeals" has denied his arguments, Republican Dino Rossi and his legal team are pursuing a court case in Chelan County, Wash., Superior

Court. Rossi's main argument is that the number of votes cast illegally greatly outnumbers the 129-vote margin of victory. With the extensive vote handling errors in King County--which Democrats helpfully documented after they came up short in the first two counts--voters are uncertain as to who really won. A new election is in order.

Nearly 200,000 people have signed an online petition urging a runoff between Gregoire and Rossi. A recent Survey USA polls showed 62 percent of state residents said there should be a new election, including a whopping 45 percent of Democrats surveyed.

In King County, which tilted the result to Gregoire in the second recount, there were more votes counted than there are registrants in a precinct. And, even after reducing

the number of so-called ghost votes from 3,500 to just more than 1,200 last week, county officials still had to announce the actual number could be as much as 1,800. And, if that were not bad enough, nearly 400 provisional ballots--which were supposed to be set aside until they could be verified as legitimate--were placed straight into the counting machines after being voted. And, in the coup de grace, Rossi supporters say there is evidence that convicted felons who were banned from voting cast ballots in at least two counties.

Who didn't get their votes counted in all that mess? U.S. military personnel serving overseas, that's who.

Though it seems practically every mortician and parole officer in King County was a certified voter registrar, published reports in the state media established this week that the U.S. Department of Justice had to threaten a lawsuit in October to force the state to mail out its military ballots--which hit the post with less than 30 days to go before the election. At the time the Justice Department made the threat, Washington State was the only state to have not yet put its overseas ballots in the mail.

In the midst of all of this in one Washington, the silence of prominent Democrats asking for an investigation into voter irregularities in the other Washington is deafening. It's hypocrisy, pure and simple. Maybe that's the real reason for Boxer's tears after the presidential votes were counted.


Syndicated columnist Horace Cooper is a senior fellow with the Centre for New Black Leadership.


Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of GOPUSA.

Friday, January 14, 2005

A Case for Moraliity


Why is there morality and morals? What purpose does it serve to be moral and to have morality. A very simple, elegant answer would be that by being moral we are consciously evolving our behavior to further separate us from our animal origins. By having morals we are setting our culture and societies to be places where our animal instincts are overcome by the desire to aspire to a civilized state of being wherein we can live together in harmony.

Certain behaviors, particularly those dealing with sex and violence, are relegated to specific times and places, and are banned in others to preserve a sense of harmony during normal and general discourse.

We can see, as moral standards are loosened, that their arises great strife and discord in everyday life all throughout society. Morality is needed for the harmonious intercourse of everyday life and in planning for the future.

What is it?

It is being true to the ideals set forth in the Ten Commandments and other instruments that define morality.

It is fighting for that truth.

It is demanding that the people we associate with are also true to those ideals or altering our associations with them.

Regardless of a religious belief, the Morality set forth in the Ten Commandments is Universal to Human Relations and morality. That is why they are under relentless attack by Godless heathens who are bent on removing all morality from our society. That is why all references to the Ten commandments are systematically being removed from public scrutiny. If they can get people to forget about them then it become easy to spread evil and depravity.

“The Words of God” Are For ALL Men, Irregardless of Race, Sex, or Religion. God transcends religion. Religions are just our feeble attempts to honor God systematically. We need only honor Him privately, but honor Him and his Commandments we must!

There exists no established religion that refute that Truth.

Let us review what they are. First of all there seems to be eleven of them, but they have been concatenated into two groups of Ten, depending on which religious sect translated the Bible. I’m not sure about Muslims, but Jews and Christians, except Catholics and maybe a few others, agree with this grouping:

1. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image - any likeness of anything that is in Heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

6. You shall not murder.

7. You shall not commit adultery.

8. You shall not steal.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; You shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s. - Exodus 20:2-17 (NKJV)

Then these are how the Catholics (and perhaps some others) separate them [paraphrased due to many wordings of the same grouping] :

1. I Am The Lord Your God, You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me.

2. You Shall Not Misuse The Name Of The Lord Your God.

3. Remember The Sabbath Day By Keeping It Holy.

4. Honor Your Father And Your Mother.

5. You Shall Not Murder.

6. You Shall Not Commit Adultery.

7. You Shall Not Steal.

8. You Shall Not Bear False Testimony Against Your Neighbor.

9. You Shall Not Covet Your Neighbor's Wife.

10. You Shall Not Covet Your Neighbor's Goods.

It makes little difference how they are grouped however; whoever believes in God can have no trouble seeing the truth in them and the necessity of following them. Whether a Buddhist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, (et al), the Truth is there to behold and follow. The Truth is Morality, and it is embedded therein.

The Founding Fathers of the United States knew this to be the Truth, they said so, often and throughout the whole of all of the documents that made this country what it is (or was?) Irregardless of all the religions that existed in the colonies at the time, those Truths permeated and encompassed the thoughts and intentions of the entire foundation of our country as it was envisioned by them. One needs only to read the recorded thoughts of those men to know that to be the Truth!

Lies can and do change; the Truth is Always the Truth!

There is a vast difference between the belief of those Truths and the establishment of any religion however. The Founding Fathers understood that difference and stated it clearly within the First Amendment of our wonderful Constitution.

The First Amendment states clearly (after the Constitution defined what the Congress is) that “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion; nor prohibit the free exercise therein.”

It didn’t say that any mention of God or religion, at any level of government or by any person, was prohibited; in fact, they made mention of God many times in many places, in all of the documents written by them at that time.

Furthermore, it only prohibited Congress, not the States nor any other persons nor groups, from establishing or prohibiting religion. States rights are defined in the Tenth Amendment to be whatever is denied to the Congress or not covered within the Constitution.

The purpose of the “non-establishment/non-prohibition” clause was to stop the Federal Government from establishing one of the “State Sponsored Religions” that were permeating European countries at that time, particularly the ‘Church of England.’ In fact, they viewed a display of an artistic rendering of ‘Moses receiving the Ten Commandments’ as something to have been celebrated, not hidden! One such, in fact, is in full view in the Capitol Building! We are losing our way. We are losing our morality.

We are, in fact, losing our morality, as a nation, in many ways.

Prohibiting school children from staring the day with a simple prayer is one way that we are losing our Morality; both by allowing that, and by not passing it on to our children. This is a two-pronged attack by the liberals!

Benjamin Franklin established the precedent of every session of Congress start with a prayer to the Almighty to help and guide them. How could it possibly be that schools should not also do the same? They did, in fact, do that until the 1950’s. In a Nation “Of the People, By the People, and For the People,” are not our children as important as Congressmen?

The issue of school prayer goes even deeper into the loss of morality that we are suffering. The First Amendment prohibits “Congress,” but does not prohibit States from religious preference. Schools were, until Jimmy Carter, exclusively the domain of the States.

Congress, in defiance of the First Amendment, has systematically allowed the Courts to ‘prohibit the free exercise therein’ of religious freedom to the States. Congress has the ability, the duty in this case, to impeach these judges; but they have declined to do so. They are propagating immorality by allowing these judges to remain in power.

This issue, while so simple in the Constitution, has become so complicated by the courts. That is simply outrageous! The courts were meant to be the last bastion of morality; but they are now leading the charge against it! How can our country hope to survive? Why does Congress refuse to act? Hope itself is founded in a belief that there is a Deity that will dispense Ultimate Justice! We are truly doomed if this path is preempted.

How can a court system even hope to survive if an oath against perjury has no Ultimate Penalty underlining it? What does “So help you God” mean if they deny the very existence of God? God help us all! The courts are committing suicide and trying to take us with them.

Consider, what organization does not require its members to swear an oath of allegiance to it, how can it survive otherwise? When joining any organization, be it the Army, Navy, Masons, VFW, American Legion, Knights of Columbus, or the United States of America, an oath of allegiance needs to be sworn; how else can it remain as an entity without that fealty?

Here, in the twenty-first century (and even before) the Pledge of Allegiance is under attack, not just because it mentions God, and that is one attack, but because it simply requires a person to take a stand! No country can survive if nobody takes a stand for its existence. A road becomes clear and easy for a despot to take control that country if nobody takes a stand against it. All that evil needs to succeed is for good men to do nothing!

Morality is under attack at all levels of our lives. A divorce is easier to obtain than getting married is these days. Gays are even demanding the same status in marriage as normal couples! It is as though we were being divorced from our sensibilities.

Marriage has always been about family structure: one man and one woman joining their lives for the purpose of making and raising children. That is simple morality. It doesn’t always work out, but that is what the design is for. That is all it is. What people may do in the privacy of their homes is one thing, but what is done in the light of society is what defines morality. Marriage is what it is, mincing words and changing laws doesn’t change the morality of that institution, it simply diminishes it. It diminishes our society and corrupts the very pillars of civilization!

Marriage is under attack in many ways, undermining the morality of what it is and how it is observed.

When a man and woman stand before God, and their fellow man, and pledge their fidelity to each other for the rest of their lives, it should mean something! It isn’t about the party, it isn’t about the gifts, it isn’t just about the parents, it isn’t about a lot of things; that is the point, what it is about is one thing and one thing only: it is about the establishment of morality for the continuation of society.

It is about forming a family unit dedicated to the propagation of the community, of progeny, of fidelity, of commitment, of morality! How do we accept people blithely walking away form those things, and allow them to continue to be part of the community?

We are accepting insanity and calling it normalcy!

There are men who make babies, in and out of wedlock, then turn their backs on them and the mothers of those children. Women abound who produce children from any man who will buy them a drink, then expect society to care for them. Worse still are those people who knowingly allow those men and women into their lives, and accept them as part of normal society.

That is the ultimate immorality. Not only are those despicable men and women devoid of moral fiber, but the people that accept them as acceptable are truly evil. They are the true destroyers of civilization.

Where is the morality in abortion-on-demand? Engaging in sex for hedonistic pleasure then killing the consequences is cold blooded murder! Our society (well, the courts) have condoned this hideous procedure for over thirty years without the people or their representatives having a vote on the matter. Where’s the democracy in that, much less the morality? In fact, depriving a free people of their right to vote is immoral in and of itself!

There have been over 40,000,000 abortions committed in these past thirty years, who speaks for them? The courts have silenced us all; again the courts have abrogated their charter insofar as being the final arbiters of morality. 45% of those aborted fetuses would be of voting age today, how would they vote if they could? That’s eighteen million voters silenced by the courts. (Eighteen million taxpayers too!) talk about disenfranchised with extreme prejudice!

To accept immorality as normal is the ultimate in immorality! Immorality is becoming the sine quo none of our society! This is absurd; this is insane. This cannot be allowed to continue else our very civilization is doomed to extinction. We are at war from within. The very courts that were place to protect us and society are destroying it; they are making decisions based on what they want the Constitution to be rather than what it is. The Judges that do that should be imprisoned for treason, or hung!

When a judge (or any official) takes an oath to uphold the Constitution then tramples it should be defined as treason! They are the leaders of the enemy within; and there are many enemies of our Constitution. If people don’t like what it says they can attempt to change it. If they can’t get enough votes to do that then they lose! No, that is how it should work, not the way it does. If some people don’t like it they get the Courts to arbitrarily alter its meaning. That is anarchy. Where is the morality in anarchy?

What this is, this altering of morality, is the core philosophy about which world-wide religious fanatics, like Osama bin Laden, are fighting against. They are wrong in how they are going about trying to change this situation, but this situation must be changed. All that evil needs to succeed is for good men (and women) to do nothing! Do we not have enough good people in this country to stop the madness?

We, as a people cannot long survive under the immorality that is fast becoming the acceptable norm. We will only win the war on terror when we rediscover and follow the path to morality. That is not fanaticism, that is reality. That is what the Ten Commandments are a guide towards. That is why they are so hated by some people. Those people are insane and suicidal; they are possessed by unspeakable evil.

We are fast becoming a society of hedonists who’d rather wallow in immorality than change it. Self control is hard; answering for it to God for having none will be harder still.

God Bless us all, we are embroiled in a Holy War, like it or not; agree with it or not, the Reaper is at the door. As President Bush said so eloquently, “There is no middle ground!” The tsunami is coming for us all.

God help us all.

Monday, January 10, 2005

The Weird Wielding of Charity - by Kathleen Parker

Just a quick summary, Saudi Arabia Gave $30 Million for the Tsunami victims, and $200 Million for the Palestinians, particularly, $40 Million for families of “martyrs (read murderers). Just a little perspective on our “stinginess.”

-Ichabod Crane


The Weird Wielding of Charity

Kathleen Parker

January 8, 2005

Norway's Jan Egeland started it with his remark that America is stingy, or words to that effect, focusing on the early U.S. response to Southeast Asia's tsunami victims.

Since then, competitive caring has taken off around the globe as nations vie to display and measure their greater virtue.

There are surely worse things to get in a heat about. Who gives more? Who cares more? Who among men, which among nations, is most charitable? Dollar by dollar, Americans are having to match their worldly weight in gold. No thin task, that.

All will be sorted out in due course, though Americans, who in 2003 gave $241 billion to charity, hardly can be called tightwads. I gave at Amazon, by the way. Is there a bumper sticker at the printer's yet? Amazon clients like me, who push the "Pay now with 1 click" bar like lab rats self-administering cocaine, got to click likewise for tsunami victims.

It was so easy that Amazon raised some $6 million in 48 hours. By Thursday, the total was $14,668,100.42. (Who gave 42 cents?) In a quick sidebar, the (American) engineering miracle of the Internet is just starting to exert its influence as a channel of charity. A click of the mouse and Internet travelers can direct funds straight to the recipient.

And willingly, many do. Which is point one in this weird corruption of Samaritan mercy. Charity is a voluntary act, and thus is considered a channel to grace, rather than a tax on competence or hard work (and sometimes luck) to redistribute wealth to those less lucky. And in some cases, less competent or less ardent.

The compulsive need to calculate and compare can be a distracting affliction in individuals. Among nations, it is merely bad form. Measuring charity as a political gauge robs the result of its noble intent and the giver of his just reward - the gift of giving.

Generosity comes easily to Americans. The spirit of giving is part of our genetic makeup. "There but for the grace of God go I" is tattooed on our hearts. Such that already Americans have donated or pledged more than $200 million through various organizations.

And this charitable tsunami has just begun, bringing me to point two. How come Americans are so likely to give? Because we can, of course, but how come that? Because we are uniquely blessed with systems, institutions and freedoms that permit us to seek and secure wealth. And then, in a spirit of noblesse oblige, to repay our debt of gratitude by sharing the bounty.

Yet Americans are reviled. No wait, therefore we are reviled. But so goes human nature. It is the common fate of large dogs to be yipped at by Chihuahuas.

I realize I'm dizzyingly close to committing heresy here by hinting at American exceptionalism, but there it is. As other nations criticize the United States for not doing enough, it is crucial to note that without what the United States is - a nation of free peoples and free markets - there could be no commentary about what the United States does, whether too much or too little.

We also might note that there are no such debates in the countries now awaiting our gifts. I must have missed the video announcing Osama bin Laden's charitable contribution to the injured Muslim peoples who populate much of the land devastated by the tsunami and whom he purports to represent.

Not that al-Qaida hasn't been busy in many of the affected countries. Indeed, bin Laden's minions have been training new operatives in Malaysia and practicing their lethal skills in Thailand. Yet the United States is the Great Satan.

The U.S. military arrives with food, clothing, medical supplies, ships and troops to clean up what nature has put asunder, while al-Qaida looks for new recruits to self-destruct in the name of Allah.

They'll need them, because what the United States is also delivering is information that is both damaging to bin Laden and much needed in that part of the world. The inner message of the tsunami and its aftereffects is what good comes from people blessed with freedom.

In the process of exporting goods, services and the charity of a generous people, we are also exhibiting the bounties of Democracy, without which charity is a hope rather than a deed.

©2005 Tribune Media Services

Contact Kathleen Parker | Read Parker's biography


Friday, January 07, 2005

Homeland insecurity: The year in review - by Michelle Malkin

Here is the biggest hole in the Bush (43)'s Presidency. This is inexcusable and incomprehensible; neither the dem's nor the republicans seem to want to change it either.



Homeland insecurity: The year in review

Michelle Malkin (townhall.com)

2004 was a good year for terrorists, violent gang members, law-breakers and fraud artists seeking safe haven in America. Let’s reminisce:

The rise of MS-13 . The savage El Salvador-based gang, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), has now penetrated more than a dozen states. In May, a Fairfax, Va., teenager had his fingers chopped off in an MS-13 machete attack. In November, Washington, D.C.-area police received warning that MS-13 is plotting to ambush and kill them when they respond to service calls. Active in alien, drug and weapons smuggling, MS-13 members in America have been tied to numerous killings, robberies, carjackings, extortions and rapes. The gang has also been linked to efforts to help al Qaeda infiltrate the U.S.-Mexico border.

The path of least resistance. Border Patrol officers and local investigative journalists in the Southwest reported on increasing numbers of Middle Eastern males entering illegally from Mexico. Muslim prayer books and Arabic diaries were discovered on “Terrorist Alley” in southern Arizona. Suspected al Qaeda operative Adnan Shukrijumah, a fugitive Saudi pilot who reportedly met with MS-13 earlier this year, is believed to be in Mexico.

In April, a suspected al Qaeda agent arrested in Queens, N.Y., revealed a scheme to smuggle terrorists across the U.S.-Mexico border. In July, two alert Border Patrol agents apprehended Farida Goolam Mohamed Ahmed at McAllen (Texas) airport. She was carrying an altered South African passport, muddy jeans and dirty shoes. She confessed to having entered the country illegally by crossing the Rio Grande River. Court documents showed that she was on a government watch list and had entered the United States up to 250 times.

Upon news of Ahmed’s arrest, intelligence experts reported that suspected terror agents are acquiring passports from South Africa and other non-suspect countries; flying to the al Qaeda-coddling “tri-border area” in South America; learning Spanish; traveling to Mexico; and doing the backstroke into America. Lawmakers in Texas warned that the feds are arresting and then releasing thousands of other suspected terrorists classified as “Other Than Mexicans” because of lack of jail space.

President Bush said “family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande.” I repeat: Neither do the Islamofascists.

Bungling Washington bureaucrats. In the skies, federal air marshals continue to be hampered by director Thomas Quinn’s moronic “professional” dress code (no athletic socks or jeans allowed). Although he no longer oversees transportation security, underperformin’ Norman Mineta remains in charge of the Department of Transportation, where he maintains an absolutist opposition to homeland defense profiling. And kowtowing to civil liberties Chicken Littles and Muslim lobbyists, the Bush administration canceled the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System out of fear of privacy and discrimination lawsuits.

In July, the Department of Homeland Security rebuked Border Patrol agents in Southern California for conducting interior enforcement sweeps because they did not bow down to the “sensitivities” of open-borders radicals. In September, DHS Border Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson stated publicly that it’s “not realistic” for his own officers to try to do their jobs and deport law-breakers.

Morale among rank-and-file enforcement officers has plummeted. The botched Bernie Kerik DHS nomination and the refusal of the Bush administration to support common-sense immigration enforcement and secure identity measures in the “intelligence reform” bill (which ended up containing more non-intelligence than intelligence provisions) didn’t help.

Amnesty, shamnesty . The year ended as it began, with President Bush dangling his abominable proposal to grant a mass governmental pardon to millions of illegal alien workers and their employers. First floated in January, the White House also pushed through a Social Security “totalization” program with Mexico, which will dispense billions of dollars to illegal alien workers who used counterfeit Social Security cards and stolen numbers to secure illegal jobs. President Bush said “family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande.” I repeat: Neither do the Islamofascists.

Announcement of the Bush plan led to a spike in illegal alien apprehensions at the border during the first three months of 2004 -- 25 percent higher compared with last year. Those are just the ones who got caught. T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told the Washington Times in April: “People were coming up to our agents and saying, ‘Where do we sign up for that guest-worker program, or that amnesty?’ Word travels like wild-fire down there.”

And around the world. The word is we’re open. Wide open. What a way to ring in the new year.

©2004 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

On Compassion and Science

The Great Christmas Sumatran Earthquake of 2004

*Note that it occurred at the beginning of the Full Moon (12/26/2004 @10:26AM EST).

Tens of thousands of people simply erased from the face of the Earth without warning and equally devoid of compassion. This was quite the harvest for the afterlife; how wondrous for them to have so many companions to join them on their journey. The constant struggle of life goes on for both the planet and its inhabitants. But look, first, on the earthquake itself.

The sheer power of a 9.0 earthquake is quite unimaginable; even for anyone who lived through one, I would think it would be impossible to describe or, perhaps even to remember exactly. That is, if a survivor were to ever again experience a quake of that magnitude it would be just as surprising and unpredictable as it happened. That is just an assumption on my part, of course, but I don’t think that anything so horrible could be contained in our memory as such.

I have experienced a 5.2 magnitude quake and I wouldn’t want to again; nor do I think I remember it in all of its terror. This recent quake was nearly 10,000 times stronger!!!

The Richter scale is logarithmic and set so that every unit is ten times as powerful as the preceding one. So a 6 is 10x a 5; a 7 is 100x; an 8 is 1000x; and a 9 is 10, 000 time more powerful than a 5! Well, that’s how I understand it anyway. How much power does it take to move an entire tectonic plate over 100 feet in an instant anyway?

[From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

The magnitude of an earthquake is usually expressed in terms of a logarithmic scale based on seismograph recordings of seismic-wave amplitudes. The numerical scale is so arranged that each increase in magnitude of one unit represents a 10-fold increase in earthquake size—i.e., an earthquake of magnitude 8 is 10,000 times as large as one of magnitude 4. Whereas the latter would be capable of causing only slight damage, the former constitutes a devastating seismic event. The scales that are commonly used are derivations of the Richter scale, which was introduced in southern California in 1935 and which, with successive refinements, held currency among seismologists for more than 40 years.]

The quake I experienced was from the fourth floor (of a four story building) and had a good view of the street going away from us. The telephone poles were swaying out of sync with each other, with the first swaying left, the second swaying right, and so on whereby they were all undulating down the road and I wondered, at the time, whether they would actually fall.

The (round) coffee carafe on the nearby shelf was half full, yet the contents were sloshing such that coffee was spilling out of the top.

What would a trembler ten thousand times more powerful be like? I hope to never have first hand knowledge of that phenomena.

It is noteworthy to mention that a tsunami is not a tidal wave. Great disturbances in the oceans cause the former and the later by, as the name implies, tides. There are two tidal waves daily in the Bay of Fundy for example, but the cause of tsunamis, although somewhat rare, is predominately earthquakes. There were several major tsunamis as a result of the Great Christmas Earthquake of 2004.

An island in Sumatra moved over 100 feet as a result of this 9.0earthquake! That was within a matter of seconds or less! Considering that water does not compress (nor expand – anti-compress) then what happens is that the water is forced to fill in (and back out) instantaneously, or nearly so. This causes a compression wave that can move at nearly the speed of sound (in water) in all directions.

That this quake occurred at the start of a full moon is no coincidence either. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

[An Earth Tide is: deformation of the solid Earth as it rotates within the gravitational fields of the Sun and Moon. Earth tides are similar to ocean tides. The Earth deforms because it has a certain degree of elasticity; were it perfectly rigid, there would be no Earth tides. Several tidal components mathematically can be shown to exist, but only four are large enough to be generally measurable; these are the lunar diurnal, the lunar semidiurnal, the solar diurnal, and the solar semidiurnal tides. Diurnal tides have a period of approximately 24 hours (1 day), and semidiurnal tides have a period of approximately 12 hours (1/2 day). The actual amplitudes of these tides in terms of vertical movement of the surface of the solid Earth are about one foot or less.]

The Full Moon (and the New) affords the highest degree of tidal force as it works in tandem with the sun. Therein lays the strongest tidal effect. Coupled as it is now, at the perihelion of the Earth’s orbit (closest to the sun) the tide was the very strongest, or nearly so, that it ever gets.

Not that a strong tide, in and of itself, causes earthquakes, it isn’t nearly strong enough to do that, at any number on the Richter scale, it just is the ‘last straw’ as it were. Earthquakes are a natural phenomenon of the Earth that may well happen without the moon, but the moon’s effect simply triggers the event that has been piling up in anticipation of release! After all, the Earth’s crust flexes in response to the sun and moon just as the oceans do, just not as much; so, if a tectonic plate is ready to give, that final flex is what lets it loose.

People are heard asking things like ‘why does God allow such things to happen’ and ‘why does God let bad things happen to good people’ and other such rhetorical questions. These questions also say, indirectly, that there mustn’t be a God if these things happen. What nonsense! I could just as easily say that the existence of charity proves the existence of God; but neither is case is valid. This is simply an attempt at humanizing God; bringing Him down to our level and holding Him accountable.

Jesus told us that His is not a Kingdom of this earth. He also said that we should render unto God what is god’s and to Caesar (men) what is Caesar’s. That is, we are all part and parcel of the earth and while we live here our physical lives are part of what happens around us, whether what happens is man-made or a natural phenomenon. Let’s face it, all those people who died in the tsunami would have died eventually anyway, it is just a matter of time, after all. That they all died at the same time is simply because they were where the tsunami hit, period. They were is the wrong place at the wrong time.

God’s part in all this is passive; it is we who show who we are by what we do about this natural calamity. What God did was give us his Words and Commandments to guide us in these, and all, troubled times. It is not how any of us die so much as how we lived that should be our concern insofar as God is concerned. Blaming Him will not advance our case with Him; moving on and living within His Law and Guidance will. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happens to good people; it is in how we deal with these things that is the point of existence. This life isn’t important in the overall scheme of things, except in how we live it. We are told that our reward and justice is in the next life.

What the tsunami’s tell us, oh so clearly, is that we never know when our time is up. How are you going to act with the time you have left? That is the only question of importance.