Monday, October 29, 2012

Post No. 179a: Tornadoes, Earthquakes and Hurricanes, Oh My!

We first generated this piece last year when Hurricane Irene was wreaking havoc. This week, many states will feel the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. The same points we made with respect to Irene are arguably applicable to Sandy. Additionally, a significant earthquake shook folks up in Canada, with reverberations felt in the U.S. Fortunately, there was very little damage.

FEMA currently estimates that Sandy's wind damage alone will fall in the $2.5 billion to $3 billion range. It should be noted that as of the generation of this posts, 67 people have died.

© 2011 and 2012, the Institute for Applied Common Sense

We’re not big fans of folks who let their values dictate their thought processes. It seems to us that one’s analysis of issues ought to be a thing apart from their values. How else does one solve problems?

As the Laughingman often says, “If you think that every problem is a nail, a hammer becomes the only tool in your kit.” Some problems are screws, for which you might need a screwdriver, or two.

Despite this, any reasonable, thinking person would say that God does not approve of much going on in the United States these days, or of President Obama. Seriously.

AIR Worldwide, the catastrophic modeling firm, estimates that insured losses alone, for commercial, residential, and industrial losses following the severe thunderstorm activity in the U.S. in early 2011, will amount to $3.7 billion to $5.5 billion. That storm, under Obama's watch, lasted a mere 6 days in April. Imagine the figure for the entire year, stemming from God’s displeasure with our descent into socialism.

Earlier this week, a fairly significant earthquake shook Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas, sending the government’s work force scurrying for The Ark. The President, obviously prescient, was out of town on vacation.

But now, the heavily populated northeast looks like it may be battered by Hurricane Irene, which many expect to be of a force not seen in decades. Damage estimates in the range of $10 billion are already being made. This may prove to be Obama’s Katrina, God willing. The lines down at the New York City Harbor, where The Ark is currently docked, are reportedly getting pretty long.

There’s a message here somewhere. At least according to some. And of course, all of these so-called natural events can be traced directly to the President.

We are often reminded by the Optimizer of the celebrity who, during her campaign against homosexuality, claimed that God inflicted gays with AIDS as punishment for their wicked ways. And if you thought that the sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright were a distraction for then-candidate Obama, you may have missed that one of John McCain’s spiritual advisers was John Hagee.

Hagee claims that God willed Hitler to kill the Jews, so that they would eventually return to Israel, thus hastening the 2nd coming of Christ. In one of his less controversial moments, he argued that Hurricane Katrina was an act of divine retribution due to the presence of homosexuals in New Orleans.

One need not be a celebrity or a televangelist to appreciate that natural forces are somehow related to God’s displeasure. Earlier this week in this part of the Bible Belt, we heard many a person laugh shortly after the tremors were felt in Washington and New York City. In their view, the domestic infidels were getting their due. They opined that citizens in large cities on the coastal shores have led lives justifying their exposure to this impending danger.

Once again, all of this is somehow related to the current Administration and our slide into socialism.

Either fortunately or unfortunately, there is an opposing camp. Back in January, just prior to the Super Bowl, we generated a post, God, Obama, and the Green Bay Packers. After reflecting on how championship athletes claim that God resides in their locker room, we told the story of a fellow who, after dismissing the travails of the Obama Administration, claims that Obama’s opponents will be surprised during the next Presidential election. Why? Because he knows that God is on Obama’s side.

We’ve been mulling this over all week, and we’re at a loss as to what parents (without a direct line to God) should tell their kids about the athletic team, the political party, the city or region, or the ethnic group that God supports.

We suspect that we should all get down on our knees and pray to our higher power this evening, before the full brunt of Mother (or is that Father?) Nature hits our fragile east coast (and our fragile national economy), and hope that God picks our team in the fantasy game.

When President Reagan, never at a loss for words, was being wheeled into the ER after the assassination attempt by Arthur Bremer, he reportedly looked up at the operating team and quipped, “I hope you’re all Republicans.“ The lead surgeon responded with a smile, “Yes Mr. President, today we’re all Republicans.”

We could use all of the players on the field being of the same team on occasion, or perhaps all having the support of the Lord.

Finally, there is one other thought that occurred to us this week, namely the difference between for-profit corporate entities in the private sector, and governmental entities. While we watched governors and the President speak of preparations for, and warn their constituents of, the impending storm, we observed the spending of millions of tax dollars to minimize the possible damage and the criticism post-Irene.

In the corporate world, the focus would be on risk assessment and management, insurance coverage, and probabilities. We could see a corporation reasonably examining the pattern of hurricanes over the past 50 years, and betting against the forecasters, by doing nothing.

That would never do in the public sector.

But we’re still having difficulty figuring out whether God supports governmental intrusion in our lives, which might be termed socialist in nature, or whether God supports limited government, lower taxes, and the functioning of the free markets without excessive regulation.

But as Tina Turner said, “What’s Love Got to Do with It?”


  1. ‘Spector,

    I recall reading this one a year ago---and wondering how much time might be required thereafter to extract your tongue from your cheek. To your point: sometimes I wonder if some of the Christians out there are perhaps dwelling a bit too much upon the Old Testament and ignoring the New Covenant in the process. It was my impression that the coming of Jesus essentially reversed the prior policies of plagueing, poxing and smiting.

    It is interestingly coincidental, though, that you should choose to republish it this morning; within the past hour, we just experienced a 2.9 earthquake, the epicenter of which was only a few miles from my house.

    The Independent Cuss

  2. Tongue still stuck in cheek! BTW, we laughed out loud on that one....

  3. Just read the last paragraph of your comment. Hope that there was no damage to your home.

  4. Nope, no damage. I intially thought that a branch or some other debris has dropped onto the roof; it was that minor. Wifey later alerted me after she found the news online.


  5. Absolutely great article! But, I must say I wondered at the beginning if you had lost your mind! Tongue-in-cheek writing is difficult to do and make a valid argument. Well done, folks!

  6. Well done.

    "...we heard many a person laugh shortly after the tremors were felt in Washington and New York City. In their view, the domestic infidels were getting their due. They opined that citizens in large cities on the coastal shores have led lives justifying their exposure to this impending danger."

    Amazing how easily we divide ourselves into Us and Them -- and how easily we believe that what touches one group of citizens in our nation will not affect the others...


  7. Thanks much Dan. It's good to know that you are still checking us out.

  8. Pearl:

    Simply amazing. The competition to get into heaven suggests the creation of some form of demarcation to distinguish the admittees from those to be turned away. We suspect that most of those seeking admission make a self-serving pitch.

    Thanks for paying us a visit. You're welcome any time.

  9. We came across an interesting article about a particular Congressman voting against disaster relief funding. One in particular feels that the money is wasted.

    Many feel that the residents of New Orleans should not have returned to the area since it historically has been subject to flooding. Just yesterday, we saw instances of homeowners vowing to rebuild and return to the location of the flooding.

    Although we appreciate their emotional connection to a particular area, and that they may have invested lots of personal capital (of all sorts) in an area, should tax dollars be used to support their desire to remain in the devastated areas?

  10. My response to this is going to be highly controversial, but it is based upon much personal experience and suffering.

    Emphatically “yes”, the costal urbanites should be allowed to rebuild their, um, lairs wherever they choose . . . no matter how costly. I live in beautiful once-rural western North Carolina, the character and livability of which has been largely changed by the influx of urbanites. If you tell them that “You can’t rebuild and continue to dwell in your self-constructed hell-hole anymore”, certainly enough of them will find their way to WNC and finish the destruction by replicating said hell-hole here.

    For purposes of political correctness, I usually spin it as “Of course they should be able to live in the place they call home! Why, I certainly wouldn’t want to be told that I had to move from the place I love!” Which, in reality, was precisely what I was told when I lived in once-beautiful, once-rural northern Virginia where I was born. And who told me this, you ask? Why, the relocated urbanites who turned it into an overdeveloped hell-hole and didn’t appreciate the presence of local “rednecks” who clearly “didn’t belong there”.

    Come to think of it, I can’t really think of a better way use of our tax dollars than to keep urbanites “at home” . . .

    The Independent Cuss

  11. Emphatically "yes" to the use of tax dollars. We're going to have to think about this one longer.


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