Archive for January, 2009

Uncle Sam Profits Most From Exxon Profit! Storm Shifts East
January 31, 2009

Uncle Sam Makes A Lot More Than Exxon from Oil...and the Media Won't Tell You..does that make the media liars by ommission?

Uncle Sam Makes A Lot More Than Exxon from Oil...and the Media Won't Tell You..does that make the media liars by ommission?

Exxon Recent Profit made vs Income Tax Paid

Exxon Recent Profit made vs Income Tax Paid

I’m a bit busy today so your benevolent dictator has suspended “this date in history” but I do have something of interest and something for you to ponder this Super Bowl Weekend.   Most of the headlines you read concerning ExxonMobil and its 2008 report will shout about the company’s record profit.  Here is one from Fox News that does exactly that.  I chose that outlet on purpose because so many people claim that it is so biased.  I personally find it biased a shade but not nearly as much as some other networks are biased in the other direction.  Here is an example of even Fox News writing a story and burying the headline in favor of something that is true, but is biased in favor of the opposite side of where its detractors think it is.  Here is another article on the same story from a business site related to the oil and gas industry and they do the same thing. 

From CNN-ExxonMobil 2nd Qtr Profit Made Vs Total Taxes Paid

ExxonMobil 2nd Qtr Profit Made Vs Total Taxes Paid

Here’s my beef.  Is it really news that Exxon made record profits in 2008?  I mean that is what every one already knows or at least suspected.  What these article bury is that in the 4th quarter, Exxon saw a decline in profits from the previous year of 33%.  But the reall big part of the story that gets buried is the taxes ExxonMobil pays versus their profit.

ExxonMobil had a $45.22 Billion total profit in 2008.  That is a record.  ExxonMobile PAID $36.5 BILLION IN INCOME TAX.  That comes to a 47% income tax rate, up from 44% from last year.  Now, President Obama campaigned to punish the oil companies.  I say punish because I saw a commercial here in Louisville that then candidate Obama said he wanted to impose a “windfall profits penalty.”  That’s right.  He didn’t even call it a tax he called it a penalty. Now, Exxon’s overall profit margin for 2008 was 10.57%.  Yup..,that’s it.  So, the proposal basically said that Exxon should be “penalized” for making an 11% profit.  How does that sound, especially when you consider that they already are paying 47% in income taxes.  How much is enough?  But..it gets better….

In addition to the $36.5 Billion in income taxes, Exxon Mobil PAID $34.5 BILLION IN SALES TAX.  I’m not done yet.  ExxonMobil ALSO PAID $45.2 BILLION IN “OTHER TAXES.”  

EXXONMOBIL TOTAL TAX BILL FOR 2008 WAS $116.26 BILLION WITH A FINAL PROFIT OF “JUST” $45.22 BILLION

To be fair, I bet much of that sales tax is passed on through to whom they sold their products to, which could be anyone from foreign governments to a typicalSo, the biggest winner by over 250% was…the government.  Uncle Sam profits nearly 3 times as much as ExxonMobil when oil prices are high.  In 2006, all of the US oil companies paid more than the bottom 75% of US taxpayers in income tax..that doesn’t include all of the other taxes that they had to pay.  The corporate bigshots at ExxonMobil do not keep the money for themselves.  No, they share the profits with the shareholders…everyday Americans, America Labor Unions, American Pension Plans…everyone who owns part of ExxonMobil not only enjoyed the rise in the stock price, but also in the dividends.  ExxonMobil’s profits rose by 8% from 2007 to 2008 but they raised their dividend by 13% per share to $40.1 Billion.

Now, don’t you think that all of that information is much more helpful, more interesting and more pertinent to the news story than just ExxonMobil made a record profit?  Isn’t it more interesting to know that government makes nearly 3 times as much money as ExxonMobil does on the business that ExxonMobil is engaged in?  I’m not certain of the exact number but I want to say that ExxonMobil had paid some $250 Billion in the previous 3 years in taxes.  Wouldn’t all of this type of information been helpful in your forming an opinion about the oil industry?  Yet, media types, in my view, are either too stupid. are ignorant and lazy or they deliberately leave out information in order to sway your view.  And you are not informed.  If you want to learn truth, you cannot rely on the media.

GFS Snow Prospects Out to Sea?

GFS Snow Prospects Out to Sea?

Weather Bottom Line:  I’m not too surprised at the data now coming out concerning the next storm.  You see, quite often when the subtropical jet inititalizes a low along the Gulf Coast and then phases with the polar jet, the low will track along the northern Gulf Coast and then up the East Coast and you get a “Noreaster” with big snow for the east coast.  This is also one of the more common scenarios for snow in the Dixie states.  The way the models were shaping up, it was taking the low on a more inland route that would bring the storm up the Appalacians and bring rain to snow in our area with a whole mess of snow in Eastern Kentucky. 

Compare to Fri Data and see how far GFS and other models have moved storm track east

Compare to Fri Data and see how far GFS and other models have moved storm track east

If you recall, I had said the problem with this was not that the storm would not form, but instead where it would go, especially given that the storm had not even formed yet and it really even hasn’t at this time either.  But, the current line of thinking makes some sense as the trof digs in a little faster and so the whole long wave pattern gets shifted east.  In fact, there is some indication that the storm may end up being so far off the coast that the Northeast doesn’t get a huge dump of snow…but its too far out to really tell.  We do have the prospects of a vortmax coming down from the northwest through the flow on Tuesday and there may be enough wrap around moisture from the storm that will by that time be off the mid-Atlantic coast, to wring out some accumulating snow.  My guess is that if the current scenario of the track plays out, we’d get a little snow on Monday and into Tuesday. Ice is not likely and snow accumulations total would be minimal.  In fact, the 12Z Sat GFS and NAM have just a half inch of snow total for the GFS and the NAM blows it off altogether.   Keep in mind, if you are traveling, that the farther east or northeast you go, the greater the snow potential for those days.  Also..the track is still a bit iffy.  Remember it still only exists in the minds of machines and in the last 36 hours the track has been shifted east about 800 miles.  Also remember US Grant’s admonission that “man proposes, God disposes.”

Advertisements

How To Hang A Horse in a Tree and More Snow
January 30, 2009

 

I wonder how high the river crested?

I wonder how high the river crested?

No Fishing at Cherokee Park

No Fishing at Cherokee Park

On This Date In History: If you remember the photos above, you are probably collecting Social Security. Those photos are from the 1937 flood in Louisville. The 1937 flood is by far the greatest flood event in recorded history on the Ohio River. There really wasn’t much snow but there was some in the Ohio River basin. Also, the ground was pretty hard from having been freezing in many places to the runoff was rapid from a bunch of rain in the Ohio Valley. As an example, Louisville got 15 inches of rain from the 12th to the 24th of January and 19 inches for the month. The entire Ohio Valley basin received an over abundance of rain. The Ohio River in Louisville crested on January 27, 1937.

Looking West Up Broadway From Brown Hotel Roof

Looking West Up Broadway From Brown Hotel Roof

On this date in 1937

, the people of Louisville held their breath in hopes that the river would continue to recede from record levels of over 85 feet on the lower gauge of the McAlpine Lock and just over 52 feet on the upper gauge. The flood stage is 55 feet and 23 feet respectively.

 

The Falls of the Ohio is the result of a geological rise. There is a fall in the elevation of some 26.5 feet over 2 miles. The rapids were said to be spectacular with one observer in 1811 saying it was “more spectacular

Looks Like One Boat Should Be Called Titanic

Looks Like One Boat Should Be Called Titanic

 than Niagara.” It was said you could hear the roar of the water from miles away. Trouble with this was that when the river was low, it was not navigatable. If you were going down stream, you took your cargo and unloaded it at Louisville and then reloaded on another vessel at Portland. The falls are part of the reason for Louisville’s existence. It was either at the end of 1830 or 1831 that the Louisville and Portland Canal opened up as a way to circumnavigate the falls in times of low water. Later, in 1870, the US Army Corps of Engineers embarked on a canalization of the Ohio River project. It would create over 50 locks and dams along the river to ensure consistent navigation. The final dam was the one at Louisville in 1925, though it has been updated many times. The last was in the 1960’s when they went from a wicker dam to a permanent structure across the entire river.

Madison and Clinton...Fred Sanford's Yard

Madison and Clinton...Fred Sanford's Yard

I want to know if the canalization of the Ohio had any effect on the flood of 1937. It was the greatest flood of 175 years of civilization and evidence suggests that it was the greatest in geologial history. But…there wasn’t a series of dams on the river for all time. The role of the Corps of Engineers, even today, is not for flood control but strictly navigation.  Would the flood of 1937 been less if the river had been allowed to flow freely and is that the reason why in geologic time there has not been a bigger flood? I dunno and in pragmatic terms I suppose it doesn’t matter. Doesn’t mean I’m not curious.

Some of these photos came from the Kentucky Historical Society and there are lots more where they came from so feel free to Click Here to see more and other cool photos they have.
GFS Snow Accumulation By Tue Morning

GFS Snow Accumulation By Tue Morning

Weather Bottom Line: Snow White got stuck in her car on a city street on Thursday.  She discovered not all of the roads were cleared.  We had our phone on Wednesday night but by Thursday morning, it was out.  Not sure what was different between night and day.  But, ‘were still fortunate to be with power.  Having been without heat twice already this winter, I know how difficult it can be.  Keep an eye on each other, especially the elderly.  No need to amplify a crummy situation with tragedy.  As a front comes through on Friday, look for snow showers but the bigger concern will be the wind kicking up to 10-20 mph which may make some trees come down and amplify the power problems.  If you’re like me and have power, be prepared just in case you lose it.
The story remains the same and we’ve got some consensus started to build between the GFS, Canadian and European models.  They form a low south of New Orleans and generally track the storm toward say, Roanoke, VA.  What we have is the subtropical jet nosing pretty far north.  This is what happened earlier this week and the general pattern doesn’t change.  A speed max comes through the flow as it moves into the baroclinic zone of the Gulf, a low forms south of New Orleans.  The polar jet dives down and gets in phase with the subtropical jet.  The low then shoots up through the flow to the northeast.  This is the type of pattern that brings snow and ice storms to the South and also into our area.  As I said, its the same scenario as earlier in the week.  This time, it
Note Speed Max at 300 mb in relation to surface low on GFS Mon. Morning

Note Speed Max at 300 mb in relation to surface low on GFS Mon. Morning

would seem to me that the low is going to track pretty far to our east so the risk of a big ice storm is minimized somewhat and the biggest snow should be to our east.  Having said that, there are two things to remember.  First is that there are still several days to go and the low doesn’t even exist yet except in a computer’s dream.  It will probably form but the exact track is still up in the air and a deviation of just 100 miles east or west would be a difference between hardly any snow and a whole bunch.  As it stands, if it were to come out as currently forecast, then were in the 3-6 inch neighborhood.  The other thing to consider is that, while it would not set up as a huge icing situation, this scenario would start out as rain, then go over to sleet before turning to snow.  Freezing rain….I wouldn’t be overly concerned at this point because we would have warmed well above freezing by Sunday afternoon. However, rain on top of old snow and ice may be a problem.  Anyway…its worth watching.  Still thinking mid 30’s on Saturday and the 40’s on Sunday.

3 Fugitives Foreshadow Indepedence? Another Winter Storm?
January 29, 2009

Three Fugitives An Earlier Indicator Of American Independence?
Three Fugitives An Earlier Indicator Of American Independence?
This Chuck Lost His Head
This Chuck Lost His Head

On This Date in History: 

In 1649, there was a bit of a revolution going on in England.  Oliver Cromwell had led a revolt against the monarchy and, on this date in 1649, 59 people signed the death warrant for King Charles I who was later executed.  Now, the little turnabout didn’t last long and by 1660, the House of Stuart returned to the throne in the form of King Charles II.  The second Chuck called for an amnesty for all who had played a role in his father losing his head except for three men.  Edward Whalley was the cousin of Oliver Cromwell and he led an army during the uprising.  He and two of his officers, John Dixwell and William Goffe, signed the document with the other 56 signers.  Sensing that there was a new sherrif in town, the trio decided it was best to get out of Dodge.  Dixwell went to Prussia while Goffe and Whalley set sail for Boston in the New World.  Goffe and Whalley did nothing to disguise themselves and made no apologies for their actions when they landed in America. 

Chuck the younger was pretty non-plussed at the prospects of the men hiding

This Chuck Lost The Fugitives

This Chuck Lost The Fugitives

out in the colonies and mocking his authority so he posted a pretty hefty reward for their capture. By the time an arrest warrant had made its way through the formalities, Goffe and Whalley had lit out.  Off to New Haven they went where they were welcomed with open arms as they had been in Boston.  But, hot on their trails was a pair of gumshoes who were loyal to the king.  Even at this early time in America’s history, there was some resistance to the crown as the deputy governor of the colony was slow and was uncooperative in keeping the matter a secret.  I suppose the outlaws got tipped off because they used the time bought by the authorities fumbling to escape again, this time to  a cave where a farmer quietly left food for them every day. 

Seems Whalley and Goffe had lots of helpers who were sympathetic to their cause and they continued to get assistance wherever they went.  At one point, they wanted to surrender but their advocates would not hear of it.  After 4 years of futility, Charles II had enough and he sent troops to Boston to try and grab the boys on the lam.  But they had moved again to Hadley, Massachusetts.  While they lived in freedom in Hadley, their comrad Dixwell had left Prussia and moved to Connecticut where he disguised himself as a retired merchant.  He died there in 1688.  Meanwhile. Goffe and Whalley continued to live openly but did use subterfuge to communicate with their families back in the home country.  Whalley never was caught and, like Dixwell, died peacefully and free in 1674.

Goffe Rallies the Town

Goffe Rallies the Town

Goffe was another matter.  The story is that while the citizenry of Hadley, including some of the king’s men, were attending church when Indians attacked.  From out of nowhere, a old bearded man showed up.  He organized and led the town’s defense. When the danger had passed, the senior citizen disappeared as mysteriously as he had appeared.  Some good loyalists spotted Goffe in Hartford and promptly reported it to authorities who refused to arrest him.  Goffe died in 1679.

Seems old Chuck never did get satisfaction for his father’s death and I suppose the “bad guys” ended up getting the last laugh.  This perhaps illustrates that America’s independent streak had begun almost as soon as the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock.  One hundred years after the death of the last elusive signer of the death warrant of King Charles I, the American colonies were in full revolt and revolution against the King George III…who was about as successful with America as Chuck the Second.

GFS For Midday 2.2.09

GFS For Midday 2.2.09

Weather Bottom Line: Things turned out pretty much as I expected and many of my fears were born out.  Snow White and I were quite blessed this time in that we never lost power, the cable or the phone, though the latter two lines are on the ground.  I haven’t figured out how I still have the cable and the phone.  Snow White was quite restless as we listened to trees cracking and crashing every 5 minutes.  Poor old Piney took a beating but remains standing.  So many of his big branches are gone that it looks like a Dr. Suess tree now.  But, interestingly, the one lower branch remaining is the one that Snow White uses to hang the bird feeder.  Today, amidst all of the carnage of Piney’s big branches strewn around the base, the birds and squirrels were nosing about looking for the bird feeder.  Snow White’s Cafe was back in business by the afternoon.  Again, I’m quite thankful not to have lost the power…it would have been the third time this season we would have been left shivering.

Okay, the excitment is done for now with it remaining cold through the end of the week.  Flurries or largely insignicant light snow is likely on Friday.  If the skies clear on Friday night, temperatures near zero would not be out of the question.  But, any clouds or wind and we may only get down to the mid to upper single digits.  Like that’s any consolation. 

Yesterday, I pointed out the potential for another round of winter weather early next week.  I see that the guys on TV are now making mention…do they read my blog?  Maybe but in all likelihood they saw the same data that I did and now see it again so they are giving it some consideration.  So, if this shakes out, this is how it goes.  Our temperatures move up toward 4o on Sunday in advance of the next system.  That makes sense…storm approaching, flow becomes southerly and temperatures climb.  Then we get a cold rain on Monday keeping the groundhog in his hole which would mean more winter.  That rain turns to snow late Monday into Tuesday.  Right now, the GFS has increased its snow prognastication to something between 4 and 7 inches followed by more pretty cold air.

How this would materialize would fit the tv guy’s idea that we have to have cold air and then a storm within 24 hours.  This past event shows the frivolity of that “rule of thumb” but this next one would prove to fit that model.  Front approaches on Sunday, temps rise. Front comes through on Monday, rain.  Upper level trof shows up in the jet stream and digs all the way down to the Gulf Coast and picks up a low forming off the Louisiana coast.  That low zips up through the flow, brings a bunch of Gulf moisture and tosses it up over the cold air and, voila, we get more winter weather.  The ECMWF also has that solution.  My guess is that this scenario will play out.  The question on the table would be the track of the low.  If it gets picked up at the right time, it moves just to our east and we get dumped on.  If it’s slow to move, then it would get shunted more to the east, say from New Orleans to Raleigh and then we wouldn’t get much snow.  So, it’s out there  and the prospects of another pretty decent winter event is certainly possible.

Two Men-Two Second Chances; Second Round of Ice/Snow
January 28, 2009

Kirby Alive and Well With Wife

Kirby Alive and Well With Wife

On This Date in History: 

Ken Kirby is a police officer in South Carolina.  He said that he was “healthy as an ox” his whole life until this past Christmas he started feeling nauseous and then had tightness in his chest and pain in his arms.  On December 27, he was rushed to the hospital and he went into cardiac arrest.  He died.  Then he was revived.  45 minutes later, his heart stopped again and the doctors told the family that they could not get a pulse.  He died again.  Several minutes after the family said their goodbyes, a nurse monitoring noticed a slight pulse had returned.  Kirby was back again.  He had surgery and an hour after the surgery he was sitting up and chatting to the family who just  a few hours prior said goodbye to the man who had died twice…and returned.Here is the local story with many details.  Here’s the whole story with video.  On this date in history, Ken Kirby is back on the job, a month after he rose from the dead, twice.

Richard III Jackson Assassin?

Richard III Jackson Assassin?

On This Date in 1835 another case of two chances was in the works. It wouldn’t happen for a couple of days but it was being planned by a handsome young man named Richard Lawrence.  He had lived a normal life until around 1832 when for unknown reasons he became delusional.  He really got into trouble when on this date he was fully involved in the belief that he was King Richard III!  He was obsessed with the notion that President Andrew Jackson had killed his father.  Now, Jackson was well known to be in the middle of a banking controversy but this one was a little different.  See, Lawrence, aka King Richard III, thought that Old Hickory was withholding funds of the monarchy in US banks.    So, he set out to kill Jackson.

Andy's Invincible!

Andy's Invincible!

On January 30, 1835 the 68-year-old Jackson was somewhat feeble and he leaned on the arm of a Cabinet member as he exited the House of Representatives where he had been attending a funeral for Congressman Warren Davis.  Hiding behind a column in the Capitol’s east portico was King Richard III…er…Richard Lawrence.  Underneath his cloak were two loaded pistols.  The would be King waited until the president was just 8 feet away when he lept from behind his hiding place raising both weapons.  He fired the pistol in his right hand.  The sound of the exploding percussion cap was heard all around the chamber.  It was pointed at near point blank range directly at the chest of of Jackson.  But…Old Hickory stood firm.  Suddenly, the old man raised his cane and an energy swelled once more in the old soldier as he began to chase the fleeing assassin.  Right when Jackson was almost on top of him, the assailant fired a second shot from the gun in his left hand.  Again…the sound echoed but nothing happened except King Richard was taken to the ground and escorted roughly from the scene. 

Statisticians (obviously with nothing better to do) have calculated that the odds of two pistols misfiring at 125,000 to 1.  Both guns were loaded correctly and both operated flawlessly in later tests.  It was a cold raw day…and the humidity was high.   Speculation is that the damp weather condition was responsible for the seeming impossible odds of failure. 

Key Called Assailant A Madman!

Key Called Assailant A Madman!

Now, no one had ever attempted an assassination before so the courts determined that the case would be treated as a simple assault.  At that time, it was but a misdemeanor.  The prosecutor has become a rather patriotic figure.  The Washington District Attorney who tried the case was none other than Francis Scott Key, who a few years before had penned the words to the Star Spangled Banner.  Key determined that King Richard III should be treated as a mad man and Lawrence was freed with an insanity plea. 

I’m not sure if he continued to think that he was King Richard III, but Lawrence did live a long time, though his life was confined to asylums where he died in 1861. 

Two men…174 years apart…escaped death not once, but twice.

nws0127

NWS Ice Forecast

NWS Ice Forecast

NWS Snow Forecast

NWS Snow Forecast

Weather Bottom Line:

I told you it would be a mess. Snow White and I had about an inch and a half of sleet on Monday night followed by about 3 inches of snow at our dwarf cottage.  She managed to put out food for the little creatures of the neighborhood around Piney, our big pine tree and we had all sorts of visitors.  But alas, our favorite pine tree that is home to so many squirrels, birds and bunny rabbits is in dire straights.  The light rain all day has accumulated on the branches and Piney is being weighed down.  Over the years he has lost some arms and I fear for the worst.  I always want exciting weather and love snow but I can do without the ice…I never want freezing rain.  I’ve been without heat twice already this season and don’t care to experience that again and do not wish that on anyone.  But, its possible.  We should continue to have frozen precipitation through the pre-dawn hours on Tuesday. While we could move up to just a shade above freezing for a time which may help melt some of the ice on the power lines and trees, the mercury will fall again.  Hopefully, the precip will fall as sleet and not so much freezing rain but the odds of there being no freezing rain are not good. 

NAM 12Z Tue Snow Through Wed Eve

NAM 12Z Tue Snow Through Wed Eve

I’ve included the NWS general forecast as well as their anticipated additional snow totals and ice accumulations.  Obviously, travel will be difficult on Wednesday.  The official snow total at Louisville was 4.1 inches for Tuesday and that is a record for the date, taking Louisville’s total for the season to 7.1 inches.  I think the average seasonal total is somewhere around 15.5 inches.  Lexington recorded 1.7 inches and Indianapolis had3.1 inches after 9pm with snow falling, meaning that the freezing rain line was farther south.  In Jackson County, they were reporting .25 to .50 inches of ice on Tuesday evening.  Other reports were similar. 

Now, we’ve got winds from the northeast and that will insure that cold air will remain at the surface.  The low has been running up from the southwest with a southerly component in the flow aloft that has brought us all of the overrunning moisture and warmer air aloft.  That’s why we haven’t had all snow.  Apparently someone on TV said that we can never get a major winter event with a southerly component and that is absolutely false as that is when we do get major events.  Also, I had a report that a tv guy said that a storm must come through within 24 hours of cold air coming in or we don’t get anything major.  This event shows the frivolity of that statement.  A lot of times guys on TV say things to try to make themselves sound like experts when they in fact, are not.  When I wasn’t sure, I just reported on what was happening instead of trying to make stuff up.  Thats what gives TV guys a bad name.  Cardosi is an ace and you won’t hear that kind of foolishness from him….anyway..enough editorializing…as the low moves by, all of the flow will turn out of the north but there will still be moisture in place.  So, our temperatures will fall, not only at the surface, but aloft as well which will put us back into the ability to form crystals at the upper levels instead of liquid.  So, instead of freezing rain or sleet, we will turn back to snow.  I tell you what…if the 12Z Tue models are correct, then this will be a real problem and the NWS forecast totals may be too low.  The NAM wants to through out .85 inches of freezing precipitation…mainly freezing rain.  Then on Wednesday after sunrise, it advertises 5.4 inches of snow if you use the 10 to 1 ratio.  The GFS wants to give us .72 inches of ice followed by 6.9 inches of snow on Wednesday.  Keep in mind too that the GFS has another 4 inches of snow on Monday and Tuesday…but thats another story and we’ll have to wait to see how it shakes out. 

GFS 12Z Tue Snow Accumulation Through Wed Eve

GFS 12Z Tue Snow Accumulation Through Wed Eve

So…here’s the prognastication.   I suspect that in many areas, the temperatures will be a shade above freezing so the amount of ice that forms may be a bit inhibited for awhile.  I would think another 1/2 inch of ice is certainly not out of the question.  Both models toss out a lot of snow but…I would think that using a 10-1 ratio is probably too much because  it will be a wetter snow…so if we use an 8-1 ration, you get 4-5 inches of snow, which still seems to be alot.  Take into account that some of it will probably fall as sleet initially so knock off another inch or so.  So, lets go with 2-3 inches of snow in Louisville after the icing with higher snow amounts to the north.  If you look at the model maps…toward Indianapolis, there may be about 10 inches of snow with not as much ice.  Hope we all make it through this okay and we don’t lose power.  Piney has already lost a big branch.  We’re sad.

Tragic, Odd Day For Coaches; Winter Storm Warning
January 27, 2009

Coaches Are Often Held In High Regard...But Are they Above the Law?

Coaches Are Often Held In High Regard...But Are they Above the Law?

 

On This Date in History:  You may have read on these here pages a few days about about the Cherry Case.  It had to do with the Cherry Sisters who were so awful, they were popular.  People came in droves to theatres all around the country to see the terrible sister singing act just so they could hurl insults, rocks and garbage.  Newspapermen were consistently cruel but one went too far when he described one of the sisters as being a matronly 50 years of age.  She sued and the case became a landmark in libel law. 

Tragic and Sad Loss

Tragic and Sad Loss

Well, today we have a new case that will be a precedent setting case.  This past summer, a high school football coach was working out his boys when he decided they needed to run wind sprints.  The heat index was high in the 90’s but that’s not too extreme for summer.  At the end, one of the boys unfortunately went down and eventually died from heat stroke.  Apparently the boy was using Creatine and also was on some sort of medication, but no autopsy was performed. It is an incredibly sad and tragic story for the boy and his family.  They will probably never be the same.  The school district had a significant delay on the follow up investigation.  Now, the coach has been charged with a form of negligent homicide in the boys death and he was arraigned on Monday January 26, 2009.  On this date in 2009, the coach is out on his on recognizance until the trial in March.  Coaches across the nation are watching this case closely.  The story is turning into one of international interest.  Here is a note of interest; the game has always been dangerous.  President Theodore Roosevelt threatened to ban the game if the rules weren’t changed to make it more safe.  A Sports Illustrated study shows that from 1967 to 1990, some 300 deaths were attributed to football with 1990 being the only one with zero deaths.  Yet, this is the first time a coach has been charged with a crime.

Team That Lost Is Not Defeated

Team That Lost Is Not Defeated

Meanwhile,  on this date in 2009, a Dallas high school basketball coach is without a job.  Coaches summarily are fired for losing too many games.  This coach was fired for winning too big.  He was the coach of a girls basketball team that last week beat another girls team 100-0.  Reports are the winners were ahead 59-0 at half time and was still shooting 3-pointers in the 4th quarter with many of the starters playing well into the second half.  The national public outcry was loud and the school administrators made a public apology saying it was “shameful” and an “embarrassment.”  The other school’s players didn’t complain but instead said they just wanted to get better.   They knew that the other girls had been playing ball for a number of years and that they were just learning.  The coach couldn’t just let things lie.  Instead, he responded by saying that his players had nothing to be ashamed of and disagreed with the

Heisman Didn't Get Fired, He Got a Trophy!

Heisman Didn't Get Fired, He Got a Trophy!

administration.  That administration fired him over the weekend.  I want to know who scheduled the game in the first place.  Our team in Junior High once beat anothter team 74-0 and another team 83-3.  We were just playing the game. We couldn’t just quit and lie down and if we did, the other team really would have been humiliated.  The greatest college football loss was 222-0 with Georgia Tech beating Cumberland in 1916.  Neither team got a first down because Georgia Tech scored every time it got the ball. Tech coach John Heisman wasn’t fired…they named a trophy for him.  Some reports claim that the game was called after 3 quarters with some of the players on Cumberland going over to Georgia Tech.  Now, that is shameful.  It’s parents who usually get all worked up over it .  But, the coach probably should have kept his opinion to himself.

Weather Bottom Line:   Well, it’s here and it’s still going to be a wait and see proposition.  Okay..there is the snow on Tuesday morning.  It’s the sleet/freezing rain prospects on Tuesday that cannot really be said with 100% certainty.  When we make a forecast, we generally do the best we have with the data available but we’re talking about such a small area of different conditions that it’s really tough what to say when you want to pin point it to a specific location.   The earth is 25,000 miles around and, in this case, a

NAM 00Z Tue Snow Accumulation Through Wed Eve

NAM 00Z Tue Snow Accumulation Through Wed Eve

mere 40 miles can be the difference between a foot of snow and sleet and freezing rain with everywhere in between getting something in between.  Now, when I look at the breakdown of the 18Z Mon 01.26.09 GFS, it comes out with 4 inches of snow through Tuesday morning.  Then there is about 3/4″ of frozen precip followed by another 3.5″ of snow on Tuesday night.  That seems to hold with the graphical depiction of the 00Z GFS Tuesday Snow accumulation forecast.  The NAM 00Z Tuesday breaks down with 6.2 inches of snow until midday Tuesday at which time it turns to over 1.1 inches of freezing precip through Tuesday night.    Either way, its a mess.  I suspect what will happen is that the northern part of the viewing area will see all snow and thus be closer to 10 inches if not an even foot in some areas by the time its all done with Wednesday morning.  In Louisville, I kinda lean a bit toward the GFS though would think that a 2-4 inch total first followed by closer to an inch of frozen precip then with maybe an inch at best of snow on the back side on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.  Down south, it will be more of a sleet/freezing rain/rain/sleet/light snow

GFS 00ZTue 01.27.09 Snow Accumulation Through Wed Eve

GFS 00ZTue 01.27.09 Snow Accumulation Through Wed Eve

scenario.  Having said all of that, the exact totals in your backyard is really really pushing the limits of what humans can do.  Remember, some of the frozen precip will fall as sleet, which is okay by me because that won’t be as much of a problem as freezing rain.  I’m hoping that most of this stuff falls in frozen form.  Nevertheless, I suggest you do as I am doing and that is to prepare for a few inches of snow through Tuesday morning then followed by a real possibility of icing roads and powerlines in the afternoon,  especially from Louisville and points south.  Hopefully, any ice won’t be overly thick and the winds not high enough to cause power outages but be prepared for that possibility.  Then, expect another round of an inch or so of snow  on Tuesday night and early Wednesday.  Expect cold conditions to persist into the weekend when things may moderate a shade.  A Winter Storm Warning is in effect into Wednesday morning.

Don’t Eye the Wrong House; Winter Storm Watch
January 26, 2009

pinkerton_eye

Pinkerton Logo Coined the Term "Private Eye"

Is This Floodwater?

Is This Floodwater?

On This Date in History:

On This Date in 1962, Jeffery Gordon Riley came into the world.  Since that time he has come to be known as Flood Water, F-Water, Floods, F-Ditch, F-Dip, effrey and just plain F.  Jeff Riley is a lot of things…and one of those things is a good friend to all who are fortunate enough to be able to call him a friend.  Happy Birthday F.

A few years ago, Snow White and I were walking from Papa Johns Stadium and some event,,,probably a football game.  We were walking back to the car and crossed the railroad tracks.  Well, we were supposed to do that but I decided it would be faster walking the tracks.  I started walking down the tracks and Snow White stopped, telling me to come back that it was against the law.  Out of the darkness came a figure.  It was a Pinkerton Man!  Pinkerton Security provides the security for the railroad and he wrote me up.  Snow White was right again.

Jesse and Frank James

Jesse and Frank James

Well, on this date in 1875 the Pinkertons got it wrong.   The Pinkerton Detective Agency had been on the trail of Frank and Jesse James when it was hired by the railroads to catch the train and bank robbers.  It was not an easy task.  See, the James gang also had members of the Younger family and both the James’ and the Youngers had lots of friends and family in Missouri.  Many of their relatives and friends had been partial to the Confederacy during the Civil War and considered the big railroads to be nothing but a bunch of Yankees.  The same was true of the Pinkerton Agency. 

Now, the men of the Pinkerton Agency were not too fond of the James Gang.  Seems that one of their men, John W. Witcher, was found with a bullet hole in his stomach and much of his face eaten off by hogs.  They thought for sure the culprits were members of the James Gang.  Now, the Pinkerton

Allen Pinkerton Provided Security For Abraham Lincoln

Allen Pinkerton Provided Security For Abraham Lincoln

Agency must have let their animosity for the James’ get to them because, even though they weren’t entirely positive that it was the James Gang who killed Witcher, they went after them anyway.  They had heard that Jesse and Frank often returned to their home.  So, the Pinkertons waited until the sun went down and surrounded the James home.  They threw some smoke bombs or flares into the home.  To there suprise, there was a huge explosion.  Jesse and Frank’s young half-brother was killed and their mother had her arm blown off.  When the smoke had cleared, the Pinkertons found that Jesse and Frank were never there.  Guess they should have knocked first.

Jesse's Mom Missing an Arm

Jesse's Mom Missing an Arm

After their keystone cops episode, the Pinkertons backed off a bit but they kept up the pursuit.  They never got Frank and Jesse.  Instead, Jesse was shot in the back of the head in 1882 by one of his own men, Bob Ford, who collected the reward money.  Frank turned himself in shortly thereafter but no jury would ever convict him.  He remained a law abiding citizen until his death in 1915.  As for his mother…she had quite the cottage business.  Tourists could come by her house and for a small fee, they could here of how the nasty railroad men and their disgusting Pinkertons persecuted her poor, innocent boys.  Bet that performance was worth the price of admission. 

 

NAM Snow Accumulation Through Wed Eve 01.28.09

NAM Snow Accumulation Through Wed Eve 01.28.09

Weather Bottom Line:

Well, there is some consensus regarding the snow.  But, things have flipped somewhat.  Before, the GFS was going bonkers with snow for Monday night and Tuesday and the NAM was less enthusiastic.  Now its the other way around.  The 00Z Mon NAM wants to throw out about 7 inches of snow from after midnight on early Tuesday through midday Tuesday.  Then it wants to toss out about .75″ of freezing rain or sleet before it goes back to snow late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.  The 18Z Sun GFS only wants to throw out less than an inch of snow and then freezing rain and sleet on Tuesday with some rain then back to the frozen stuff and ending with a little snow.  Now, the 00Z Mon GFS has more like 6 inches of snow from Louisville north with the snow total rapidly decreasing to nothing for the extreme southern part of the viewing area.  The Canadian and ECMWF

GFS Snow Accumulation Through Wed Eve 01.28.09

GFS Snow Accumulation Through Wed Eve 01.28.09

models both seem to prefer less snow and more sleet or freezing rain.  What makes some sense is that we get some snow…say 1-3 to 2-4 inches… on Monday night and Tuesday morning before we get a fair amount of time as sleet and freezing rain.  The low track would tend to push the warmer air up over the top and mess up the snow profile.  Further, the one model that has it being all snow or is the most bullish on snow is the NAM and it’s been a poor performer so far this winter, in general.  Bottom line remains that Tuesday morning drive to work should be interesting.  We are under a Winter Storm Watch Monday Evening through Tuesday.

Do Your Job…Get Fired! Unsettled Week Ahead
January 25, 2009

Mexico Got Shafted During and After The War...So Did the US Negotiator

Mexico Got Shafted During and After The War...So Did the US Negotiator

 

 

On This Date in History:

Treaty In Spanish and English

Treaty In Spanish and English

Abraham Lincoln was a one term Congressman from Illinois.  He had an arrangement with the Whig party from Illinois from to rotate the seat and so his former law partner, Stephen Logan ran in his place after one term.  But, Logan lost for several reasons, one might have been because of Lincoln’s steadfast opposition to the Mexican War.  He thought that the war was nothing but a land grab by President James K. Polk.  But, patriotism had gotten the bulk of the public to support the war.

Trist Did So Well, He Got Fired

Trist Did So Well, He Got Fired

Well, things didn’t go so well for Mexico under Santa Anna, the same guy who lost Texas.  In fact, the Mexican War started over a dispute about the southern border of Texas, which by that time had become part of the United States.  So, with things well in hand, President Polk did exactly what Lincoln had accused him of doing.  He sent Nicholas P. Trist to Mexico City in May 1847 to offer the Mexicans terms for surrender.  But, there were mistakes and confusion and Polk lost patience with Trist and recalled him in October.  But, Trist disobeyed orders and stayed in Mexico to try and finish the job.  On January 25, 1848, Trist successfully negotiated a treaty to end the war.  The agreement became known as the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and called for Mexico to accept $15 million in exchange for the end of the war and ceding the area of present day California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.  The treaty was signed on February 2, 1848 (groundhog day) and in the spring the Senate voted for approval.

Trist did a great job. He ended the war and got a good deal on a good chunk of the

Looks Like A Good Deal To Me...Not Good Enough For Polk

Looks Like A Good Deal To Me...Not Good Enough For Polk

west and southwest United States that would later yield riches far far in excess of the $15 million paid.  In a twist of good timing…gold was discovered in California just the day before the treaty was agreed to.  So, did he receive a hero’s welcome back in Washington? No. Polk fired him for insubordination. 

As we saw yesterday James Marshall, the man who discovered the gold in California on January 24, 1848 ,died a pauper and the man who negotiated the treaty that brought California into the United States the very next day also ended up a less than glorified citizen.  For most of the rest of his life, Nicholas P. Trist worked as a low level clerk for a railroad.  It wasn’t until 1870 that someone figured that Trist deserved something and he was officially recognized for his achievement.  He fared better than James Marshall of Gold Rush Fame…he finally got his back pay in 1871 and became the consul in Havana.

So, the guy did his job and got the results he was sent to get.  But, he didn’t do it the way the President wanted and he is largely erased from history.  A case of procedure trumping results.

GFS Snow Accumulation Through Wed AM 1.28.09

GFS Snow Accumulation Through Wed AM 1.28.09

Weather Bottom Line:

  The forecast is a bit up in the air.  While some of the forecasts on TV may prove to be accurate, at this point I don’t think anyone can give anything of any great certainty for the middle of next week.  We’re going to stay cold but the freezing line will be pretty close to us.  We do still have some moisture working its way over us for Sunday but shouldn’t be sufficient to bring anything more than a few brief snow showers or flurries.  Now, Tuesday into early Wednesday, we get a bunch of Pacific moisture coming across.  We will probably see some accumulating snow Tuesday afternoon into night.  Now, the GFS keeps us just barely on the cold side. It wants to give us up to 4 inches of now followed by

 

NAM Snow Accumulation Through Wed AM 1.28.09

NAM Snow Accumulation Through Wed AM 1.28.09

 some sleet and then freezing rain before it goes back to snow and then has flurries or light snow Friday into Saturday.  This is the most extreme outlook.  The NAM doesn’t seem too interested in giving us  much precipitation on Tuesday and that’s as far out as it goes.  Now, the Canadian model gives us some snow, but not quite as much as the GFS and then turns it to all rain Wednesday into early Thursday.   The European keeps us cold and is kinda a mixture of the GFS and the Canadian.  We get some snow and then rain or a mix on Wednesday but then it digs a trof all the way to the Gulf Coast, pouring in much colder air and bringing some snow on Friday before warm air begins lifting back from the southwest early Saturday in advance of another storm dropping down into the north central plains.   Quite confusing.  I would plan on some snow on late Tuesdaysomewhere in between 2 and 4 inches.  Then I’d plan on a mix on Wednesday which may be a messy day…probably and interesting morning rush hour. I’d then plan on a continuation of chilly conditions.  In looking at the later modeling data, it would seem to me that there is some indication that there is a slight trend in wanting to have decent snow here on Tuesday and then the sleet/freezing rain/rain combo shows up.  The reason this is so difficult to pin down is because we are really really close to the freezing line and it could go either way.  It is interesting that both the late GFS and NAM snow accumulations both are pretty bullish through Wed Morning. After that is the tricky part.  We’ll need to stay tuned.  If you want a more concise forecast at this point…call God.

Man Gets $000.000.000 For Gold Strike; Cold Air Returns
January 24, 2009

 

The Power of Gold

The Power of Gold

 
A Tragic Gold Rush Story

Marshall: A Tragic Gold Rush Story

On This Date in History:

From the time that the first bit of gold was found in California through the next 50 years, some $2.5 billion in gold was taken from the earth and streams.  James Marshall was born in 1810 in New Jersey to a wheelright and went west in his mid-twenties.  In 1845, Marshall ended up at a remote outpost in the Sacramento Valley of the California Territory.  Just 85 miles to the southwest lay a quiet seaport with just a few hundred residents.  It was called Yerba Buena.  Soon, that quiet town would be known as San Francisco and it would become anything but quiet. 

Marshall At The Mill
Marshall At The Mill

The outpost where Marshall took up residence was owned by a man named John Sutter, who is a distant relative of mine through my mother’s father.  In 1847, Marshall and Sutter became partners in a sawmill operation along a creek that ran through the property.  On January 24, 1848 Marshall was doing an inspection of the mill when something caught his eye in the water.  He reached down through six inches of frigid water and fetched a small gold nugget worth about 50 cents.  News spread quickly but skepticism ran rampant until Sam Brannon showed up on the scene.  Brannon operated the store at nearby Sutter’s Fort and in May, while newspapers were calling the gold rumors “all sham…got up to guzzle the gullible,” he arrived in San Francisco waving about a bottle filled with gold dust. That was a great advertising ploy because Brannon had already bought every iron pan in town for just 20 cents a piece.  After showing everyone he could the gold dust, he returned to his store where he just happened to have iron pans available for the low low price of $16 a piece.  That’s a nice 8000% mark up! 

Good Thing For These Guys the EPA Wasn't Around

Now, Brannon couldn’t have asked for a better spokesman than the President of the United States and when President Polk mentioned the gold strike in a December speech, every tin-horn miner and serious prospector descended on Sutter’s land, destroyed land and stole his livestock.  After a year, one meat company in Sacramento made $60,000 selling Sutter’s stolen beef.  Now, Marshall could have made a tidy profit without doing one bit of mining, if it weren’t for his incompetence.  You see, he was the partner in the saw mill and lumber was going for $500 per 1000 board feet.  Instead of cashing in, he got caught up in a dispute between miners and the local Indians and he ran off.  He came back a few weeks later but decided not to protect his land claims and instead became a prospector. 

 

Quite A Statue For A Peasant

Trouble was, he was no good at it.  But others were convinced that he had the Midas touch and so they followed him wherever he went.  At one point, tag-along miners threatened to string him up if he didn’t spill the beans about whereabouts of the next big gold strike.  I guess his followers finally decided that Marshall was a crummy prospector because Marshall ended up doing odd jobs and becoming rather eccentric.  Then, he hit the booze.  I don’t know how he came up with the figures; perhaps he was drunk when he estimated that his discovery had brought “Yankeedom $600 Million…Myself Individually….$000.000.000.”  In his despair, he convinced the state of California in 1872 to grant him compensation.   He received a $100 a month pension.  But, in 1878 he came wandering drunk into the state assembly and his pension was revoked.  When the man who discovered the first gold of the California Gold Rush died in 1885, his estate was valued at $218.82.  He was laid to rest on a rise that overlooks the place where his gold discovery ultimately destroyed his life.  He is honored however as in 1890, $9000 was spent on a statue that was placed at his grave.  The caretaker of the grave and statue did better than James…he was paid $75 a month, which was less than the Marshall pension, but I don’t think it got revoked. 

So, next time you hear of a big lottery winner whose life gets turned upside down and they end up broke, think of James Marshall.  The story is nothing new.  And I leave this question on the table…why is gold so valuable?  Who decided it was a symbol of wealth?  You can’t eat and and can’t build a shelter with it nor can you you drink it.  All you can do is look at it and for some reason, covet it.

GFS Wants To Bring Snow Close...But Don't Get Too Excited

GFS Wants To Bring Snow Close...But Don't Get Too Excited

GFS Wed Eve 1.28.09 SFC

GFS Wed Eve 1.28.09 SFC

GFS Critical Thickness Wed Eve 1.28.09

GFS Critical Thickness Wed Eve 1.28.09

Weather Bottom Line:

After pushing toward 60 on Friday, cut the temperatures in half for the weekend with highs in the upper 20’s and low 30’s.  It doesn’t look like we really have a wave coming across on Sunday but just enough moisture to not only continue the clouds from Saturday but also perhaps toss out some flurries.  Now, the real chance for some snow shows up late Tuesday into Tuesday night.  If you look at the GFS accumulated snow solution above, you notice some decent snow totals of of to 4 inches for the extreme northern part of the viewing area, tapering off to not much by the time you get to Louisville.  But, the map to the right tells the story that the GFS is telling and also what is similar to other models.  This is by midday Wednesday, warmer air moves up (note the pink general freezing thickness line in pink) and the freezing line goes north.  So, we turn to rain.  One might expect a time of a changeover from snow to perhaps freezing rain or sleet but at this time, it doesn’t really get me all worked up about anything serious.  Bottom line is that if some of you do get some decent snow, it won’t last long because rain will follow up.  You can see at left the critical thickness lines by Wednesday afternoon are largely to our North.  Colder air returns by the end of the week and it may be a rather messy time Tuesday night through Friday.

Can You Trace Your Roots?
January 23, 2009

Try Tracing These Roots

Try Tracing These Roots

Levar Burton As Young Kunta Kinte

Levar Burton As Young Kunta Kinte

 On This Day In History: On this date in 1977, a miniseries appeared on ABC-TV. This is before the widespread use of cable television so, even the large markets had the 3 networks and a few local independent stations and that was it.  Now, the network executives were convinced that the 8-part, 12 hour miniseries would fail and so they purposely scheduled it for 8 consecutive nights in January before ratings began in February just to get it off the air.

If you recall,  a few days ago I talked about the election of President Obama and how, prior to even the nomination, I was shouted down at work by those who said I was stupid and didn’t know anything and that there was no way America would ever elect him president.  I said that they were wrong and that my generation and younger were not raised that way and that I believed that Americans in general have good hearts and are patriots who will eventually do what they think is best for the country.  Too bad the executives at ABC couldn’t hear my speech in the 1970’s or they would have put this miniseries on during ratings.

Ben Cartwright a Bad Guy?

Ben Cartwright a Bad Guy?

You see, the miniseries was based on a book by author Alex Haley.  It was called “Roots” and was the story of the generations of a family in America.  The first generation was brought to America as a slave in the 1700’s.  The series depicted slavery’s brutality and the effects that it had on families.  It was not really sugar coated.  But, I suppose the executives, like my friends, were unaware of how America was changing and all they could probably remember was the open racism of the 1940’s and 1950’s and forgot the millions of Americans who stood in concert with the Civil Rights movement.  So convinced it would be a flop and be rejected by audiences, they cast familiar actors like Lorne Greene, who had starred as the stalwart Ben Cartwright on Bonanza, in the secondary roles so to

Leslie Uggams Outstanding As Kizzie

Leslie Uggams Outstanding As Kizzie

better assure audiences.  Ed Asner, who had starred in the Mary Tyler Moore Show, played the part of a slave ship captain who suddenly gains a conscience.  That part was added for TV…that character never appeared in Haley’s book.  They added the part to make audiences feel better about their race’s role in the “peculiar institution.”  While the portrayal of the slave characters showed well defined human beings and not the comical vaudevillian type nonsense that had permeated movies and TV, the network promotional announcements were disproportionately absent of the slave actors.  The bottom line is that the network was ultimately surprised.  They didn’t think a show that showed the white guys as the bad guys would be successful or be “accepted” by white audiences.  Wrong again.

OJ In Africa? No One Bought It

OJ In Africa? No One Bought It

For the 8 days it ran, the show averaged 45% of all televisions turned to the show and 66% of all televisions in use during the airing tuned in to “Roots.”  Some 85% of all television homes saw all or part of “Roots” with 100 million people, nearly half the country, tuned in for the final episode.  Told you they should have waited for the ratings period in February.  With numbers like that, it’s really irrelevant what critics thought because the American people were entranced by it.  I remember everyone at school talking about it every day.  But, the critics had some snipes about the number of scenes involving rape, violence and

Say It Ain't So, Lucas-Boy!

Say It Ain't So, Lucas-Boy!

sex.  I guess they wanted a sugar coated story.  And some didn’t like the romantic, soap-opera-like, romantic subplots.  But, perhaps the biggest criticism had to do with one casting decision.  OJ Simpson played a native in Africa who tried to use his great speed to run away.  People had seen OJ play football and OJ run through airports on Hertz commercials, but they weren’t too accepting of OJ Simpson running around West Africa.  One that I couldn’t get over was Chuck Connors…The Rifleman. He was always good guy Lucas McCain to me and in this he was a mean, dispicable guy.  I bet Micah would have slapped the cuffs on him.

Two things about this.  The series was important because it brought to life something reasonably close to the awful, immoral nature of slavery…but probably in many cases wasn’t as bad as it really was.  It brought about some social change in that it brought discussion to schools and in the public.  It opened the doors to having African Americans gain more positive roles in movie and television production and generally portrayed in a more positive light.  But, this also is an example of how the producers failed to see the change in America.  They had their fixed notions, rooted in the past, and they were wrong.  History is not prescriptive as it is limited to its time.  Just because something happened  in the past does not mean that it will happen in the future.  History repeating itself is a misued cliche that should be left on the shelf and one should not form preconceived notions about the present based on the past.  The times are different, people are different, society is different, the culture is different.

Weather Bottom Line: Snow White and I went out to Henry’s Ark…or Henry’s Farm…or Wallace’s Farm and fed all of the animals about 10 pounds of carrots on Thursday.  We took advantage of the temps in the 50’s.  The emu thought my finger was a carrot and then pulled Snow White’s hair.  The entire porcupine family came out to say hello and the Zebras ran all the way from across the field and left their hay just to come take some carrots from us.  They all seem so hungry that we may go out again today as Friday will be a touch warmer than Thursday.  Then, that’s it….back to colder temperatures.  The weekend will see highs in the low 30’s and upper 20’s.  Next week looks to be seasonal or slightly colder than seasonal for much of the time.  The little system is still on the board but running behind a bit with perhaps some snow on Tuesday night into Wednesday.  Then it changes to sleet or maybe a period of freezing rain and then to rain by Thursday.  Right now, it doesn’t look overly menacing but there are several days left on the drawing board.

Roe or Wade Through This; Brief Warm Up
January 22, 2009

It's Dangerous To Get Into This...But I'll Give it a Try

It's Dangerous To Get Into This...But I'll Give it a Try

 

Waste of Time

Waste of Time

On This Date in History: 

This subject is a little bit touchy and I do not intend to really get into the muck.  This is also pretty long but I hope that you will read  through it and think a bit.  I mean, people have their opinions and I certainly do, but they are more in the form of things to consider.  You will find I have observations from both sides of the fence.  What am I talking about? Why the infamous case of Roe V. Wade that on this date in 1973 came down from the US Supreme Court.  What it said was that state laws outlawing abortion were unconstitutional.  In time, that came to mean that abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy could not be banned.  

People love to protest and march on both sides.  Does any of that change any minds?  Do ads and T-shirts really make a difference.  It’s all a waste of time, energy, money and effort in my book.  It seems to me that changing of minds and opinions comes through long, in depth discussion and analysis of one’s own self and careful consideration.  It would appear to me that people who make or by t-shirts, protest, hold signs, yell and scream or march are more interested in bringing attention to themselves and not resolving an issue.  I mean, does someone see someone yelling and holding a sign and say, “hey…I’m changing my mind!” 

Let me take a stab at an objective view of the history of abortion in the US.  It wasn’t always illegal.  In the 1700’s and

Funny But Stupid

Funny But Stupid

 early 1800’s, apparently there were methods of women ending a pregnancy. It was called “quickening” and the best I can understand there were certain types of drugs that a woman could take.  In fact, through the middle of the 19th century, there were “female monthly pills” available that induced an end to a pregnancy.  But, in the 1700’s it wasn’t much of an issue. Generally for the first 100 years of the nation, abortions were legal.  As it became more prominent in the 1800’s and I suppose as we entered the Guilded Age (Victorian Age in England), states began banning the practice.  It became a criminal offense and the newly formed American Medical Association came out against the procedure, though some say it was because doctors wanted to eliminate the competition from abortion practioners.   My source claims that the Catholic Church had no problem with quickening but by the middle of the 19th century came about and opposed abortion.  Abortion  laws came up in most states but really weren’t enforced too much and so if you had money, you could generally have the procedure done until the 1930’s . That is when enforcement began in earnest.  By the 1960’s, states began to liberalize the abortion laws.  I think by the time January 22, 1973 rolled around, some 17 states had loosened their laws.

This is how the American Medical Association has changed its definition of abortion over time according to one source: 1859-“The slaughter of countless children; such unwarranted destruction of life. ” 1871-“The work of destruction; the wholesale destruction of unborn infants.”  1967-“The interruption of pregnancy; the induced termination of pregnancy.” 1970-“a medial procedure.”

Get A Job and Quit Blocking Traffic

Get A Job and Quit Blocking Traffic

Now, it’s difficult to find objective information on the history of abortion in this country.  When you compare the view from the pro-abortion crowd to that of the anti-abortion crowd, its rather interesting.  Go ahead and give it a whirl. I chose those two sites just as an example. There are many many others.

Here are some thoughts to consider.  First off, I have some problems with terminology.  Most people who are against abortion being legal call themselves “pro-life.”  It is said that all life is precious.  If that is the case, then those people necessarily have to be against the death penalty.  If all life is precious, doesn’t that come without qualifiers?  And don’t forget, there have been “pro-life” people who decided it was a good idea to kill other people through bombings and shootings.  Then there is the “pro-choice” moniker for the opposing view.  It seems to me that if one claims to want the government to “keep your laws off of my body” or that “a woman has a right to choose what to do with her body” then that person necessarily has to be in favor of legalized prostitution. 

Further on that note, if one is pregnant and is caught being intoxicated or on drugs, often that mother is charged with

Idiotic Propaganda That Changes Nothing

Idiotic Propaganda That Changes Nothing

endangering the life of the fetus.   It’s as if there is some inconsistency there.    But what about the viability?  It is generally accepted that abortions are fine in the first trimester because there is no viability of the fetus to live outside of the womb.  After the first trimester, they can be performed to protect the health of the mother.  On this date in 1973, there was a less celebrated yet very significant Supreme Court Decision.  It was Doe V Bolton and it struck down an abortion law in Georgia.  In that decision, the court defined what the health of the mother meant.  It said that “… that the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the wellbeing of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.”  So, if the mother may be affected emotionally, then that can be considered a risk to her health and then everything goes.  Yet, if someone shot or beat that mother, then the assailant could be charged with two counts of assault or attempted murder.  So, if the woman is emotionally unstable, its okay to terminate the pregnancy any time, but if someone beats a  mother and that beating results in a  termination of the pregnancy, then that person is charged with murder.  Seems a bit odd. I mean, one pregnancy is ended on purpose and the other is ended by the fault of another, but the result is the same.  Why is the termination of the pregnancy murder in one case but a medical procedure in the other?  I don’t get it.

Now, here’s something else.  If you believe that life begins at conception, then one must give that life the equal protection afforded by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.  It seems to me that one would then have to count those unborn lives  in the census, which means that the government would have to periodically check to see if women were pregnant.  One woman tried this when she drove in the high occupancy lane on the freeway in which there had to be two occupants in the vehicle.  She got pulled over and claimed her baby inside her was the second occupant.  If the law says that it is a life after the first trimester, then shouldn’t she have a case?  These unborns protected by the 14th Amendment would have to considered for the number of representatives that a state might have.  You’d also have to allow them to be dependents on your income tax.  In fact, all rights and considerations and the legal requirements of parenting would have to apply, not to mention all of the other clerical  things like taxes, social security numbers, etc.  That seems quite cumbersome and impractical. 

Ask yourself how many abortions are an abdication of responsibility.  Now, there are two sides to that coin.  Is it responsible to terminate a pregnancy because it would bring hardship or is it responsible to not terminate a pregnancy in which the child would begin life in lousy circumstance? 

I Bet This is Real Effective...Money Could Be Better Spent

I Bet This is Real Effective...Money Could Be Better Spent

I made a lady mad one time at work.  We were in the lunchroom and I was thinking out loud.  I pondered the parables of Jesus.  He said that one should render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God when someone ask if they should pay their taxes.  Jesus did not say to lobby Caesar. (Matt 22: 15-22) Yet, I opined out loud that perhaps the churches were trying to lobby Caesar in their efforts to curtail abortion.  It seems to me that the churches are trying to get the government to do their job.  If the churches got out there and changed the hearts and minds of people so that they wouldn’t have abortions, then the laws would be irrlevant.  No one is forced to have an abortion.  Just because someone can do a thing, doesn’t mean one has to do a thing nor does it mean one should do a thing.  The lady got mad and left.  Abortions can be stopped if people stop considering it as an option.

As for the woman who started it all…Roe? Her name is Norma McCorvey and in this interview, she comes out strongly against abortion.  She says that she felt ashamed of what she did.  Consider that.

GFS Doesn't Like Snow Through Monday Night

GFS Doesn't Like Snow Through Monday Night

Weather Bottom Line:  Yes indeed…the heater is working and now the temperatures will be near 50 on Thursday and in the 50’s on Friday.  Good thing I got a new furnace.  But,  I will be happy this weekend. A front comes down and brings temperatures back into the freezer.  Upper 20’s and low 30’s for highs over the weekend.  Perhaps a few flurries on Sunday.  Then, we’re still looking at next week.  The other day, the wave looked to be more of a problem for late Monday into Tuesday.  My loyal reader Eric pointed out to me that a local guy claimed that you had to get moisture within 24 hours of cold coming in to get significant snow or ice.  That is not necessarily true.  It often happens like that, but it’s not a common rule.  There are no absolutes in life and you get yourself in trouble when you start using “rules of thumb” in forecast.  In any event, right now, it doesn’t look as potentially menacing as it did before.  But its still going to be a chilly week ahead.  Not terribly cold but still chilly.