Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Battle of the Bulge is occurring in Oregon.

There is a bulge that is about 100 square miles in size and growing. This is about the size of the city of Portland. It might be a new volcano or a major shift of molten rock under the center of the Cascade Range. The bulge began around 1997 and has grown about one and one half inches per year. I empathize. They actually first saw it from space. So, I guess it is true that you can be so close to something you cannot see the truth.

The size of the bulge could indicate a pool of magma that is one mile across and 65 feet deep. That is a hunka hunka burnin' love. This “lake” of magma rises about 10 feet per year, causing the surface to bulge upward. If it is not a lake of magma, it could be the formation of a new volcano. That would be pretty exciting to scientists.

Oregon already has four of the 18 most active volcanoes in the nation. They are Mount Hood, Crater Lake, Newberry and South Sister. Scientists do not expect any damage from this new one. It make a good scenario for a movie, however.

Next door, in Washington, there is also some activity. Mount St. Helens has been building new lava domes. They usually collapse. Also, a series of strong earthquakes, greater than magnitude 3, have occurred recently about 50 miles south of the mountain. Last Thursday there was a magnitude 3.1 quake early that caused a rockfall. To continue the metaphor, that is a whole lotta shakin goin on. These rockfalls that result from earthquakes send up plumes of ash. One reached 30,000 feet this year.

The volcano, that erupted in 1980 and killed 57 people, became active again last September. Tons of rock is being extruded into the crater. The new dome is 7,600 feet high, as of this spring. In addition to these strong earthquakes, there have been constant temblors of magnitude 1 or 2, constant as in occuring every four to seven minutes.

Further south along the coast, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shook things up when said he will veto a bill that would have made California the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. Schwarzenegger said the legislation conflicts with the intent of voters as expressed in an initiative five years ago. Proposition 22 prevented California from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states or countries. It specifically states “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”. I guess the Legislature does not care what the people want. Most of them are liberals, so I am sure they feel they know what the people need better than the people do. Liberals believe in government for the people, but not by the people. Many judges agree with the liberals. In Massachusetts and Vermont, for example, the courts recognized homosexual marriage without any legislation at all. Thousands of years of consesus about the definition of marriage had no impact on them at all. California may follow suit, pardon the pun. A lower court has already ruled this year overturning Proposition 22 and a 1978 law that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. That is on appeal, as homosexual marriage is not appealing to most Californians, as liberal as they are. It is nice to know even Californians have limits, even if federal judges do not.

Democratic Assemblyman Paul Koretz had called bans on gay marriage “the last frontier of bigotry and discrimination.” And I thought that applied to liberal thinking about Christians.

Swinging around to Texas, the Mexican army has invaded again. It is not quite the same as the invasion of 1846. A Mexican army convoy crossed into the United States a few days ago bringing aid to hurricane victims. Way to go, amigos. After all the tensions between our countries, I am truly impressed by this sympathetic action. 45 vehicles brought water treatment plants and kitchens to San Antonio, where the soldiers will feed and help the evacuees. The Mexican government has also promised more aid.

I am truly impressed.
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