On This Date In History: Ever noticed how there are some people who feel like that effort or intent is more important than actual results? Symbolism over substance. Today marks such a day because, if that’s not the case, then it would be largely forgotten. On this date in 1915 World War I (then known as the Great War) raged and the International Congress of Women convened at The Hague in the Netherlands. The meeting was one of women’s rights organizations and suffrage groups from around the world.
One of the main organizers, Aletta Jacobs, said in her opening remarks that the group meeting would “have its moral effect upon the belligerent countries,” The conference lasted 3 days and concluded in part “…we can no longer endure in this twentieth century of civilization that government should tolerate brute force as the only solution of international disputes.” They outlined specific ways of conflict resolution with continual mediation. Later, this conference led to the creation of other groups including the Womens’ International League for Peace and Freedom.
People like these women meant well and their underlying notion has practical merit. After the 30 Years War, Europeans came up with the Peace of Westphalia which was reached with everyone taking an eye toward balance of power. The war had taught them that little was accomplished and the weaponry and methods of the day resulted in such destruction to the economy and people that war was becoming too costly to consider as a viable means of settling conflict. But a condition of mankind seems to be one of violence and so ideals, regardless of their merit, tend to be squashed by reality. These ladies seemed to think that having a meeting and bringing attention to themselves would do anything when in fact, it did nothing. Action requires boldness.
If you look at the Great Seal of the United States. You will find that in the talons of the Eagle, there is an olive branch as well as a cluster of 13 arrows. The most obvious representation is that the 13 arrows is for the 13 original colonies. But, the cluster of arrows and the olive branch indicates “peace through strength.” The founding fathers knew that a strong nation was one more likely to live in peace.
Pragmatism and reality doesn’t seem to dissuade or convince folks though because, today there are many associations like International Congress of Women that think they are doing something, that tell people they are doing something and have people tell them they are doing something when, in fact, they accomplish nothing except headlines. Martin Luther King achieved success through action. The US achieved freedom through action. Peace is ultimately achieved through action. The Spirit and words of President Roosevelt do well here:
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
Kentucky Derby 2010 Forecast: For several days I’ve been telling you about the potential for some interesting weather for Derby Day. I saw some local TV guys have a 30% chance for rain and I said how I wasn’t sold on that. Often when there are big events, forecasters tend to “wish cast” which would be making a forecast based on what they want it to be instead of what the data suggests. In this case, some models had the system slow and another fast. The slow model would result in a better Derby Day forecast and so many people chose that. Better to be the bearer of good news. I had surmised that the truth would probably be in between with rain likely on Saturday and strong storms possible. For now, it may be worth bringing out Colonel Klink and also for you to prepare for rain, though I do not think Churchill Downs allows umbrellas. But, you can place your bet on your favorite mudder. See details below.
Weather Bottom Line: After a chilly Wednesday start, we get into a warming trend starting today as high pressure in Louisiana moves to the east. That will result in a SSW flow set up and create warm air advection as well as increase moisture from the Gulf. The European model had been holding everything back such that it was possible that the next storm system didn’t get here until Sunday or even Monday. But the GFS consistently brought it out much faster. The GFS solution would have messed up both the 136th Kentucky Oaks on Friday and possibly the 136th Kentucky Derby on Saturday. I had been looking for an ultimate outcome of something in between, meaning that I expected that Oaks Day would be partly cloudy, warm and breezy with a fair amount of rain on Derby Day with t’storms. I kept looking for severe weather on Saturday but the models weren’t all that committed. At this time, the data is supporting my hypothesis except that now the models are more bullish on the severe potential and the Storm Prediction Center has jumped on board.
Yesterday, I mentioned that all we needed was a “kicker” to ignite the unstable atmosphere and we’d have an increased potential for severe weather on Saturday. The GFS was throwing out about 2 inches of rain for Derby Day. It would seem that now we do indeed have all the ingredients for not only excessive rain but also strong storms. Basically, the main low makes its way to the Great Lakes but another low comes out of Northern Mexico into S0uth Texas. That sets up a long frontal boundary from North to South with the boundary just to our west. There will be ample southerly flow providing an influx of moisture into the Lower Mississippi Valley and Ohio Valley. The low to the south will tend to slow the front down. It will also tend to throw off pieces of energy.
So, we have a set up with a stalled front that will result in consistent rain and then a low tossing out energy that will run up along the front and produce a risk for severe weather as it moves NE along the boundary. The GFS has backed off its rain plans on Friday though the NAM does want to try to increase chances. I still think that Oaks Day will generally be fine unless a stray shower or t’shower moves over Churchill Downs. Saturday though looks tough. I also think that the rain chances will stay pretty high through Sunday. Of course, this is Wednesday and things could change with regard to timing but so far, the data is generally coming more in line with what I had thought would be a likely scenario which was the one that made the most sense to me, regardless of what the models were saying. And you know what…the weather always does what it will do without consulting the computers to find out what its supposed to do. I would have a concern that the folks that got slammed by twisters last Saturday will be facing the potential for another round.