Go Sue Yourself!
Don King likes to say “only in America.” Well, these days that phrase takes on a new meaning. With all of this bailout stuff going on, the biggest of bailouts is insurance giant AIG. Operating with the notion that it’s “too big to fail,” the US government now owns nearly 80% of the company stock after pouring in billions of dollars into the company. So, what is AIG doing? AIG is suing the government. AIG claims the IRS improperly penalized it for $61.9 million in tax credits that the IRS disallowed. The company is suing for over $300 million in interest and penalties. So, we the taxpayers own most of AIG. The government supposedly operates as a representative of we the taxpayers. So, in essence, we the taxpayers are suing we the taxpayers. And get this…AIG wants the government to reimburse it for having to bring the lawsuit. So, that means that we the taxpayers are suing we the taxpayers and we the taxpayers want we the taxpayers to pay for the lawsuit. Guess who gets hosed in the end? We the taxpayers.
On This Date in History:
This is another in my long list of examples of how the calendar may change, but political arguments often do not in this country. This time, it has to do with immigration. Today, we have the issue of illegal immigration and part of the issue involves illegal immigrants committing crimes, not being able to speak or write English and generally bringing a bad element to the nation. Well, let us borrow Mr. Peabody’s Way Back Machine and travel back to the late 19th Century.
A group of mainly lawyers and scholars with academic roots in Harvard founded the Immigration Restriction League(IRL). It was the first official anti-immigration group. I’ve read one account that claims the group held white-superiority views. I’m not sure if I buy it. It seems to more akin to the Know Nothings of the mid 19th century in that the league’s main objective seems to have been more anti-foreigner, forgetting that every one of them probably had ancestors that came from somewhere else. It pushed for new laws to restrict immigration. The members must not have been too pleased when the first decade of the 20th Century found a nearly unprecedented 9 million immigrants hitting the shores of America. So, it was back to the drawing board. The league decided it needed new supporters so Prescott F. Hall(1906 NY Times Review of Hall’s Book), the IRL’s executive committee secretary, sent out the following letter on this date in 1910 to notable Americans such as our friend Alexander Graham Bell and presidents of universities such as Stanford and Harvard. See if you can imagine someone writing this exact letter today.
“The Immigration Restriction League is a non-political and non-sectarian organization, with members from all parts of the United States. Since 1894, it has led the agitation for the better enforcement of existing immigration laws, and the enactment of needed legislation. It is opposed only to such immigration as lowers the mental, moral and physical average of our people.
Immigration the coming year will again near the 1,000,000 mark. Of recent immigration, 1-4 over 14 years of age could not read or write in any language; 3-5 were Slavic and Iberic races of Southern and Eastern Europe; nearly 1-3, including women and children, had no occupation; 3-5 were destined for only 4 states.
In 1908, the foreign born population of 13.6% furnished 15.6% of the criminals, 20.8% of the paupers, and 29.5% of the insane. Between 1904 and 1908, the aliens in these institutions increased 34%.
The League feels that facts like these show that the present laws governing the admission of aliens are inadequate to protect our social and political standards and institutions from deterioration. Those pecuniarily interested in the immigration laws are strongly organized to influence legislation, while those who believe in a proper selection of the aliens coming to us are scattered. This letter is written with the purpose of getting in touch with those who agree with the attitude of the League.
We should much appreciate a letter from you, stating whether you favor (1) Further selective tests for immigration (2)Obliging aliens to be able to read in some language (3)Increasing the present head-tax of $4, and if so to what amount (4)Requiring immigrants to be in possession of an amount of money sufficient to support them while seeking work.
We should also be glad to have your views on this subject, outside of the questions noted above.”
Now…when you read the above letter, it seems to me that this group of people had some of the same complaints that opponents of immigration today have. However, there is one important difference: The IRL was talking about legal immigration while today the reference is generally regarding illegal immigration. That’s an important distinction. But, as I read this letter, I keep thinking of Bill O’Reilly and his rants every time he finds that an illegal immigrant (alien) committed a crime. I think of all of the people who get angry when people in the US don’t speak English, even though there is no official language in this country. However, Mr. Hall adds something new….he claims that nearly a third of the “insane” are foreigners. There are so many odd angles and interpretations you can take regarding this issue both then and now. All I am pointing out is, if you are concerned about this issue now…don’t worry….your grandfather, great-grandfather or great-great grandfather may have shared the very same concerns when he was your age. The calendar moves on, but our politics seem to go in circles. It happens more often than you might think.
Weather Bottom Line: Forecast on track except we’ve got a ridge building in and that will make it difficult to get even any insubstantial showers. On Monday, the GFS still wants to spit out a little rain but that seems nonsensical in that the scenario is that
dying storms from the west give out their last dying breath over us. Again, seems silly because any storms should get the hell kicked out of them as they move right into the ridge. Now, if there is a ridge building here, then there is a trof somewhere else and that somewhere is the plains. Monday still looks like a good bet for a lot of action in the plains. The reason I have been mentioning this for the last few days is that the dynamics and such will be so strong and the models have been so consistent with the feature, I find it hard to believe it will all just go poof and disappear after one day. Typically, the strong storm will either start to wind down after its mature cycle, will get another reinforcing shot of stregnth or will begin to split apart. But the conservation of energy dictates that it has to go somewhere. The SPC knows this but has been hesitant to illustrate anything beyond the Monday AM to Tuesday AM time frame. On Friday, they put out a second area to our Southwest for Tue AM to Wed AM. I did a quick scan of the modeling data and suspect that we will have a threat sometime Wed AM to Thu AM though there are many factors out there and the
area may end up being mainly to our south. Also, timing issues will be in play. We will be in the low 60’s on Saturday, mid 60’s on Sunday and then move up through the low to mid, perhaps even upper, 70’s for the first 3 days of next week. We should have several days to moisten up the atmosphere to some degree. How much remains to be seen but I suspect that we will be under a low-level confluent flow. Any lifting mechanism in that scenario should allow for some good storms…but again…timing issues will be at play. The latter part of the week will be cooler, but not cold. Just keep this in mind if you have plans next week…mid week strong storms are something we should keep an eye out for. I betcha at least one weekend tv weather foof will say something like “with that warm air…we will have to pay the price!” That is certainly not always the case weatherwise, but the individual I am thinking of has a habit of saying that…so if something does happen, you can claim victory and if nothing does happen, you pretend like you never said it. Truth is, it’s too early to be making such specific statements. But what do I know? I’m currently in retirement and a has-been.
DAY 4-8 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0328 AM CDT FRI MAR 20 2009
VALID 231200Z – 281200Z
LATEST MEDIUM-RANGE GUIDANCE REMAINS IN REMARKABLY GOOD AGREEMENT IN
THE EVOLUTION OF A POWERFUL SYNOPTIC SYSTEM OVER THE CNTRL U.S. ON
D4 /MON MAR 23RD/. ALOFT…AN INTENSE MID/UPPER-LEVEL LOW WILL
SHIFT EWD FROM THE CNTRL ROCKIES INTO THE CNTRL PLAINS WHILE AN
ASSOCIATED SURFACE CYCLONE DEVELOPS FROM THE CNTRL HIGH PLAINS NEWD
INTO THE CNTRL PLAINS BEFORE OCCLUDING. BOUNDARY LAYER MOISTURE
QUALITY STILL APPEARS SOMEWHAT QUESTIONABLE WITH DEWPOINTS REMAINING
LARGELY IN THE 50S. HOWEVER…THE PRESENCE OF STEEP LAPSE
RATES…STRONG DYNAMIC FORCING AND STRENGTHENING WIND FIELDS WILL
LIKELY FOSTER NUMEROUS SEVERE STORMS /INCLUDING SUPERCELLS/ ALONG OR
AHEAD OF DRYLINE OR PACIFIC FRONT OVER THE CNTRL AND SRN PLAINS.
BOUNDARY LAYER MOISTURE IS EXPECTED TO IMPROVE AHEAD OF PACIFIC
FRONT OVER LOWER ELEVATIONS OF THE SRN PLAINS INTO OZARK PLATEAU BY
D5 /TUE MAR 24TH/. WHILE PRIMARY UPPER LOW/VORTICITY MAXIMUM AND
ASSOCIATED SURFACE LOW ARE FORECAST TO DEVELOP NEWD TOWARD THE UPPER
MIDWEST…MODEL GUIDANCE SUGGESTS A SECONDARY VORTICITY MAXIMUM/JET
STREAK ROTATING THROUGH THE LARGE-SCALE TROUGH BASE OVER THE SRN
PLAINS. GIVEN THE INCREASING MOISTURE/INSTABILITY AND CONTINUED
STRONG WIND FIELDS…POTENTIAL WILL EXIST FOR ANOTHER ORGANIZED
SEVERE WEATHER EPISODE FROM ERN PARTS OF OK/TX INTO PORTIONS OF AR
AND PERHAPS SRN MO AND NRN LA.
THEREAFTER…MODEL DIFFERENCES BEGIN TO ARISE IN THE EVOLUTION OF
THE UPPER-LEVEL PATTERN. MOREOVER…CONSIDERABLE TSTM ACTIVITY OVER
THE PREVIOUS TWO DAYS MAY POTENTIALLY DISPLACE THE EFFECTIVE WARM
SECTOR FURTHER TO THE S/SE THAN WHAT CURRENT GUIDANCE INDICATES.
NONETHELESS…IT DOES APPEAR THAT MODERATELY STRONG WIND FIELDS WILL
BE MAINTAINED ACROSS THE GULF COAST REGION IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO A
MOIST AND UNSTABLE AIR MASS. AS SUCH…THE POTENTIAL FOR SEVERE
WEATHER WILL LIKELY CONTINUE THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE EXTENDED
PERIOD. HOWEVER…GIVEN THE UNCERTAINTY IN THE DETAILS…NO
ADDITIONAL SEVERE WEATHER AREAS WILL BE DELINEATED ATTM.