No Forced Smoking: The a county Government in China recently ordered government workers to increase their smoking collectively by several hundred thousand or face a fine. The idea was that the county needed to increase its tax revenue. After a hue and cry, the order had been rescinded with the county officials claiming the order was not for all cigarettes but only for the local brand as they were trying to encourage those who smoked to smoke local. This illustrates a situation I have envisioned in this country. The government sued tobacco companies for their product. The tobacco companies had to pay millions and millions. But, state governments need people to smoke to help their budgets. What would happen if the tobacco companies decided it was not worth the potential litigation costs to continue to sell their products in this country? Then you’d have all of these states way short of money. Think the very people who sued the companies in the first place would then tell them they had to sell cigarettes in their states? If the product is so dangerous as to merit a lawsuit, then ban it. But, the government doesn’t do that because it needs the money. A great case of duplicity on the part of government. Another example is the banning of smoking in public places. It’s a legal product used properly by people of age. But the government forces private business owners to prevent their patrons from using the product. If it was such an annoyance, then businesses that allowed tobacco use would go out of business and those who did not would flourish on its own. But, since thats not the case, then government intervenes. Again, if its that much of a danger to the public welfare, then ban it. But again…they need the money. As it is, state and local governments are taxing it so heavily that people just may quit. The useage goes down and voila…empty government coffers. When that happens, lets see how those governments make up the short fall…by raising taxes elsewhere…also watch the smuggling of cigarettes increase.
On This Date In History:
On this date in 1896, a notorious serial murderer was hanged. His name was Herman W. Mudgett and he had secretly built what was called the “murder castle” or the “torture castle” in Chicago. The events are too gruesome for me to relay. If you want to read about it, be my guest. Here’s the link below. The only reason I put this in is to remind you that there have been dangerous nutbags in the past so don’t think that any heinous goofs that are produced today are anything new.
On this date in 1915, the German submarine U-20 sunk the RMS Lusitania helping to sway American public opinion against Germany and eventually helped lead the US into World War I. All British shipping was ordered to travel at full speed and in a zig zag pattern as a precaution against German U-Boat activity. Germany had already declared unrestricted submarine warfare against all shipping in the Atlantic providing munitions or aid toward the allied effort in the war. The Lustitania was a luxury passenger liner and it was filled with civilians as it ran into fog. The captain slowed the ship and stopped zig zagging. It was an easy shot for the U-Boat. Some 1200 went down with the ship including 128 Americans. The attack resulted in a letter of protest from President Woodrow Wilson. The Germans claimed the ship was carrying munitions. The US denied the charge and the American public grew quite angry as passions against the Germans grew. The sneak attack on perhaps the most luxurious and largest passenger liner at the time created the image of the ruthlessness of the Germans. That and the later Zimmerman Telegram , in which the Germans proposed that Mexcio attack the US should the Americans enter the war, led to the US entry into the Great War.
Here’s the rub. The Germans were right.
When the U-20 slammed it’s torpedo into the starboard side of the liner, almost immediately a secondary explosion rocked the ship. The torpedo explosion probably wouldn’t have sunk the ship but the second explosion caused a huge gash in the hull and the great liner sunk in just 18 minutes. The story told the American public was that the germans fired several torpedoes. That was false. What the people did not know is that the passenger liner was indeed carrying about 128 tons of munitions and supplies for the war effort.
I have yet to read anything in historical annals that say that President Wilson lied. I suppose he had plausible deniability and historians have given him a pass.
Weather Bottom Line: I was right…Wednesday was a wet day. Look for the boundary to the south to more or less wash out and so we will be warm and humid for a good chunk of the day. We’ll probably push to the upper 70’s to around 80. That may be sufficient to kick off a few isolated afternoon t’storms. That will become much more general from the late afternoon into the night as a wave sweeps up along an approaching cold front. Even though its at night, the SPC has us in the slight risk area for severe storms. As mentioned yesterday, the biggest threat would be for hail and high winds. The fact that the risk area pretty much only extends eastward to our area indicates that the overnight hours should reduce the threat….thus..we’re on the fringe of the area. The rain should be over by midday on Friday but then ramp up again on Friday night into early Saturday with another frontal boundary. We could see some decent storms with that as well.
DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1230 AM CDT THU MAY 07 2009
VALID 071200Z – 081200Z
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS FROM OK/KS NEWD INTO THE WRN OH
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS STRETCHING FROM THE MID
ATLANTIC STATES SEWD INTO THE GULF COAST STATES…
WNWLY MID LEVEL WINDS AT 50-70 KT ARE FORECAST TO EXTEND FROM THE
PACIFIC NW INTO THE CENTRAL PLAINS AND EWD INTO THE MID ATLANTIC
STATES THROUGH THE PERIOD. WEAK EMBEDDED SHORTWAVE TROUGHS WILL
PROGRESS THROUGH THIS FLOW…THOUGH NONE OF THEM ARE FORECAST TO BE
STRONG ENOUGH TO RESULT IN HEIGHT FALLS OR AMPLIFY THE ZONAL FLOW.
AT THE SURFACE…A WEAK FRONT/REMNANT OUTFLOW BOUNDARY WILL LINGER
EAST OF THE APPALACHIANS SEWD INTO GULF COASTAL STATES. ANOTHER WEAK
COLD FRONT/TROUGH IS FORECAST TO EXTEND FROM THE WRN GREAT LAKES
SEWD INTO THE CENTRAL PLAINS BY LATE AFTERNOON.
…NRN/CENTRAL MO EWD INTO THE LOWER OH/TN VALLEYS…
SHORTWAVE TROUGH…WHICH WAS MOVING THROUGH WY WED EVENING…IS
FORECAST TO MOVE INTO NRN MO THU AFTERNOON AND INTO IL DURING THE
EVENING. LARGE SCALE LIFTING ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SYSTEM… COMBINED
WITH EFFECTIVE SHEAR AT 40-50 KT AND MLCAPES FROM 1000 TO 2000
J/KG…FAVOR ORGANIZED SEVERE CONVECTION DEVELOPING EWD THIS
AFTERNOON/EVENING FROM MO INTO THE WRN OH VALLEY. VEERING WINDS AND
STRONG 1 KM SHEAR MAY SUPPORT A TORNADO THREAT…ESPECIALLY ACROSS
PORTIONS OF MO…WHERE SURFACE DEWPOINTS SHOULD BE AT LEAST IN THE
MID 60S AND STRONG LOW LEVEL SHEAR WILL EXIST. HOWEVER… THE
PRIMARY SEVERE THREAT IS MORE LIKELY TO BE WIND DAMAGE…GIVEN THE
STRONGER FLOW ALOFT AND MOSTLY UNIDIRECTIONAL WLY FLOW ALOFT.
…SERN KS/SWRN MO/NRN AND CENTRAL OK/NWRN AR…
MOIST BOUNDARY LAYER…DEWPOINTS AOA 70F…AND AFTERNOON HEATING
WILL LEAD TO A VERY UNSTABLE AIRMASS…MLCAPES IN EXCESS OF 3000
J/KG. HOWEVER…LACK OF ANY EVIDENT DYNAMICAL FORCING AND STRONG
CAPPING BETWEEN 800 AND 700 MB WILL LIKELY INHIBIT STORM DEVELOPMENT
THROUGH THE DAYLIGHT HOURS. SHOULD ANY STORMS FORM… DEEP LAYER
SHEAR AND INSTABILITY WOULD BE SUPPORTIVE OF SUPERCELLS WITH VERY
LARGE HAIL. HOWEVER…THUNDERSTORMS ARE MORE LIKELY OVERNIGHT AS
BOUNDARY SAGS SLOWLY SEWD INTO FAR SERN KS/SWRN MO/NRN OK AND LOW
LEVEL JET/WARM ADVECTION INTENSIFIES. GIVEN THE DEGREE OF
INSTABILITY…30-40 KT MID LEVEL WNWLY FLOW AND SURFACE
BOUNDARY…AN MCS WITH HAIL AND BOWING SEGMENTS/WIND APPEARS
LIKELY…MAINLY AFTER 05Z.
…MID ATLANTIC STATES SEWD INTO THE GULF COASTAL STATES…
MODERATE INSTABILITY WILL OCCUR IN AREAS WHERE MOIST AIR MASS IS
WARMED FROM MORNING/EARLY AFTERNOON SUNSHINE. STORMS SHOULD READILY
DEVELOP DURING THE AFTERNOON ALONG A WEAK BOUNDARY LOCATED IN THE
REGION. MID LEVEL WLY WINDS AT 25 TO 40 KT WILL BE FAVORABLE FOR
MULTICELL SEVERE STORM CLUSTERS. LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS
SHOULD BE THE PRIMARY SEVERE THREATS…DUE TO THE DEGREE OF
INSTABILITY AND MOSTLY UNDIRECTIONAL WLY FLOW ABOVE THE BOUNDARY
LAYER. STRONGER STORMS WILL BE DIURNALLY MODULATED… WITH ACTIVITY
EXPECTED TO DIMINISH AROUND SUNSET.