FBI origins date back to Teddy’s Roosevelt’s attempt to keep in eye on Congress
January 8, 2011

Did Teddy Fancy Himself More Than a President?

Did Teddy Fancy Himself More Than a President?

Teddy Like Napoleon?

Teddy Like Napoleon?

On This Date in History: President Theodore Roosevelt had many crusades during his presidency and one was against corruption. He weilded power by liberally using the investigave arm of the Treasury Department, aka the Secret Service. Apologists of the practice suggested that the Secret Service was the federal government’s only trained investigative agency. Remember, this was prior to the creation of the FBI. But, opponents decried this use of federal resources as presidential thuggery, comparing the service to the secret police of Napoleon!

Livingstone Had His 15 Minutes

Livingstone Had His 15 Minutes

That little comparison probably came about since Roosevelt’s Attorney General was none other than Charles J. Bonaparte, Napoleon’s Great Nephew. Now, Congress was atwitter with rumors that President Roosevelt, in his zeal to crush corruption, used the Secret Service to create files on the private lives of Congressmen and that he meant to use them. Does this sound familiar? Remember the 900 FBI files that showed up in the Clinton White House and it was blamed on the former bouncer working in the White House, Craig Livingstone?

Anyway, Congress decided to take action and tried to restrict the reach of the Secret Service. Members of the House and Senate blasted away, claiming that Roosevelt was developing despotic powers by creating his own secret police force. Teddy fired back that he was simply using tools to fight corruption, even if the trail led right up to the doors of the Congress. The two side tossed verbal grenades at one another until on this date in 1909, Congress decided to defend its “maligned integrity.” (Is it only Congress thinks that Congress has integrity?) The House voted 212-36 to table, or formally ignore, that portion of the president’s annual address that assailed any restrictions on the Secret Service. It had not been since the days of Andrew Jackson that a president had received such a rebuke from the legislative body. It took a few years but eventually, it all got worked out. Congress restricted the use of the Secret Service but, partly due to Teddy’s use of the bully pulpit and big stick way of pushing for what he wanted, a bureau of investigation was formed in the Justice Department which later became known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, more commonly called simply the FBI.  While many histories point to Bonaparte’s creation of the Bureau in 1908 as the beginning, it was not until March 1909 that it officially came about as Congress, for its part, had staked out its position against any form of domestic spying.

J Edgar Hoover Confused?

J Edgar Hoover Confused?

Now, the funny thing about this is that the man who became the first head of the FBI was J. Edgar Hoover and he held the post until his death in 1972. After 40 years at the helm, he had amassed so much power and had so much dirt on so many people, many people have suggested that Hoover actually held more power than any person in the United States. Presidents were afraid of what Hoover might have in his files. It has been revealed the the FBI pressured Martin Luther King, Jr during his Civil Rights protests with many historians suggesting that the pressure put on King was directly linked to Hoover’s own private prejudice. So, in effect, the very thing Congress was afraid of came to pass except the power was not so much in the hands of an elected official, the President, but instead on the man who led the agency.

It is partly for this type of abuse of power why the framers of the Constitution did not allow for a provision for a federal police force. Well, after Hoover’s death, it was determined that no one could ever hold that type of power again and so the FBI director cannot serve for life any more but instead is limited to a ten year appointment. So, it could be said that Congress didn’t get it close to right until some 65 years after it wrestled with Roosevelt about domestic spying….keep in mind that Congress’ concern was not so much with the feds spying on your average joe….no…it was concerned with spying on them! The public certainly cannot be privy to the skeletons in the closet of its elected officials. This link will also tell you of Hoover’s own closet full of secrets that may have made him thankful that there was not a bureau of investigation for investigating the bureau of investigation. This link claims Hoover’s closet was clean…mostly….you be the judge if you care.

Weather Bottom Line:  Believe the forecasts Louisville…looks cold with snow off and on for the next 5 or 6 days.  Most models toss out a few inches total through Wednesday but I could create a scenario for more than that.  Either way, I’m not so sure that the mercury doesn’t go above freezing nearly a week.  I love it when all that ice that forms on the rocks along the freeway, like on 71 just in side the Watterson.  Looks like frozen waterfalls.

When Teddy Roosevelt Gave a Speech After Being Shot In Chest By Would Be Assassin
October 15, 2010

If Not For The Case For The Spectacles of Teddy Roosevelt (like this set auctioned in 2005) the Name of John F. Schrank Might Be As Well Known as that of John Wilkes Booth

On This Date in History: Lost to much of the pages of history are attempted assassinations. (Here is a list of failed presidential assassinations) President Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 was a former President who was running to get his old job back. He had filled the term of the assassinated President McKinley and finished his own term in 1908. In deference to the precedent set by President Washington, Teddy Roosevelt decided against running in 1908, instead promoting his Vice-President William Howard Taft who won handily. Teddy was not happy with the way in which Taft ran things and decided to challenge him for the Republican nomination for the 1912 election but power interests in the party which had fared better with Taft than Roosevelt, backed Taft and Roosevelt did not get the Republican nomination at the 1912 Republican Convention. So, he formed his own party, the Progressive Party, which came to be known as the “Bull Moose Party” after TR’s tough-guy bull-moose image. Roosevelt ended up getting more votes than Taft but the pair split the Republican vote which led to the election of Woodrow Wilson as President.

While on the campaign trail prior to the election, on October 14, 1912, Theodore Roosevelt got into a car after dining at a hotel in Milwaukee. He was headed to give a speech. When he turned to wave to the crowd, a shot rang out from the .38 caliber revolver in the hand of John F. Schrank. Schrank, a Bavarian-born immigrant, had been stalking Roosevelt since at least September 1912 when he left New York in pursuit of his prey .  It was reported that the assailant felt that no one should get more than two terms as president and had also been having dreams of William McKinley.  His dream supposedly occured on the September 6 anniversary of the assassination of President William McKinley which vaulted the then young Vice-President Roosevelt into office.  His dream was said to have involved McKinley in a coffin.  McKinley suddenly sat up straight and pointed to Roosevelt who was dressed like a monk.  The dead president floating around Schrank’s head then said, “This is my murderer. Avenge my death!”  So. Schrank did his best to follow the orders of the ghost in his dream.  When Roosevelt turned to the crowd from his car, it opened up an opportunity for Schrank to shoot the candidate at close range.

Chest X-Ray of Teddy Roosevelt Shows Location of Bullet That Was Never Removed

The shot struck Roosevelt squarely in the chest. But, in his breast pocket, Teddy had the thick,  folded up 50-page text of his planned 90 minute speech.  It must have been some pocket because, in addition to the 4-dozen sheets of paper the pocket also contained a metal spectacle case.  The bullet was slowed by the eye-glasses case and the thick manuscript.  The bullet, however, entered his body but it did not penetrate his heart. Initially, Roosevelt did not realize that he had been shot.  Once he had discovered that he was indeed the victim of a gunshot wound he still insisted on giving his speech. Using his experience as an avid hunter as a guide, he reasoned that since he was not coughing up blood, then no major organs were damaged.  Roosevelt survived an assassination attempt and had not been assassinated so, when he arrived on the podium. Teddy proudly showed the crowd the hole in his speech and thundered, ” it would take more than that to kill a Bull Moose!”   While the speech (text of speech) was abbreviated, most accounts report that Mr. Roosevelt still spoke before the crowd for 80-90 minutes and rebuffed attempts to get him to conclude the speech so he could go to the hospital for attention.  

Mrs. Medill McCormick and TR daughter Alice Roosevelt Longwell Leaving Mercy Hospital Oct 15, 1912 After Visting the Original Bull Moose

Only after he concluded his speech did Roosevelt finally go to the hospital in Milwaukee and reluctantly allowed for a tetnus injection.  On This Date in 1912, the former president was in Chicago’s Mercy Hospital where he stayed for observation for 8 days. the bullet was found lodged in tissue such that it would be more dangerous to attempt its removal.  The slug remained in Roosevelt’s body for the rest of his life.  After making the determination that the bullet would stay where it was,  Teddy was  released  from Mercy Hospital on October 23.  Both Woodrow Wilson and William Howard Taft suspended their campaigns until Roosevelt was released but they were back on the campaign trail with  just a little more than a week before the election.  While his opponents were back on the stump, TR was prevented from making important campaign stops.  Some speculate that his absence from the campaign trail in the critical final days may have influenced the election results.  In any event, Roosevelt was unable to convince enough Republicans to swing his way and the GOP vote was split between he and Taft.  While he received 88 electoral votes to the sitting president’s 8, Wilson skated to victory with 435 votes from the Electoral College.  However, Wilson’s popular vote total was about 6.3 million while, collectively, Taft and Roosevelt collected 7.6 million votes.  

Schrank Lived His Lonely Final 31 Years in a Mental Hospital Only To See the 2 Term Tradition Broken By Teddy's Cousin

Wilson went on to be re-elected in 1916, again with less than a majority of the popular vote.  He took in 49.2% of the vote and became a two term president never to receive a majority of the popular vote by a narrow 277-254 electoral victory over his Republican opponent, Charles E. Hughes.  18 times in US presidential elections has the winner not received a majority of popular votes since the popular vote was first reliably recorded in 1824.  So, it’s not that unusual.  However, only Woodrow Wilson, Grover Cleveland and Bill Clinton served two terms and never received a majority of the popular vote.  For his part, Schrank was whisked away to a mental institution where he remained for the rest of his life.  Apparently, no one came to visit him. His health began to fail in 1940 shortly after he learned that Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 5th cousin of Theodore Roosevelt, was going to run for a 3rd term as President of the United States. Schrank died at the Central State Mental Hospital in Waupun, Wisconson on September 16, 1943; about a year before FDR was elected to a 4th term.

Peace Conference, Kentucky Derby Forecast Look All Wet
April 28, 2010

This Outfit for Man and Horse Was Required for World War I But You May Need Something Else For Kentucky Derby 136

Click Image to See If There is Anyone You Know

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. 

Aletta Jacobs

 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.

This Banner At the Hague Really Made a Difference in 1915

What Did More To Bring an End to America's Involvement in Vietnam? John and Yoko sitting in bed giving peace a chance or Nixon bombing North Vietnam back to the negotation table?

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.  

The Great Seal of the United States of America

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.  

You Tell'em, Teddy!

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.” 

I Told You So! (at least I think so)

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.

SPC Outline of Area for Severe Storm Potential on Derby Day

GFS Has Heaviest Rain (1.5") Early Saturday Morning

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.  

NAM Initializes Rain Event Saturday morning

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.  

Canadian Advertises over an inch of rain Saturday Afternoon

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.

Man Gets “Bionic Bottom”; America Gets the 1st Teddy Bear
November 15, 2009

bionicman

Did Steve Austin have more than just bionic limbs?

Bionic_woman

Bionic Limb Technology Is Here And Now We Have the "Bionic Bottom"

Do you remember Colonel Steve Austin in The Six Million Dollar Man?   He was a test pilot that was maimed in a wreck and the government spent $6 million to give him nuclear powered limbs.  I think he also had a bionic eye.  Science fiction?  It was then, just like the communicators in Star Trek were in the late 60’s and now we have cell phones that look a whole lot like the gizmo that Captain Kirk used to say “Scotty, beam me up.”  Since the time of the TV show starring Lee Majors, bionic limbs have become a reality.   Butt, you know that we’ve truly moved into the space age because in England, doctor’s gave a man a “bionic bottom.”   The poor guy had gotten in a car accident and suffered internal injuries.  Apparently, he suffered great muscle loss on his backside and that made it impossible to maintain control.  He had been fitted with a colostomy bag, which is a pain in the ass, to say the least.  Now, with his bionic backside, all he has to do is flip a switch, just like using a garage door opener.  Kinda funny but also amazing, if you think about it.
trbear1

Original Teddy Bear

Original Teddy Bear With a Bow

On This Date in History: President Theodore Roosevelt was an avid outdoorsman. He lived and traveled in the west and also established the national park system when he designated five areas as national parks. He later signed the Antiquities Act of 1906 that allowed he and his successors to claim certain sites, landmarks, prehistoric structures and other items as federal monuments. While he was a great advocate of conservation, he also was an avid hunter. On this date in 1902, he was on a hunting expedition in the Mississippi Delta. Having lived in Greenville, MS for a time, I’m familiar with the area and have seen the historic marker that marks what happened. He was on a bear hunt I guess the locals wanted to make sure that the president bagged some game. Some poor bear got chased by a bunch of hounds. Roosevelt came to find the bear, knocked unconscious and tied to a tree. He was expected to shoot it. He refused.

Here is another version. He was in Mississippi to settle a border dispute and decided to do a little hunting. A bear had killed a hunting dog and it was chased down. The animal was wounded when Roosevelt came upon it and ordered it killed for mercy. Still another story says that a small bear cub was brought to Roosevelt and he refused to kill it. When I lived in Louisiana they claimed that the bear was in that state…that may harken back to the border dispute.

Michtom's Original Teddy Bear In Smithsonian

Michtom's Original Teddy Bear in Smithsonian

Whatever…the story made the rounds along with a drawing. I’ve never heard the one about him ordering the mercy killing…I’ve alway heard the one where he let the bear live and the drawing supports that version. Entrepreneurs decided to take advantage. Brooklyn store owners Rose and Morris Michtom asked Roosevelt for permission in using his name for their marketing of a stuffed cute bear. Roosevelt agreed and the Teddy Bear was born. Another version of the story is that Margarette Steiff in Germany made a cute bear that was an instant international hit.

Here’s the bottom line. The Teddy Bear was inspired by some story about the 26th President of the United States and a bear. Between 1903 and 1911, millions were sold and the classic tradition continues to this day.

7amMon

7 AM Monday (I bet this changes)

Weather Bottom Line:  First off, the bottom line is that we should be fine on Sunday and Monday with highs still pleasant each afternoon toward 70.  Then come the question marks.  I’ve seen the official forecast and it calls for the best rain chances on Tuesday.  But, that seems at odds with the model runs as both the GFS and NAM look pretty similar.  A couple of days ago I talked about a big fat low getting cut off in the Southern Plains.  Well, that is still indicated by both models and both have this guy lurk around Missouri for a couple of days as another shortwave behind it comes along and keeps it from moving too much.  It then lifts almost due north and then the next guy comes through the Ohio Valley by the end of the week. The second feature looks more formidable as far as we are concerned given its track.  The NAM throws out about 2/3 of an inch of rain and the GFS something more like 1/5 of an inch; both advertise the rain though from Tuesday evening through Wednesday, which is at odd with the official forecast.  I kinda like that scenario.  It seems to me that the cut off guy will be held up and a slow poke in response to the next one behind it.  Either way, Sunday and Monday look very nice.

Robber Gets $1.2 Million from City to Settle Lawsuit. Long Winded Speech Saves President’s Life
October 14, 2009

Pat Garrett Shot Billy the Kid in the Back.  Should the kid's family have sued Lincoln County?

Pat Garrett Shot Billy the Kid in the Back. Should the kid's family have sued Lincoln County?

Is This True?

Is This True?

The city of Oakland, California decided to pay a man $1.2 million to settle a Civil Rights lawsuit against the city.  The man was shot in the back by  an Oakland Police Officer and is now a paraplegic.    The rub with many people is that the victim was in the act of committing a robbery when the officer shot him.  The cop thought the man had a gun and shot him in self defense.  But, the man was unarmed.  This echoes back to a case in Louisville a few years ago.  A young man was conducting a drug transaction with an undercover cop.  When the officer identified himself, the youth ran and reached for what the officer thought was a gun.  The kid was shot three times in the back and died.   While, the case showed that what the officer thought was a gun was in fact not a gun, the investigation revealed that the young man was indeed armed with a gun.  The Louisville Police Officer was charged with murder.  The officer in question was  acquitted of that murder charge but he was later fired by the city for not following procedure.  

These types of cases come up from time to time.  The cop has to make a split second decision.  In these two particular cases, the men were in the act of committing a crime.  In both cases, the cops thought that the suspect was going for a gun.  In both cases, neither was going for a gun, though in the Louisville case, the man was armed.  In both cases, the officer shot the suspect in the back. 

If a man robs a liquor store and, while driving away, accidentally runs over someone,  he would most likely get charged with murder because the incident happened while  they were committing a crime.  How is it that a suspect is held responsible for his actions during the act of committing a crime, yet, is not responsible for putting himself in a position to be shot by police because he’s committing a crime?

Should cops be punished for mistakes made in shootings in which the person shot was in the process of committing a crime?  Should those “victims” be able to collect for damages in those situations…in effect get paid for being injured while committing a crime? 

These are not isolated incidents.  Just recently, a man who was convicted of a violent armed robbery filed a lawsuit seeking monetary damages for injuries he received when trying to flee the scene of the crime.  Are cities like Oakland setting a precedent for such payoffs? 
On This Date in History: Lost to much of the pages of history are attempted assassinations. (Here is a list of failed presidential assassinations) President Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 was a former President who was running to get his old job back. He had filled the term of the assassinated President McKinley and finished his own term in 1908. In deference to the precedent set by President Washington, Teddy Roosevelt decided against running in 1908, instead promoting his Vice-President William Howard Taft who won handily. Teddy was not happy with the way in which Taft ran things and decided to challenge him for the Republican nomination for the 1912 election but power interests in the party which had fared better with Taft than Roosevelt, backed Taft and Roosevelt did not get the Republican nomination. So, he formed his own party, the Progressive Party, which came to be known as the “Bull Moose Party” after TR’s tough-guy bull-moose image. Roosevelt ended up getting about 12 million votes to Taft’s 8 million but the pair split the Republican vote which led to the election of Woodrow Wilson as President.

On this date in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt got into a car after dining at a hotel in Milwaukee. He was headed to give a speech. When he turned to wave to the crowd, a shot rang out from the .38 caliber revolver in the hand of John Schrank. Schrank had been pursuing Roosevelt for many days over many miles. He had been reported to be having dreams of William McKinley and also felt that no one should get more than two terms as president. When Roosevelt turned to the crowd from his car, it opened up and opportunity for Schrank to shoot the candidate at close range.

The shot his Roosevelt squarely in the chest. But, in his breast pocket, Teddy had the thick, 50 page, folded up text of his planned 90 minute speech. He also had a metal spectacle case. The bullet was slowed by the eye-glasses case and the thick speech. While the bullet entered his body, it did not penetrate his heart. Initially, Roosevelt did not realize that he had been shot but, after he did, he insisted on giving his speech. He arrived on the podium and proudly showed the crowd the hole in his speech and said that it took more than an assassins bullet to kill a bull moose. While the speech (text of speech) was abbreviated, he still stood before the crowd for quite awhile and rebuffed attempts to get him to conclude the speech so he could go to the hospital for attention. He went to the hospital in Milwaukee and reluctantly allowed for a tetnus injection and then went to a Chicago hospital where he was released on October 23. But, that was just a little more than a week before the election and he was prevented from making important campaign stops, which may have influenced the election and leading to Wilson’s victory.

Here’s the kicker. The bullet was never removed.

Weather Bottom Line:  Still looks like crappy weather through the rest of the week if not into Saturday.  It will be cloudy with off and on rain and showers.  We may not see 50 degrees until Saturday afternoon.

White House “Scares The Crap” Out of New York For Photo Op; Talking Rarely Brings Peace
April 28, 2009

World War I Protest...What a Waste of Time

World War I Protest...What a Waste of Time

White House Wastes Money for "Classified" Photo Op and Scares Taxpayers Who Paid For It

White House Wastes Money for "Classified" Photo Op and Scares Taxpayers Who Paid For It

Can you Imagine if this was the Bush Administration?  So, on Monday, a large low flying commercial jet was reported flying near New York City.  What people saw was a 747 with two fighter jets near by.   One could easily surmise that there was another attack coming and the Air Force was chasing down the plane.  Or maybe some people didn’t see the fighters and only saw a 747 flying low near the Statue of Liberty,  which is near the World Trade Center.  The public in the area panic and starting running pell mell in all directions.  At first it was reported as a “military drill.”  As it turns out, it was nothing more than a photo op involving one of the planes that serves as Air Force One.  And who approved it?  The Obama White House!  They wanted to get a photo of Air Force One with two jet fighters flying with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop.  The mayor of New York said he didn’t know about it but some reports say that the military told the city but said that they couldn’t tell anyone because it was classified!  Haven’t these people ever heard of photo shop?  President Obama is telling us how he is going to reign in spending, yet the White House thought it was a good idea to spend untold thousands of  taxpayer dollars to get a photo  and scare the very taxpayers that it are supposed to be serviing.  Ask yourself…wouldn’t the outrage be deafening if this had been the Bush Administration?  Yet…the media seems to be burying the story.  Here’s the take from the New York Times from the NY/region page…not the front page.  Compare it to the Wall Street Journal, which includes video.  The story from Newsweek headline rightly says it “scared the crap” of out New Yorkers.

Jacobs Words Were Useless

Jacobs Words Were Useless

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. 

1915 US Delegation to Hague

1915 US Delegation to Hague

Of course, it didn’t work, not in this war or any other armed conflict.  WWI went on for 3 more years. Two decades later we had World War II followed by so many other conflicts.  Now, you might say that if these nations had listened to what is often referred to as the Women’s Peace Conference then these other conflicts wouldn’t have happened.  But, in WWI no one was giving up an inch on the battlefield nor at the negotiating table.  In 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain tried the negotiation route and he ended up sacrificing the people of Czechoslovakia for a piece of worthless paper that precluded a world war.   

WWI Could Not End Until Someone Gave Up

WWI Could Not End Until Someone Gave Up

I mean really…I wonder if these ladies really thought 20 years after their peace conference that one could reason with Adolph Hitler?  Gee…if the two sides had only talked more, wonder what would have happened?    Negotiations didn’t stop Slobadan Milosevic, it was the bombs of the United States Air Force ordered dropped by President Clinton.  When you extend a hand, you have to have a hammer close by.  People like these women meant well.  But they seem to think that having a meeting and bringing attention to themselves does anything when in fact, it does nothing.  Remember, war is defined as nothing more than an extension of political will.  The object of war is to get the other side to quit.  When there is an impasse in talk, the only thing that is left to do is take action if its important enough. Action requires boldness.   However, at the dawn of the 20th century, it became more apparent that the results of action could be devastating and so the total destruction of war became part of the equation….measuring risk vs. reward.

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 disuade 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, although it was peaceful action. ..and I’m not talking about walking around with signs.   The US achieved freedom through action.    The Spirit and words of President Roosevelt do well here:

 

 

You Tell'em, Teddy!

You Tell'em, Teddy!

“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.”

 

SPC: Not a Big Deal Tuesday

SPC: Not a Big Deal Tuesday

Weather Bottom Line: The pattern looks pretty much holding true to form which is the idea of getting rain with t’storms on Tuesday as a weak front sneaks through.  If you noticed the sky on Monday, the clouds had almost no vertical development.  This would suggest warmer air aloft considering that we got to the mid to upper 80’s and still had no convective growth.  Any jet streaks have also moved out of the area.  With a strong front, then one could get enough lift to create some good storms.  But, in this case, the front is weak and therefore the slope is gentle.  So, it would need some help getting good lift.  But with not much of a good lapse rate and  no dynamics helping, its tough to get good storms.  Hence, you see we have no real severe threat on Tuesday.  Clouds and showers will hold the temps down to the mid 70’s.

As I had previously mentioned, the front doesn’t go far south but it appears that it will probably get far enough south to make for a decent Wednesday.  Having said that, I wouldn’t call it a slam dunk.  The times I got burned the worst on a forecast was when a front didn’t go far enough south.  It will be close.  Thursday, the front returns as a warm front and brings a risk of showers.  Friday, a cold front sags down and rain chances go up again.  I think that Oaks Day is iffy.  I’ve seen some reports being all kinda optimistic but, here’s the problem; the cold front may get hung up over the area which would enhance rain chances.  Then, there is some indication suggests that a wave of energy will run up along the front over us.  Timing would be the issue.  If the wave comes through in the late afternoon, strong thunderstorms are not out of the question.  If it’s in the evening, then, then it may be okay.  The European model wants to take the bulk of the energy well north which would put the threat in the plains.   The GFS is more interested in bringing a threat to the mid to upper Mississippi Valley and part of the Ohio Valley.  It seems to me its a risky bet to call for no chance for rain or a dry day almost any day this week.  Good news is that for the Kentucky Derby, it still looks like that high pressure will build in long enough to make for a dry and mild Derby Day with rain then coming back for Sunday.

 

DAY 2 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK 
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   1225 PM CDT MON APR 27 2009
  
   VALID 281200Z – 291200Z
  
   …THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS SRN HIGH PLAINS AND NRN TX…
  
   …SYNOPSIS…
   SHORTWAVE TROUGH…CURRENTLY LOCATED OVER THE CENTRAL PORTIONS OF
   THE COUNTRY…WILL EJECT NEWD AND DEAMPLIFY AS IT MERGES WITH A
   STRONGER TROUGH MOVING EWD ACROSS SERN CANADA. THESE SYSTEMS WILL
   PUSH A COLD FRONT EWD THROUGH THE NERN QUARTER OF THE COUNTRY ON
   TUE…WHILE THE WRN PORTION OF THE FRONT STALLS ACROSS THE MIDDLE
   MS/SRN PLAINS REGION. ANOTHER TROUGH DIGGING SWD THROUGH ORE/NRN CA
   IS FORECAST TO EVOLVE INTO A BROAD UPPER LOW IN THE PACIFIC NW. THIS
   WILL RESULT IN BROAD CYCLONIC FLOW WITH EMBEDDED SHORTWAVE TROUGHS
   EXTENDING FROM THE SWRN STATES NEWD INTO CENTRAL/SRN PLAINS.
  
   …SRN HIGH PLAINS AND NRN TX…
   FRONT IS EXPECTED TO STRETCH ACROSS NRN TX WWD IN THE SRN TX
   PANHANDLE DURING THE MORNING. SCATTERED CONVECTION MAY BE OCCURRING
   ALONG AND NORTH OF THE FRONT…ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE TX PANHANDLE
   …WHERE STRONGER FORCING IS EXPECTED DUE TO STRENGTHENING LOW LEVEL
   JET/ISENTROPIC LIFT. COMBINATION OF STEEP MID LEVEL LAPSE RATES AND
   MOISTENING ADVECTION ABOVE THE BOUNDARY LAYER INDICATE A MARGINAL
   THREAT FOR SEVERE HAIL WITH ELEVATED THUNDERSTORMS DURING THE
   MORNING.
  
   HOWEVER…THE COMBINATION OF DIURNAL HEATING AND DEWPOINTS IN THE
   50S IN NM AND 60S IN TX SHOULD RESULT IN MODERATE INSTABILITY
   …WITH MLCAPES FROM 1000 TO 2000 J/KG ACROSS THE SLIGHT RISK AREA.
   A SHORTWAVE TROUGH IS PROGGED TO MOVE INTO THE WRN TX BY
   AFTERNOON…AND STORMS ARE LIKELY TO DEVELOP ALONG NWD DRIFTING E-W
   ORIENTED FRONT…REMNANT BOUNDARIES FROM MORNING CONNECTION AND IN
   MOISTENING UPSLOPE FLOW REGIME ACROSS ERN NM. VEERING WINDS IN THE
   LOWER 3KM COMBINED WITH MODERATE 40 KT WSWLY MID LEVEL WINDS WILL
   CONTRIBUTE TO EFFECTIVE SHEAR NEAR 40 KT AND SUPERCELLS DURING THE
   AFTERNOON/EVENING HOURS. ALTHOUGH THERMODYNAMIC PROFILES LOOK MOST
   FAVORABLE FOR LARGE HAIL…STRONG TURNING IN THE LOWER 1-2 KM AND A
   RELATIVELY MOIST BOUNDARY LAYER FAVORS SOME TORNADO DEVELOPMENT IN
   ERN NM AND THE TEXAS PANHANDLE.
  
   OVERNIGHT…ELEVATED STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP NWD IN ZONE OF
   STRONG WARM ADVECTION…THOUGH WEAK INSTABILITY SHOULD LIMIT SEVERE
   POTENTIAL WITH THESE STORMS.
  
   …MID MS VALLEY NEWD INTO THE NEW ENGLAND…
   THOUGH CONVECTION IS EXPECTED TO BE ONGOING ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE
   MID MS/TN AND INTO THE OH VALLEYS IN THE MORNING…WEAK LAPSE RATES
   SHOULD RESULT IN A LOW THREAT FOR SEVERE. IN THE NERN STATES
   …LIMITED INSTABILITY WILL EXIST AHEAD OF ADVANCING COLD FRONT.
   THIS INSTABILITY ALONG WITH AFTERNOON HEATING AND CONVERGENCE MAY
   SUPPORT SCATTERED STORMS ALONG THE FRONT. DESPITE WEAK INSTABILITY
   …MODERATE/STRONG UNIDIRECTIONAL WSWLY WINDS INDICATE A THREAT OF
   ISOLATED WIND GUSTS BETWEEN 18Z-01Z.
  
   ..IMY.. 04/27/2009

http://alphainventions.com/

alphainventions

President Spies on Congress?
January 8, 2009

Did Teddy Fancy Himself More Than a President?

Did Teddy Fancy Himself More Than a President?

Teddy Like Napoleon?

Teddy Like Napoleon?

On This Date in History: President Theodore Roosevelt had many crusades during his presidency and one was against corruption.  He weilded power by liberally using the investigave arm of the Treasury Department, the Secret Service.  Apologists of the practice  suggested that the Secret Service was the federal government’s only trained investigative agency.  Remember, this was prior to the creation of the FBI.  But, opponents decried this use of federal resources as presidential thuggery, comparing the service to the secret police of Napoleon!  That little

Livingstone Had His 15 Minutes

Livingstone Had His 15 Minutes

comparison probably came about since Roosevelt’s Attorney General was none other than Charles Bonaparte, Napoleon’s Great Nephew.  Now, Congress was atwitter with rumors that President Roosevelt, in his zeal to crush corruption, used the Secret Service to create files on the private lives of Congressmen and that he meant to use them.  Does this sound familiar?  Remember the 900 FBI files that showed up in the Clinton White House and it was blamed on the former bouncer working in the White House, Craig Livingstone?

Anyway, Congress decided to take action and tried to restrict the reach of the Secret Service.  Members of the House and Senate blasted away, claiming that Roosevelt was developing despotic powers by creating his own secret police force.  Teddy fired back that he was simply using tools to fight corruption, even if the trail led right up to the doors of the Congress.  The two side tossed verbal grenades at one another until on this date in 1909, Congress decided to defend its “maligned integrity.”   (Why is it that only Congress thinks that Congress has integrity?)  The House voted 212-36 to table, or formally ignore, that portion of the president’s annual address that assailed any restrictions on the Secret Service.  It had been since the days of Andrew Jackson that a president had received such a rebuke from the legislative body.  It took a few years but eventually, it all got worked out.  Partly due to Teddy’s use of the bully pulpit and big stick way of pushing for what he wanted, a bureau of investigation was formed in the Justice Department which later became known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, more commonly called simply the FBI.  Congress for its part had staked out its position against any form of domestic spying. 

J Edgar Hoover Confused?

J Edgar Hoover Confused?

Now, the funny thing about this is that the man who became the first head of the FBI was J. Edgar Hoover and he held the post until his death in 1972.  After 40 years at the helm, he had amassed so much power and had so much dirt on so many people, many people have suggested that Hoover actually held more power than any person in the United States.  Presidents were afraid of what Hoover might have in his files.  It has been revealed the the FBI pressured Martin Luther King, Jr during his Civil Rights protests with many historians suggesting that the pressure put on King was directly linked to Hoover’s own private prejudice.  So, in effect, the very thing Congress was afraid of came to pass except the power was not so much in the hands of an elected official, the President, but instead on the man who led the agency. 

It is  partly for this type of abuse of power why the framers of the Constitution did not allow for a provision  for a federal police force.  Well, after Hoover’s death, it was determined that no one could ever hold that type of power again and so the FBI director cannot serve for life any more but  instead is limited to a ten year appointment.    So, it could be said that Congress didn’t get it close to right until some 65 years after it wrestled with Roosevelt about domestic spying….keep in mind that Congress’ concern was not so much with the feds spying on your average joe….no…it was concerned with spying on them!  The public certainly cannot be privy to the skeletons in the closet  of its elected officials.  This link will also tell you of Hoover’s own closet full of secrets that may have made him thankful that there was not a bureau of investigation for investigating the bureau of investigation.  This link claims Hoover’s closet was clean…mostly….you be the judge if you care.

Weather Bottom Line:  As it turns out, my suspicions were correct.  We had light snow and the ground was too warm to have any accumulation, though I think parts of South Indiana had some white spots.  With wet roads overnight, there may be some Thursday morning icy spots but, with the wind blowing so hard, many of the roads may dry before much ice forms.  Still a good idea to be careful, especially on bridges.  As I mentioned yesterday, Thursday looks pretty cold. We won’t get out of the 30’s and the breezes will make it a bit tough.  Now we warm up a bit for Friday…though not warm…and then we just hit the tank with another pretty cold time of it next week.  If some of the data holds up, we may not get to the 20’s on Monday or Tuesday.  Even if the coldest stuff isn’t right, we’re still looking at highs in the mid to upper 20’s.  So, unless you are a thermometer you won’t notice…its going to be cold. Bet we see single digits.  Some snow showers look possible for say Sun-Tue off and on but accumulations don’t look like anything more than a nuisance and a nice post card.

The Teddy Bear Story, Cold Weather and People Living In Tents 2 Months After Hurricane Ike Worth More Attention than Snow Potential
November 15, 2008

Mid to Upper 20's Tuesday AM

NAM: Mid to Upper 20's on Tuesday

This little “snow event” would be called a nuisance event at best were we in February. But, since it’s the first

NAM Snow Total thru 7AM Sun

NAM Snow Total thru 7AM Sun

time around, people take more interest. Jay’s been very good at being responsible, as usual, in that he has not been hyping this at all and giving it the proper analysis. The 00Z Saturday model runs are in and they continue to be pretty pessimistic on the snow. The NAM is the most bullish and it’s not too enthused. The extrapolated data puts out .06″ of precipition on Saturday night. But, in the 6 hour window between 7PM and 1AM, it goes from having the entire lower 1200 feet being above

GFS Snow Total Thru Sun AM

GFS Snow Total Thru Sun AM

freezing and a surface temp of the upper 30’s to something below freezing at 1200 feet but still in the mid 30’s at the surface. If you generously assumed half of that as rain and then used an 8 to 1 ratio, then you get about a quarter inch of snow with surface temperatures above freezing and a ground above freezing. Even with those big assumptions you end up with a few flakes and thats about it. The GFS is less enthusiastic with much warmer conditions at all levels. Bottom line is keep the snow shovels in the garage. My sister-in-law likes to tell me what “it’s supposed to do” which means she heard it on the radio and assumes that everyone has the same forecast. She told me “it’s supposed to be a quarter inch.” That seems to be a stretch. You can see the less than favorability regarding snow from either model and the other models look similar. I suspect the bigger story for the next several days into next week will be the decidedly colder air. I changed my air filter today on my heating unit.

Hurricane Ike Update: You don’t hear anything about Hurricane Ike victims on the national scene but the

Lawn Decoration Courtesy of Ike Remains Two Months After Storm

Lawn Decoration Courtesy of Ike Remains Two Months After Storm

estimate remains that Ike will be the 3rd costliest Hurricane in US history and hundreds remain missing. Here is a story that indicates that many people are not just living in FEMA trailers, some remain in tents 2 months after the storm. Read it HERE. Now ask yourself where the national press corps is on this story except for this lone AP reporter. Also, there is one town, Shore Acres. It is not even in Galveston County…it’s in Southeastern Harris County which is the county that is dominated by Houston. 88% of the homes there were flooded and half the people have not returned. Much of the area looks as it did the day after the storm. Here’s the story from the Houston Chronicle.

trbear1

On This Date in History: President Theodore Roosevelt was an avid outdoorsman. He lived and traveled

Original Teddy Bear

Original Teddy Bear With a Bow

in the west and also established the national park system when he designated five areas as national parks. He later signed the Antiquities Act of 1906 that allowed he and his successors to claim certain sites, landmarks, prehistoric structures and other items as federal monuments. While he was a great advocate of conservation, he also was an avid hunter. On this date in 1902, he was on a hunting expedition in the Mississippi Delta. Having lived in Greenville, MS for a time, I’m familiar with the area and have seen the historic marker that marks what happened. He was on a bear hunt I guess the locals wanted to make sure that the president bagged some game. Some poor bear got chased by a bunch of hounds. Roosevelt came to find the bear, knocked unconscious and tied to a tree. He was expected to shoot it. He refused.

Here is another version. He was in Mississippi to settle a border dispute and decided to do a little hunting. A bear had killed a hunting dog and it was chased down. The animal was wounded when Roosevelt came upon it and ordered it killed for mercy. Still another story says that a small bear cub was brought to Roosevelt and he refused to kill it. When I lived in Louisiana they claimed that the bear was in that state…that may harken back to the border dispute.

Michtom's Original Teddy Bear In Smithsonian

Michtom's Original Teddy Bear in Smithsonian

Whatever…the story made the rounds along with a drawing. I’ve never heard the one about him ordering the mercy killing…I’ve alway heard the one where he let the bear live and the drawing supports that version. Entrepreneurs decided to take advantage. Brooklyn store owners Rose and Morris Michtom asked Roosevelt for permission in using his name for their marketing of a stuffed cute bear. Roosevelt agreed and the Teddy Bear was born. Another version of the story is that Margarette Steiff in Germany made a cute bear that was an instant international hit.

Here’s the bottom line. The Teddy Bear was inspired by some story about the 26th President of the United States and a bear. Between 1903 and 1911, millions were sold and the classic tradition continues to this day.

Derby Week Outlook and a Useless Conference
April 28, 2008

So, here’s the story for the big week. If you watched last night then you saw me talk about a break in the clouds in between the ones from Sunday night and the ones to come Monday afternoon.  The sunshine will allow us to push toward 60 before a cold front sweeps across.  With today’s sun it will still be cool but enough heating to create pretty good lapse rates by the afternoon when the cold air aloft with the upper low support of the approaching storm moves in.   The boys at the SPC think that the lapse rates will be sufficient to perhaps create severe storms.  Generally, I’d it’s going to be tough to do that but the air aloft is pretty dog gone cold so its possible, not probable and if we did, it would be in the form of hail or gusty winds. 

Tuesday will feature sunshine but be cool. Wednesday we get a warm front after a chilly start and we get to the upper 60’s to low 70’s.  Great afternoon for watching a steamboat race.  Thursday will be a fine day for a parade with partly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 70’s and low 80’s.  Friday, first part of Oaks Day wiil be warm.  A cold front will be approaching.  I suspect that in the afternoon there will be scattered storms meandering by from SW to NE ahead of the front. It will be breezy.  The concentration of t’storms will be in a line associated with the front overnight Friday followed by lingering showers early Saturday before we clear out for a pleasant Derby afternoon.  The timing of the front has stayed pretty consistent and that will be our best scenario because its between Oaks Day race and Derby Day races.  However, afternoon Thursday races, including the Oaks race itself, my be susceptible to t’showers.  If the front is a few hours faster, then it may be more interesting than that. 

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 April 28, 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. 

Of course, it didn’t work, not in this war or any other armed conflict.  WWI went on for 3 more years then we had World War II and so many other conflicts.  Now, you might say that if these nations had listened to what is often referred to as the Women’s Peace Conference then these other conflicts wouldn’t have happened.  But, in WWI no one was giving up an inch on the battlefield or at the negotiating table.  Neville Chamberlain tried the negotiation route and he ended up sacrificing the people of Czechoslovakia for a piece of worthless paper. I mean really…I wonder if these ladies really thought that one could reason with Adolph Hitler 20 years after their Peace Conference?  Negotiations didn’t stop Slobadan Milosevic, it was the bombs of the United States Air Force ordered dropped by President Clinton.  When you extend a hand, you have to have a hammer close by.  People like these women meant well.  But they seem to think that having a meeting and bringing attention to themselves does anything when in fact, it does 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 disuade 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.    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.”