Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Obama, Unbound

“I bid my hideous progeny go forth and prosper.” [Introduction to Frankenstein]

The year of 1816 was known as The Year Without A Summer. The previous year, in April 1815, Mount Tambora, in Sumbawa, Indonesia, erupted. An estimated 92,000 people perished either directly or indirectly from the effects.

Average global temperatures decreased enough to cause significant agricultural problems around the world. In May 1816, an unusual frost killed off all the crops in the Northeastern United States and Canada. An incessant rain destroyed the harvests in England and northern Europe. Snowstorms occurred in June. Nearly a foot of snow fell in Quebec City.

A persistent dry fog was visible in the Northeastern U.S. In China, the cold weather killed trees, rice crops and even water buffalo, especially in northern China. Floods destroyed many remaining crops.

Mount Tambora’s eruption disrupted China’s monsoon season, resulting in overwhelming floods in the Yangtze Valley in 1816. In India the delayed summer monsoon caused late torrential rains that aggravated the spread of cholera from a region near the River Ganges in Bengal to as far as Moscow.

In the ensuing bitter winter of 1817, when the thermometer dropped to minus 26°F, New York's Upper Bay froze deeply enough for horse-drawn sleighs to be driven from Brooklyn to Governors Island.

The ruination of crops sent many Northeastern farmers westward, precipitating the great Westward Movement. The famine was said to have inspired the beginnings of the invention of the bicycle, the Mormon Church, and the introduction of mineral fertilizers.

In Switzerland, an ice dam formed below a glacier in 1818. The ice dam collapsed, catastrophically. Two years before, Mary Shelley and friends were visiting with poet Lord Byron at his home in Switzerland. The continually rainy weather forced them to stay indoors.

To amuse themselves, they held a writing contest. The result was “Frankenstein.”
Mount Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland has not had any effect, so far, on agriculture. But it’s wreaking havoc with airline travel. Iceland’s Mid-Atlantic volcanoes do not rest quietly.

The last eruption was in 2004, with Mount Grimsvotn – Iceland’s most active volcano.
In 1783, Grimsvotn produced the most effusive eruption in a millenia. Accompanied by enormous amounts of sulphur dioxide and fluoride gas, the eruption caused wide-spread crop damage, killed a large number of livestock and caused a severe famine on Iceland.

As a result, one fifth of Iceland's population was killed.

Some consequences of the eruption were felt in other parts of the world. Volcanic fog (the gas cloud from the eruption) drifted over Europe and parts of Asia, altering summer temperatures. This was the first eruption that led scientists to speculate that volcanoes can impact the world's climate.

Did Grimsvotn wake up Eyjafjallajokull, subsequently activating other Icelandic volcanoes? Scientists are worried.

A few years after Grimsvotn erupted in 1783, the newly-formed United States began the process of laying out its laws in a constitution. Various attempts at ending slavery failed.

The eruption of Mount Tambora inspired a generation of writers including Shelley, Byron, and Bronte, who saw the world through a haze of frost.

What will the eruptions of Grimsvotn and Eyjafjallajokull herald? Since 2004, we have witnessed a sudden frost upon America’s freedom of speech and a meltdown of our economy.

Air travel has been seriously disrupted, stranding travelers in foreign lands and crippling the already-struggling airline and tourism industries.

Like Dr. Frankenstein, Obama has fashioned a hideous monster of an economic strategy, trying to strike the spirit of prosperity into limp, lifeless limbs like Medicare and the Stimulus packages.

He has stolen the fire of capitalism and freedom to transmogrify them into a creation of his own fashioning, unearthly, unnatural, and uncontrollable. This monster he has unleashed onto an innocent, unsuspecting world.

Without the divine spark of genuine creation, will this monster, seemingly beneficent, turn on us, devouring our economy and ultimately destroying our great nation? Some recognized this creature for what it is; others have yet to recognize its dangerous nature.

Obama and his assistants have expended an enormous amount of time, and our money, convincing us of the horrors of not having health insurance. Yet, he has not a produced evidence of a single body. Habeas corpus.

He shrouded the creation of this fiend in secrecy. Congress released this thing – a 2,000-page bureaucratic monstrosity – only days before it was to be signed into law. We were assured we’d find out what it said later.

Too late for rectification.

Like Frankenstein’s monster, Obama repeatedly lays the blame for all our country’s financial woes on his predecessor, when history clearly points to the Democrat party and their visions of social justice and redistribution of wealth, a philosophy created shortly after Mary Shelley’s fictitious monster was born.

At the end of the novel, of a friend of Dr. Frankenstein's confronts the monster, who has tormented his creator literally to death.

“…you come here,” he charges, “to whine over the desolation that you have made. You throw a torch into a pile of buildings, and when they are consumed, you sit among the ruins and lament the fall.”

And in Obama’s case, to raise another fiend, Phoenix-like, out of the ashes.


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