November 2, 2012

Perfect Storms…

Category: News — Ira @ 7:10 pm


We are so lost, so lonely, so forsaken, in America: Immense
and savage skies bend over us, and we have no door.

Thomas Wolfe


It wasn’t called the “Perfect Storm,” at least not that I saw or heard. But it might just as well have been. It was labeled all kinds of other dramatic names. 100-year storm. Storm of the century. The Big One. And, of course, it was called by its name. Sandy.

Whatever it was, it sure served up a perfect storm of excited chatter from the weather guys. On TV, on the internet, they stood before vast screens swirling with shades of white and yellow and blue and red. This was the big one. Apocalypse now. We’ve never seen anything like this before. It might be the most devastating storm in all of recorded history. Which is just silly, when you think about it. But that’s what they said.

That storm has now unfolded, has come and gone. And true, it left huge swaths of destruction and devastation in its wake, as could reasonably be expected. That’s what hurricanes do when they hit land. Smash things indiscriminately. Especially puny man made things like houses and businesses and roads and such.

I started taking note of Sandy around mid week. I never watch any news on TV. Except as extreme weather closes in, sometimes. But otherwise, never. I listen to the radio guys, though. And the WHP weather man kept insisting. This was one big storm. Coming right up the coast and then right on in at us. And no. It would not turn out to sea. Because of certain winds and jet streams, it would turn inland. Smash into the coast. This was the big one. Storm of the century. There would be mass devastation. People would die.

Yeah, yeah, I thought. I’ve heard all this hype before. Same song, different verse. You do this stuff all the time in winter, for snowstorms and such. And every year or two, for hurricanes. You make it sound as bad as possible, trot out the very worst things that might happen, and tell us it’s going to. And it’s not that I thought it couldn’t happen. Of course it could. But there’s no way anyone can tell, way out ahead. They can guess. Maybe get it right. But they can’t know for sure until it all comes down.

About the only thing I like about hurricanes is that so far they have left us alone, my friends and me, during our annual September treks to the Outer Banks for Beach Week. It’s been close, a time or two. And one of these years, some spoiler will nail us. It will, because that’s how things even out. But so far, we haven’t had to cancel our cherished slot down on the beach. So I generally don’t have a whole lot of hostility toward hurricanes, because they’ve never done anything to me.

And the uproar persisted as the weekend arrived. Saturday. I slept in. Got up and putzed about. Decided to check the Weather Channel on TV. Yep, they’re yelling, all right. OK. I’ll get ready. Prepare a bit. Losing electricity, that was my one big fear. Lose that, and you got nothing. I checked my two little battery lanterns. Ready to go. Extra batteries on the shelf. Good, there. Now, water. I have no bathtub in my home, so I can’t fill that, like they always tell you to. I have buckets and jugs, though. So I filled a bunch of those. Set them in the porch, just outside the bathroom door. Food. I’d eat out of tin cans if I had to. I got Spam, beans, bread, chips, crackers. Facebook was swarming with Hurricane headlines. Sandy. Worst storm in 100 years. I settled in and watched the late college football games. Notre Dame whacked Bob Stoops’ Sooners at home. Good stuff, there. About time Oklahoma got humbled. And I’ve never had a thing against the Irish.

Sunday. I went to church at Chestnut Street. I wondered. Would we all huddle in little groups and pray for the storm to divert around us? Nah. Not so you’d notice, we didn’t. Sandy was never even mentioned. Pastor Mark preached his regular sermon. Good stuff. Even after church, no one seemed particularly perturbed about the storm swooping in. Guess it was just assumed we’d prepare and be prepared for whatever happened. I stood about, visiting as usual after the service. About this and that, but mostly not about the weather.

And that afternoon, Drudge Report headlines blazed with storm news. 100 mph winds, hitting shore in New York and Jersey and Philly. Philly is a little more than an hour from here. Hope those winds calm down before hitting my house. I scrounged up a few more empty jugs and filled them with tap water. Bought a bag of ice at Sheetz and placed it in my freezer. Settled in again, and watched football and kept an eye on the World Series. Detroit sure turned out disappointing. I was rooting for them. But they couldn’t even pull off one win. That’s the way it all comes down, sometimes. And I settled in around eleven for the night. Tomorrow it would arrive. The Great Storm. I’ll be totally good, if my power doesn’t go down for too long, I figured.

Electric. It’s what we depend on every day, to power pretty much everything we depend on. It’s so woven into our lives that we don’t even think about it until it’s not there. And life without it sucks, really. I can’t think of a better word than that. Yet, I kept telling myself, where I come from, we didn’t have it. Not at all. Never. And I wondered. How long could I exist without it? I don’t mean comfortably. I mean just exist. Could I revert? I didn’t want to know. I had food enough. Water enough. But how long could I last without electric, without losing my mind? I dug around for a few books. No power means no TV, and more importantly, no internet. No Facebook. No emailing. And, of course, no writing on my computer, either. I scrounged up a few Thomas Wolfe favorites to reread. And some P.G. Wodehouse books I’ve been kicking around. Power goes out, I’ll read. By lantern light, like I used to years back.

Monday. Overcast morning, the skies were spitting. It would come sweeping in at noon, they said. At the office, the phone rang sporadically. Not a lot going on out there. I watched the headlines. DC was getting hammered. All federal offices were closed. Good. The longer that cesspool is shut down, the better off we all are. If we can survive without the Feds for two days, why not the whole year? Facebook was buzzing. And even as the storm approached, the partisans couldn’t help themselves. Romney would shut down all federal financial aid for those poor hurricane victims, one lady sniped. Her friends swooped in and Oooohed, and Ahhhhed. He must be a bad man for sure. Some guy stepped in to defend Romney on the comment thread. He was instantly dismissed as being not a very good Christian. So cold hearted and all. I gape at such posts in disbelief, sometimes. Who are these people, who think like that? But it’s none of my business, really. So I’ve learned to bite my tongue a lot, too.

The chatter was good and lighthearted, mostly, though. I saw the notice that my gym was shut down, through Tuesday, at least. There goes my workout. I wondered if the whole thing wasn’t just a bit overhyped. Sure, it was blowing like crazy out there. Rain swept sideways along the ground. But we had power. Shouldn’t those business-closing decisions be made after events occurred, after the storm smashed everything, instead of before?

Well, Graber was open, and we stayed open. Around mid afternoon, I sent some people home. Just me and the yard guys remained. Not that much was going on, but still, you stay open when you can. At five, I headed home on the most deserted highways I’ve ever seen in Lancaster County. The winds swept sheets of rain across the pavement. Here and there, water roiled right over the road. Big Blue and I cautiously picked our way through. And then we were home. I settled in and hunkered down, fully expecting nothing less than the power would go at any second. Keeping a lantern close by, I surfed Facebook. Friends from the east and west and south posted updates right along. Lights are blinking, one said. Here too, said another. Then, there goes the power. We’re in the dark, here. And I waited for that inevitable blinking, for the darkness to close in on me.

It never did. Amazingly, nothing happened. The power stayed on in New Holland. And by 8 o’clock, I was watching a couple of visibly deflated local weather guys admitting that the storm had crested. The worst was over. At 8 o’clock. No gloom and doom, or people to rescue in this area, sadly. “But our warnings are still in effect,” they said sternly. “Stay inside. Don’t go anywhere unless absolutely necessary. And always stay away from downed power lines.” Yes, of course. Sorry it didn’t come down like you had hoped. But I’m liking it a lot. That’s what I thought. Monday Night Football coming right up.

Sure, Sandy was a bad hurricane. The worst in 100 years, in New York City and on the Jersey Shore, maybe the worst ever there. Just unbelievable devastation, with staggering loss of property and some lives, even. They’re struggling now with the after-effects, and will be struggling and rebuilding for a long time. But for me, and for most people in the surrounding areas, the storm of century turned out to be a little hiccup, really. We got through fine, with few effects and little damage. Just as we would have gotten through fine without all that hysteria from the media.

It’s been suggested that I might be a “storm denier,” whatever that is. Maybe I am. It’s never fun to see a big old hurricane come roaring up the coast. I try to tune it out, all the noise from all the hype, yes. So if that makes me a storm denier, so be it. That doesn’t mean I don’t prepare. It just means I take what I hear with a healthy dose of skepticism. And not panic. What will come will come. You don’t have to proclaim Armageddon to tell me a disaster might be approaching.


There’s another kind of perfect storm bearing down on us. One that will wreak havoc and destruction far worse than any Sandy could ever dream of. This storm makes me particularly grumpy, because it’s a lot harder to prepare for the aftermath. It will unleash upon the land next Tuesday. It’s called “the presidential election.”

It’s the most important election in our history, of course. Just like they all are, every four years. How that claim can be made with a straight face, again and again, escapes me. But somehow it always is, and somehow people always fall for it. I’m not knocking anyone, here. Believe what you want, be who you are. Do what you choose to. I’m just telling it how I see it. And don’t come knocking on my door proselytizing. It won’t work. Oh, and one more thing. If you actually believe the problems facing this country can or will be solved through the current terminally corrupt two-party political system, you are seriously deluded.

I detest politics. I detest both political parties in this country. And I am sick to the point of beyond exhaustion of the whole thing. The rah, rah, the marching “troops,” the blind partisanship, all of it. It’s all a vacuous exercise in abject futility.

Politics is a disreputable, dishonorable and despicable profession. And hard boiled partisans of both parties are, well, I’ll bite my tongue a bit, here. To say this much: Their guy is God and the other guy is the devil. That’s how they see it. And they will brook no criticism of their guy. None. Still, many of those partisans are very fine people, and many of them are my good friends. Except when it comes to this one issue. Then they’re simply unhinged.

I keep an eye on the race because it’s impossible not to, from all the noise around me. Whiplash from starkly opposing posts on Facebook, thousands and thousands of status updates, enough to drive you batty. (Well, I guess I do my own share of political postings, but I skewer both parties.) Wave after wave of incessant radio ads. I don’t watch much local TV, so I’ve been spared the commercials, mostly. Thankfully. And I don’t know who will pull it out, Obama or Romney. And no one else does, either, despite all the pontificating you hear. Whoever wins, the other side will scream bloody murder. Fraud. That’s how the system works now. Like two street gangs in a deadly struggle for power, using whatever means necessary. Which is exactly what it is.

The race could go either way, I guess. The servile, sycophant fawning mainstream media keeps braying that it will be Obama, of course. Those guys retain not a shred of professional credibility. They not only support Obama, they actively go out of their way to cover up his scandals and his failures. They sing hosannas to the Messiah. It’s sickening to see and hear.

Here’s my take on both candidates. (If you’re an Obama partisan, keep reading. He’s the president, so he goes first. I’ll get to Romney soon enough.)

If Obama wins a second term, the US economy will simply collapse. I don’t know when, maybe a year, maybe two. The man has no concept of how a real economy works. Big government and bigger government, those seem to be the only options he knows. And the business world is holding back, from fear of his socialist policies. Fear of his vile massive boondoggle that is ObamaCare, which in and of itself will destroy lives and countless small businesses. I work for a small business. And people are not spending money, because of Obama. They’re scared to. And businesses are not expanding because they’re scared of Obama. I can tell you that fact first hand. You can’t plunder the producers forever. The golden goose will die. There is no free lunch. There will never be a free lunch. We are pretty much in Atlas Shrugged territory, here.

If Romney wins, an economic boom will be unleashed upon the land. And things will surge, at least short term. The inevitable will be delayed a few years, but the inevitable will still come. But far more troubling, Romney is a Republican. And Republicans love nothing more than to plunge madly into another senseless, brutal, absolutely immoral war. He will do that. Attack Iran, probably. Something Obama, to his enormous credit, has staunchly refused to do. The Imams there have been designated as our current boogeymen. They’re mad and evil, all of them. And as a reflection of their leaders, all Iranians are mad and evil too, including the masses of innocent civilians. That’s how propaganda works.

Perpetual war is the health of the state. And I am stridently, passionately anti-war. Like my father was all his life, and still is. I’m not a pacifist, like he claims to be, though. I will leave you in peace, but if you come at me to harm me, I will use whatever force necessary to defend myself. But when it comes to war, I see it as he does. I’m there, with him. I just arrived through a different door. Funny, how that big circle works sometimes.

It’s irrational, and it’s so far from what Christ taught, the insatiable blood lust for war that afflicts many if not most American Christians. It’s shameful, the mindless braying. Real people are dying, and they cheer and sing. But the Lord will hear the innocent blood that cries to Him from desolate war-ravaged lands far away. From the killing fields in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya and the whole Mideast. Those are His children, too, the ones killed by US bombs. As are the ones who starved or died from lack of medicines because of US sanctions. Those are His children, too, the ones maimed or incinerated by US drone strikes. (And yes, Obama is killing indiscriminately with drone strikes, too, as the partisan Left cowers in craven silence.) All blood is red. It doesn’t matter who is shedding it. God will never bless an aggressor nation. Especially not a nation that engages in such indiscriminate civilian slaughter. He will not, because He is Love. And love and murder are incompatible in any honest frame of reference.

So there you have it. Those are your options. In this election you have a choice, all right. Two parties. Two candidates. It’s a choice between the destruction of our economy at home, or the blood and death, the senseless slaughter of people far away who have never done a thing to harm us. What price, our own economic comfort? What price, the slaughter of innocents we don’t know and will never know? What price, love?

It’s a devil’s bargain, either way. Take your pick. Choose your poison. Because when it comes to these two candidates, those are the only choices you have.



  1. You speak the truth, Ira: about politics, about politicians, about the main stream media. However, you have a way of writing about the truth that makes me smile.

    Comment by Sandra Neel Hutchins — November 2, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

  2. I somewhat agree with your look at the 2 candidates,but I think you do have to vote on moral issues,,Obama did go to war,Libya,,maybe not a ground fight but he did kill aplenty with the bombs and then left an ambassador unprotected (who never should have been there)who ended up dead.
    He openly supports the murder of babies,,openly supports sodomy,and many other vile communistic idea’s.
    Romney is far from perfect but has run a business and has some values in morality,

    Comment by Gideon Yutzy — November 2, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

  3. Great post. I can’t fully support either candidate. I support Obama’s stance on most civil liberties issues and consider him the better candidate on war related issues, as he is less likely to embroil us in another useless “anti terror” war. But Obama seems to miss the mark on most if not all economic issues. As Mark Twain stated, “Principles have no force unless one is well fed”, and a spiraling economy puts everything else to a lower priority. So in short, no matter who I vote for, I won’t be entirely happy with my vote (not that it will make any difference).

    Comment by Howard Wagler — November 3, 2012 @ 1:29 am

  4. The Lybia debacle did it for me; I lost my sense of my country. I thank you for “Storm #2″ synopsis. I see the “end times” looming….I was naive enough to believe I’d never see these things in my lifetime.

    Comment by Maggie Newman — November 3, 2012 @ 6:14 am

  5. I agree with you about the media hysteria. I live on Long Island and last fall, when Hurricane Irene was looming, there were many unnecessary mandatory evacuations, which inconvenienced scores of people and financially impacted them as well as government resources. I firmly believe that the “chicken little” hysteria from last year resulted in apathy in the areas which were tragically affected this year.

    We are now in a” CYA” (cover your bottom) society and I don’t see this mentality improving. We can not depend on the media to impact our decisions in either politics or storm preparations. We need to dig deep, do the research and come up with our own common sense solutions.

    Ira, I know that many of your readers are good religious people and ask that they pray for the many people in NY and NJ whose lives are forever changed by this storm. Thanks for the soap box.

    Comment by Susan M — November 3, 2012 @ 11:26 am

  6. Yeah, well, we stood in line for three hours and voted. We voted for a president, a school board member, some judges, and on several questions which were put to the voters: should children of illegal immigrants be allowed to attend community colleges, should same-sex folks be allowed to marry, should a glitzy casino be built in our county, should the Democrats be allowed to redraw the lines of voting districts to suit themselves. Democracy is messy, but the alternative is worse. I saw old folks in wheelchairs and walkers waiting their turn to vote. I appreciate the effort they made to exercise their rights.

    Comment by cynthia r chase — November 3, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

  7. I agree with most of the things you say, I don’t listen to all the debates or the news,(Only Local)
    I don’t get upset over tornado or storm warnings. I do prepare for them as best I can and I trust the Lord
    Jesus Christ to handle the rest.
    I will be so glad when this election is over, so I can get on with living what time I have left and tell the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and only thru Him can we have the forgiveness of sin and Salvation by His blood. Also, this USA needs to get back to the Bible and get our lives in tune with Him.
    Thanks again for the good blog….
    In Christ
    Linda Morris

    Comment by Linda Morris — November 3, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

  8. In this election, the primary issue is the repentance of God’s people for the shedding of innocent blood. This is critical: 2Kings 24:3-4. Even if we look just at the civil angle, the first and primary reason for God to have ordained civil government is: prevention of the shedding of human blood (Gen. 9:6).

    Government “sponsored” (controlled, Socialized) HealthCare will result in further abortion, euthanasia (killing of old and any other “unfit,” as defined by distant Statist-vetted regulators), and Who know what else. Either of the two “put up” Presidential candidates will continue to push government HealthCare, and its intentional, TAX-FUNDED, killing and mistreatment. All completely unConstitutional; which is to say, Illegal. Obama wants it from a centralized “federal” (National) level; Romney wants it state-by-state – thereby effectively defanging the only civil entity (our state governments) big enough to actually oppose unConstitutional federal acts. States can do this Legally, through NULLIFICATION. To see why either of the “two” candidates fails on this account, see this couple minute analysis:

    I voted for a write-in candidate for President: Virgil Goode (with Jim Clymer for VP). For the future, please download and study the CP platform: This is a good outline of the kind of restraint of government we must seek in order to have liberty once again. Including economic liberty to have a business and keep the hard-earned profits. (I also voted for Libertarians where I could; though I would prefer CP candidates.)

    But make no mistake, the crucial elected positions are those in our state governments. This is one reason the Statist media tries to keep our eyes on just who will be President.

    But more basic is for prayer meetings to arise, … including prayers which also advance the work of those who will lead in communities, counties, and states. This is the only way to stem the coming tyranny. This is why the colonists and Founders made what we know as America. Christians who do not understand this are ignorant of history, and do not even understand their own Bibles in terms of what it says about the Kingdom of God. We are not destined for failure. We must and will win, and see earth-wide redemption. The only question is who will have faith to advance that.

    I highly recommend reading A Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer (rather than arguing with me). He saw this coming and warned of it in the 1980s, as a result of which I sat in front of abortion mills and experienced a number of jails – to the glory of God.

    Excuse my soapbox, but this is Ira’s place and is one of the few I know that understand this. God have mercy on us.

    Comment by LeRoy — November 3, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

  9. Blah,blah,blah…I’m so sick of hearing about politics! I’m sick of the political games, the bashing, the corruption, the fact that we have the audacity to think WE are putting someone on the throne to “save” us when there is One already there who I’m sure has no intentions of moving any time soon. Let us raise our intellect to that of a sheep (Heaven help us) and listen to the voice of our Shepherd.

    We, boys and girls of the Lord Jesus Christ, are It. We are Jesus with skin. No governmental agency is going to stop abortion. Why? I don’t think God gave them that job to do. Government = blob on the radar screen. A faceless entity that you just can’t place your finger on. It’s just so…..big. But you have a face and you can volunteer at a Christian crisis pregnancy center or better yet, instead of paying $50 for a rock concert or sporting event, donate that money to them. How about people who are hungry? Is their box of Cheerios going to come from Washington? Or is it going to come from your cupboard or pantry? Satans strategy- To keep our focus on “The Blob” instead of on Jesus and what He’s all about.

    Ira, I don’t want to be nit picky about this, but I wanted to comment on something your wrote about people being killed at the hands of the U.S. You said they were God’s children, too. I think they are God’s creation and God loves them very much and wants them to be in Heaven with Him, but I don’t think they are God’s children. Being a child of God means you know who your Daddy is. This is why the Bible clearly states that we, being God’s children because we have accepted Jesus Christ into our hearts, are to tell others about Him so that they will accept God as their Papa, too. You’re just not born into being a child of God.

    Love your blog! It’s a great outlet and conversation piece. And thank you soooooo much for sharing yourself with us. Hugs!

    Comment by Francine — November 4, 2012 @ 3:31 am

  10. Ira,
    I agree with much of what you said regarding the candidates and am frustrated that we need to rely on fact checkers to determine if and what was said is true. Of course the previous statement applies to both Canidates.

    My problem is I am a Replublican who feels the party left me rather than me leaving them.

    “Know a Man by is actions not his words” comes to mind and I find myself noticing that Mitt changes his position depending on who he is addressing at the time. I do not consider that principaled or expressing values that would help me trust the man.

    Mitt is a successful business man and my experience suggests that there are very few principaled men who have reach the apex Mitt has. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a wealthy man to enter heaven. Warren Buffet comes to mind as a recent exception, at least from my limited perception. It seems Mitt has learned from his prior vacillations and now gives very little details of future plans to correct our problems.

    In my opinion, both men are trying to get into office for their own personal gain. It is interesting to hear media reports of the Canidates personal wealth before and after leaving office.

    Using my fact checker barometer, though both fall short, Obama seems to be more honest and transparent. I would rather have an honest man in office than one who seems to trend to deception or obfuscation.

    Comment by Karl Nunne — November 4, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

  11. Still chewing on this piece. Want to spit it out. Already made a long comment, yet it’s still pulsing about the brain.

    Ira, this writing is so futile. A part of me is scratching, scrambling, desperate to not accept it. I don’t like it, I don’t want it! Yet….it’s the truth. And it’s always been the truth as described in 1 Samuel 8:10-21 when the Israelites insisted on a king. God’s rule wasn’t good enough for them and it’s the same way today.
    Somebody please tell me “What is new under the sun?”

    You know, the whole of the Bible has but one message-“Turn to God”. And God just isn’t going to let up on that…for now. There is nothing more to say.

    Except this-what’s a boondoggle?

    Comment by Francine — November 5, 2012 @ 12:35 am

  12. Copy from Max Lucado:

    Let others lose sleep over the election. Let others grow bitter from party or petty rivalries. Let others cast their hope with the people of the elephant or the donkey. Not followers of Jesus. We place our trust in the work of God.

    How many kings has he seen come and go? How many nations has he seen stand and fall? He is above them all. And he oversees them all. So, while others get anxious, we don’t. Here is what we do: we pray.

    “First of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim.2:1-4 NIV).

    It is time to take this job seriously. Over the next hours and days ahead, turn your heart toward heaven and ask God to:

    Unite our country
    Strengthen us
    Appoint and anoint our next president
    God’s promise is clear:

    “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14 NIV).

    Only God can unite the nations. On this election day, let’s ask him to do just that with ours.

    Dear Heavenly Father,

    You have given us this promise: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

    So, we pray to you. We turn from evil and look to you, our God. Please:

    Unite us

    Strengthen us

    Appoint and anoint our next president

    In the name of Christ we pray,


    Ira and all reading,our nation and the whole world is missing GOD.”Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselfs. Do what it says.” James 1:22

    Comment by Warren — November 7, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

  13. Hmmmmmm…. I think you’ve been listening to some weird voices. Doom and gloom.

    The economy will suffer, and things will not be the America we love, but the ecomomy will survive obama.

    And the republicans don’t want to kill people just to kill people.

    Comment by Gerald D Hochstetler, Jr. — November 9, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

  14. Ira, I love reading your blogs. You speak the truth….you are free!!!!! Would you ever consider putting your blogs in a book form and release them that way? It would be like a diary of truth and I think it would be a wonderful way to publish an accounting of your life. Yours is the only blog I read. Your words are fascinating and the world needs to hear you!!!!

    Comment by Pam — November 20, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

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