As we amble into the second half of 2009, we hear stories of how the economy may be recovering. However, consider that business bankruptcies are up 240% since 2006. This recession didn’t get started overnight, it was a long time coming. When you think about it, oil prices really began to spike in 2006, reaching over $140 a barrell in 2008. Oil is the key to everything as it is the commodity that affects every person and every business. Costs for business grew rapidly but, consumers felt the pinch and with a gradual decline in buy power by consumers businesses didn’t have much pricing power. So, business profits declined. Some major brand names are in bankruptcy, including the president’s maker of his suits. All of this does not lead one to believe that there will be a quick turnaround.
Bastille Storming May Not Have Been This Dramatic
Louis XVI lost his head
In late 18th century France, The Estates-General was a political body made up of the nobility, the clergy and the commoners. The commoners were the 3rd Estate. The commoners petitioned in June 1789 for a new constitution in France and the other estates soon joined in. Louis XVI went and fired the Finance Minister and the people were afraid that they would be attacked by the military. So, the stormed the Bastille, which was a fortress that also served as a prison for many political prisoners. It was symbolic of the tyrannical power of the crown. When they got to the gate, the guy in charge let them in, fearing a blood bath, so I don’t think that the paintins, like the one above, of great mayhem associated with the storming are entirely accurate. There were only 7 prisoners in the Bastille and there really weren’t all that many armaments but the occasion has stood as a symbol of French Rebellion that eventually led to Louis and Marie Antoinette losing their heads and eventually to a French Republic. which was promptly usurped by Napoleon Bonaparte, which was good for the US since he sold us much of the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. The day is known in France as Fête Nationale or La Fête de la Bastille or La Fête Nationale. In English it is commonly referred to as Bastille Day.
It’s not foot, its Fête and Fête Nationale means “national holiday” in french. I know many Americans think “national holiday” and France are synonymous but try to get beyond that and think of your high school English class and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. If you were paying attention in class and still remember, Dickens’ classic was set in the time of the French Revolution and the storming of the Bastille. On this date in 1789, when the French peasants stormed the notorious French they had been partially inspired by the new Americans who had gained independence from England just 8 years earlier with the essential help of the French. Remember, it was the French Navy that bottled up Cornwallis’ army at Yorktown while George Washington, with the assistance of Lafayette, locked up the Redcoats by land.
Marie Antoinette's Final Moments
So, it took the French a few years but eventually they got fired up. One of an assortment of grievances was a taxation system that really stuck it to the third estate…the peasants which made up about 98% of the French citizenry. The fact that first estate of the clergy and the second estate of the nobles made up but two percent collectively held more power than the majority of the people made it a system that was ripe for revolution, especially when you consider that ultimate power was held by the King. Just about every time that such a huge majority of the people are suppressed, a revolt eventually will result. Anyway, they stormed the Bastille, Marie Antoinette and the King lost their heads and the first French Republic eventually came into being. Didn’t last too long because Napoleon named himself emperor not too far down the road so it took them awhile before Democracy really took hold. In this country we declared independence in 1776 and won it in 1781 but never got a good Constitution until 1787 and not a President until 1789. Even then, the British didn’t respect it too much as exhibited by the war of 1812, which lasted through 1814. So it takes time. Remember that next time you watch the news. Democracies don’t spring up instantly.
Napoleon Took Advantage of the Fledgling Democracy
Besides, if the French had gotten their act together sooner, the US may not have ever stretched from sea to shining sea. If you recall, that big old land acquisition by Thomas Jefferson, which by the way he admitted may not have been Constitutional, was called the Louisiana purchase and was done by slipping Napoleon a few greenbacks. Talk about selfishness. Napoleon needed the money to fund his latest war so he gave up what became the breadbasket of the world and the bulk of what would be the greatest nation the world has ever seen for $15 million. He ended up exiled and the US went to superpowerdom. Anyway, if you see a Frenchman today, wish him happy Bastille Day, or Fête Nationale as it is officially, although less commonly, known today. By the way, its interesting, is it not, that our media is referred to as the “third estate”. I suppose its because the press is supposed to be the voice of the people. However, I know that the press doesn’t always speak for me. I mean, think about it….do you really want me speaking for you?
On This Date in History: Outlaw Johnny Ringo had already gained his independence before the French on this date in 1882. He was a member of the infamous “cowboys” of Arizona. He was found in Turkey Creek Canyon near Tombstone, AZ with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. It was thought that he killed himself or was killed by “Buckskin” Leslie or “Johnny behind the Deuce.” Then Wyatt Earp claimed to have killed him when he was writing about his life as a lawman. I guess since Wyatt Earp spent much of his later years in Hollywood and because the story was better cinema than perhaps the truth, Hollywood chose Earp’s account and in all the films about Earp, Ringo meets his demise at the hands of Earp…except in Tombstone in which Val Kilmer does the deed instead of Kurt Russell.
The Real Home Run King
In baseball history, Hank Aaron hit his 500th homerun in 1968 exactly one year after Eddie Matthews hit his 500th. In 2004, the Houston Astros fired manager Jimy Williams not long after Williams was booed roundly at the All-Star game which was played in Houston. The Astros, under Phil Garner, staged a big come back in the second half of the season and ended up in the playoffs then made the World Series the following year for the first time in club history. Perhaps the day should be known as Astros Independence from Jimy Williams Day!
Weather Bottom Line: We’re still looking good for today. Warm temps…upper 80’s…relatively low humidity. Someone may get to the low 90’s. Stage is set for a fairly significant cold front Wednesday. That will probably bring rain with the potential for some strong storms, particularly if the boundary comes through in the afternoon and evening. Markedly cooler conditions will follow…another few days of below average temperatures and a chance to rest the AC..especially at night.
SPC Convective Outlook July 15 - July 16
DAY 2 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1230 PM CDT TUE JUL 14 2009
VALID 151200Z – 161200Z
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS OVER PORTIONS OF THE MID MS AND
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS OVER A PORTION OF THE SRN HIGH
PLAINS AND SRN PLAINS…
BELT OF PROGRESSIVE UPPER FLOW WILL PERSIST ACROSS THE NRN HALF OF
THE COUNTRY WEDNESDAY. VORT MAX NOW MOVING THROUGH THE NRN PLAINS
WILL CONTINUE ENEWD THROUGH THE GREAT LAKES AND SRN ONTARIO. ANOTHER
UPSTREAM IMPULSE IS FORECAST TO DROP SEWD INTO BASE OF UPPER TROUGH
AND INTO THE NRN PLAINS BY WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON/EVENING. UPPER RIDGE
WILL REMAIN SUPPRESSED ACROSS SRN THIRD OF THE COUNTRY. PRIMARY
SURFACE LOW ASSOCIATED WITH LEAD VORT MAX WILL REMAIN OVER ONTARIO.
HOWEVER…TRAILING COLD FRONT WILL ADVANCE SEWD AND EXTEND FROM THE
GREAT LAKES SWWD TO NEAR THE KS/OK BORDER AND INTO SERN CO BY
…MID MS THROUGH OH VALLEY…
CLUSTER OR TWO OF STORMS WILL LIKELY BE IN PROGRESS EARLY WEDNESDAY
OVER THE MID MS AND OH VALLEYS WITHIN ZONE OF WARM ADVECTION AND
LIFT ON NOSE OF SWLY LOW LEVEL JET. SOME OF THIS ACTIVITY COULD
PERSIST INTO THE AFTERNOON AS IT ADVANCES EAST. CONVECTIVE DEBRIS
FROM ONGOING STORMS WILL LIKELY LIMIT INSTABILITY OVER PORTIONS OF
THIS REGION. THIS IN CONJUNCTION WITH TENDENCY FOR LOW LEVEL JET TO
GRADUALLY VEER AND WEAKEN IN WAKE OF SHORTWAVE TROUGH EJECTING
THROUGH THE GREAT LAKES AND ONTARIO INCREASES UNCERTAINTY REGARDING
EXTENT OF SEVERE THREAT IN THIS AREA.
SOME POTENTIAL WILL EXIST FOR DESTABILIZATION AHEAD OF THE FRONT
FROM THE MID MS VALLEY INTO WRN PARTS OF THE OH VALLEY WHERE REMNANT
EML WILL LIKELY ADVECT EWD ABOVE AXIS OF MOIST ADVECTION. ADDITIONAL
STORMS MAY DEVELOP ALONG THE FRONT AS ATMOSPHERE DESTABILIZES…BUT
VEERING AND WEAKENING OF THE LOW LEVEL WINDS AND POTENTIAL FOR SOME
CAP ASSOCIATED WITH ERN EXTENTION OF THE EML COULD POSE A PROBLEM
FOR STORM INITIATION/COVERAGE ALONG FRONT. WHERE STORMS
DEVELOP…SUFFICIENT WNWLY UNIDIRECTIONAL BULK SHEAR WILL EXIST TO
SUPPORT ORGANIZED STORM STRUCTURES WITH ISOLATED DAMAGING WIND AND
LARGE HAIL THE MAIN THREATS.
…CNTRL HIGH PLAINS THROUGH SRN KS/NRN OK AREA…
COLD FRONT WILL SETTLE SWD INTO SERN CO THROUGH SRN KS OR NRN OK
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. A MOIST ELY UPSLOPE COMPONENT WILL LIKELY
DEVELOP ACROSS ERN CO IN POST FRONTAL ZONE. DIABATIC HEATING AND
STEEP MID LEVEL LAPSE RATES WILL RESULT IN FURTHER DESTABILIZATION
WITH 1500-2000 J/KG MLCAPE LIKELY FROM ERN CO EWD ALONG FRONTAL
BOUNDARY ACROSS SRN KS. THESE AREAS WILL REMAIN ALONG SRN PERIPHERY
OF BELT OF 25-35 KT MID LEVEL WINDS ABOVE ELY LOW LEVEL FLOW
RESULTING IN 35-45 KT BULK SHEAR. PRESENCE OF EML AND WEAK LARGE
SCALE FORCING COULD LIMIT STORM COVERAGE. HOWEVER…A FEW STORMS
COULD DEVELOP OVER THE HIGHER TERRAIN OF CO AND SPREAD SEWD DURING
THE EVENING. OTHER STORMS MAY DEVELOP ALONG AXIS OF FRONTAL
CONVERGENCE OVER SRN KS AS PEAK HEATING WEAKENS CAP. LARGE HAIL AND
ISOLATED DAMAGING WIND WILL BE THE MAIN THREATS WITH ANY STORMS THAT