Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Real America at Work

After the humiliating spectacle of last night's debate, I thought everyone might enjoy a taste of the real America at work. It is an outstanding video of the 2020 wheat harvest in northern Kansas. The video is highly entertaining and well worth your time. 

A couple of thoughts: Kansas is the #1 state for wheat production. When the storm moves in (about eight minutes into the video) as an advocate for weather safety, I would have preferred it if they had taken shelter just a bit sooner. Before we judge too harshly, keep in mind that if the storm had contained hail, their wheat could have been wiped out. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

America Should Be Ashamed


 I watched the first half-hour of tonight's 'debate' and couldn't watch it any longer. All three men on the stage should be ashamed. And, America should be ashamed. 

Chris Wallace clearly favored Joe Biden and bailed him out twice during that period. Wallace used to be the best, and fairest, interviewer in Washington but apparently the Mike Wallace DNA favoring Democrats seems to have kicked in as he has aged. His performance was a disgrace to journalism. Chris is 72. 

Donald Trump. While I wasn't expecting much from him, he performed below my expectations. He was a bully and wouldn't allow either Biden or Wallace to speak. President Trump had a couple of pertinent achievements about which he could have clearly spoken but blustered instead. Trump is 74. 

Joe Biden. Also, awful. None of the questions posted to him while I was watching were answered. In fact, he deflected. He also spoke one clear untruth. I wondered if his refusal to allow his ears to be examined for electronic devices was because someone was feeding him canned answers as he wasn't answering the questions being asked. Age 77. 

When I (age 68) was a kid, candidates were selected in "smoke-filled rooms" by the "wise men" (and, it was always men) of the political parties. Truman and Eisenhower were nominated in this manner. I'd like to say that is superior but the D's tried something like that in 2016 with the superdelegates and they ended up with the utterly corrupt Hillary (age 72).

Do you see a pattern here? 

The U.S. Constitution contains a lower age limit for president (35). Perhaps it is time to put an upper age on presidents. I would propose that no one may be elected president if, on November 1 of the year of the election, they are 72 years old or older. 

But, that doesn't solve the problem of overwhelmingly old people running for the office. While I am a proud Reagan conservative (Reagan was an energetic 69 when sworn in), the only person who had any interesting ideas in this past campaign was Democrat Tulsi Gabbard (39). 

Three are three reasons primarily old people run for President.

  • Our campaigns for federal office are far, far, far too long. In the first half of the 20th Century, primary campaigns began in Q1 of election years. You had the nominating conventions. The actual campaigns started on Labor Day. As late as 1968, Robert Kennedy didn't announce his campaign until March. Now, presidential campaigns are the year around, every year. Usually only older people have raised their children and have the time. What does that tell us? The federal government is far too powerful and important. 
  • Money. Too often younger people have not built a sufficient personal financial base to sustain them if they lose. Unless you are an attorney, you likely will not be able to go back to your old job. 
  • As we have previously discussed, I believe a terrible impediment to quality people running is the Supreme Court's Sullivan v New York Times. That decision essentially allowed the news media to slander or libel people (today, especially conservatives) with impunity. Young people need to care about their reputations. Older peoples' reputations are made. While certainly not the worst Supreme Court decision the court has ever made, it is up there. Congress needs to use its Article III, Section 2 powers to overrule Sullivan and put a reasonable libel/slander law in place that does not have defacto carve-outs for the media or politicians. Otherwise, good people will continue to refuse to run because they will not put their families through the process of running for office or being confirmed for office. 
We are rapidly losing or have already lost our once-great nation. Republicans and Democrats see eye to eye on practically nothing except getting reelected. They are happy to gratuitously pour gasoline on the fire if it will serve their interests. The D's allow, or even encourage, lawlessness in our big cities (lawlessness including the absurd impeachment as COVID threatened our nation). This cannot be sustained.

If you are Republican, watch the MSM from time to time.

Democrats, read the conservative media (start here). 

What else can we do? We have given what we can afford (we can't afford a great deal) to a few candidates we believe will be outstanding. I encourage you to work for (knock on doors for example) or donate to really good candidates wherever you can find them. 

A world without America and its ideals is too frightening to contemplate. As Reagan pointed out, people from the Soviet Union or Communist China had the United States to flee to. But, where do Americans go if the United States falls to socialism?

This Is Snake Season

At least in Kansas, snakes seem to be out in early autumn more than during any other time of year. Monday, my friend David Finfrock, a Dallas TV meteorologist, was bitten by a rattler.

Fortunately, it was a "dry" (no venom) or nearly dry bite. There is more on the story here

Please be careful around brush and rocks until winter sets in. 

Monday, September 28, 2020

Big Environment at the Federal Trough Again

What started as a good idea in Washington (those are always short-lived) has turned into a monstrous mess that will ladle out even more of our hard-earned dollars to the wind and solar lobbies. It is Senate Bill S.2657. An analysis is here

Solar and, especially, wind energy destabilize the electrical grid and are very expensive. The stories you hear about them being comparable to coal or natural gas don't include:

  • Running expensive transmission lines to the windmill farms. 
  • Disposal of obsolete windmills.
  • The little-known fact that fossil-fuel generators are always running in the background because wind and solar are unreliable. 
  • The high human cost of mining rare-earth minerals that have much better uses.
  • All of the tax money that subsidizes their installation and use. 
  • Of course, there is the non-monetary cost of all of birds killed by the windmills' blades.
The federal subsidies for windmills began in the Carter Administration. I didn't oppose them at that time because I thought they might have potential. We now know they are a terrible investment that would never exist but for the federal largess. It needs to stop. Contact your Senator if you agree with me. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Supreme Court Nominee Judge Amy Barrett

The Barrett Family

Earlier this week the Fox TV network debuted a prime-time program called Filthy Rich -- a story of religious hypocrites. It seems that Hollywood cannot depict religious faith without hypocrisy being the primary focus. 

Mr. Hatch's comment is right on the money. Most all of the criticisms of presumptive Supreme Court nominee Amy Barrett are stupid. Not accurate. Not "over-the-top." Just stupid. To cite just one: How could it be that a woman who has had a distinguished professional career allegedly believes women should not work outside the home? Stupid. 

How can it be that a woman who has adopted two children from Haiti -- children in desperate circumstances -- "doesn't believe in taking care of children after they are born" (emphasis in original)? Stupid. 

Then, there is this putrid criticism:

The one criticism that surprises me the most is "she didn't graduate from an Ivy League law school." You mean that eight Ivy League justices aren't enough?? Notre Dame is a bad law school? Even when she graduated #1 in her class? Are you kidding? Stupid. 

It seems that even liberals who actually know Judge Barrett believe she belongs on the court

So, I say: Congratulations future Justice Barrett.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Biden's Family Corruption

I rarely write political pieces on the blog. When I do they are usually about hypocrisy or corruption. One year ago I wrote this piece on corruption in the Democratic party relating to impeachment. Part of the reason for that piece is the media's often incorrect foci on Trump ("Russia, Russia, Russia" which was proven incorrect) and contrasted to almost the complete lack of the media examining the extensive corruption in the Biden family. This just changed. 

Regarding the Biden family's corruption, the report released from Congress Wednesday is devastating. Joe Biden's response has been to deny it. I thought this tweet sums Biden's dissembling well. 

We, unfortunately, have two highly flawed candidates from which to choose in 2020. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Increasing Concern About Drought

The severe drought over parts of the West could worsen and spread east over the next month and, perhaps, into winter. These forecasts are important for agricultural and water management purposes. 

Current Drought Conditions

Here is the current status of drought in the United States. The first map should be considered valid everywhere except along the West Coast.

The Palmer Index (above) methodology does not work well along the West Coast. The map below should be used in the far West.

Rainfall Forecasts

With the La Nina (area of cold water in the equatorial Pacific west of South America), the Northwest is typically wet while the southern half of the U.S.A. is dry in late autumn and winter. Here is the rainfall forecast for the next seven days. Note that much of the west half of the nation is dry.

The 8 to 14 day rainfall outlook continues the dryness and expands it. 
And, while I am not generally a fan of the 3 to 4 week outlook, it is more of the same with below normal precipitation over most of the nation (brown). There are reasons to believe it is correct, unfortunately. 

While monthly and seasonal precipitation forecasts have limited to no skill, with a La Nina in place, this forecast for the month of October has a better than average chance of being correct.

Will the current drought will east in the Northwest, I'm concerned this pattern will last into winter and with serious effects, especially in the High Plains and West. 

Election 2020: I've Made My Decision

I don't like Donald Trump as a person. Not at all. I didn't like him on The Apprentice. At the polling place in November, 2016, I attempted to vote for candidate Carly Fiorina. I was told that Kansas law only allows write-ins for people who have paid a write-in fee. So, I asked if I could vote for the Republican Presidential Electors. I was told I could not.

Since I would never vote for Hillary Clinton as I was and am sure she is utterly corrupt and a threat to the Constitution, I voted for Donald Trump with a sick feeling to my stomach.

I was surprised that he won. Since he was sworn in, this email pretty well sums up my feelings.
While the man is a total jerk, his administration has done a great deal of good. Consider this (items in dark blue courtesy of Dr. Victor D Hansen):
  • Until COVID, an amazing economy that especially benefited minorities. 
  • Less unnecessary regulation.
  • Grounding the Boeing 737-MAX over the objections of some in the FAA.
  • Disengaging from unnecessary military engagements in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East. He hasn't started any new wars.
  • Defeated ISIS. 
  • Embargoed and bankrupt Iran. Its clients like Hezbollah are broken and increasingly ineffective.
  • China being ostracized and challenged. 
  • The cutting of carbon emissions at a rate greater than the rest of the world. 
  • Illegal immigration cut.
  • NATO alliance bolstered. NATO nations paying more of the share for their defense. 
  • And, most of all, the absolutely stunning peace accords in the Middle East. 
Last month's peace deal between Israel and the U.A.E. was a huge step forward for which Trump has gotten far too little credit. That led to the agreement between Israel and Bahrain. President Jimmy Carter received a Nobel Peace Prize for brokering a very similar deal between Israel and Egypt.

In 2020 we have a choice between a personally flawed, but successful, incumbent in Trump along with his Vice President, Mike Pence. Trump has not been treated fairly as the man what won the 2016 election by a large margin (304-227). The opposition, at times, has behaved in a seditious manner. Many of his appointees have not been confirmed. His impeachment was completely improper and it detracted from the government's attention in the run-up to the arrival of coronavirus on our shores.

Opposing President Trump is the mentally impaired Joe Biden. Biden has a poor record when it comes to plagiarism, sexual harassment and race relations. He is frequently dishonest and has been throughout his career. I predict, if Biden wins the election, within a few months after Biden's swearing in we will have President Kamala Harris as the MSM will 'notice' Biden's impairment and the 25th Amendment will be invoked. Harris is an extreme leftist and is personally flawed as her appalling record as a prosecutor in California amply demonstrates. 

Harris' smearing of Brett Kavanaugh (which echoed Biden's smearing of Justice Clarence Thomas) and other actions as a U.S. Senator and Vice Presidential candidate lead me to believe she will have her fingers crossed when she swears her oath to the Constitution. 

In no way is my opposition to Harris sexist. I -- strongly -- supported Carly Fiorina for President in 2016 as I thought we needed an outsider. Evidently, many others believed that, too. Unfortunately, the nation chose the wrong outsider running: Trump instead of Fiorina. 

The overreaction to COVID, the riots, and the related commentary from the left the last four months convinces me we cannot risk turning over the reigns of government to them. Even some liberals agree that it is too dangerous to do so.

So, with some reluctance because of his personal flaws, I will again be voting for Mr. Trump.

Let's hope we have far better choices in 2024. Perhaps Tulsi Gabbard and Nikki Haley? It would be great to have those two choices. 

Why Forecasting Should Be Left to Meteorologists

 If psychics were any good.....

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Rest in Peace, Tommy DeVito

I have been a huge fan of the Four Seasons since I heard "Rag Doll" for the first time in the summer of 1964. So, this news hit me hard. The full article is here

As explained in the smash hit musical, Jersey Boys, Tommy was the founding member of the group. The other three were Nick Massi (deceased), Bob Gaudio, and Frankie Valli. Below is a kinescope from 1964 with a medley of their early hits. 
From left, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, Frankie Valli, Nick Massi

If you wish to hear a 1964 live concert (audio only), click here

Rest in Peace, Tommy. Thanks for starting the Four Seasons and for all of the great music!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Best Laugh I've Had This Month



Congratulations, Dr. Ryan Maue

                                                                          Cato Institute

According to media reports, Dr. Ryan Maue has been appointed to the position of chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This is a brilliant appointment.

Dr. Maue has a PhD in tropical meteorology from Florida State University. From where I sit, NOAA's hurricane forecasts -- particularly involving storm intensity -- need a fresh approach. The National Weather Service's issues (aging radars, stagnant forecast accuracy, etc.) are growing. Again, this is in Ryan's wheelhouse. The NWS is part of NOAA.

The Washington Post quotes the University of Washington's Dr. Cliff Mass as saying,

“I have respected his independent voice,” said Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at University of Washington. “He has a good technical background, and I do appreciate he’s been willing to be very frank and honest on everything from synoptic meteorology to climate change. I think he is a very solid person to be appointed to NOAA.”

I couldn't agree more. Congratulations. 

Heavy Rains in the South

Here is the 5-day rainfall amount forecast. Tropical Storm Beta will cause heavy rain in many parts of the region.


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Tropical Storm Beta, 10:25am Sunday

The storm is forecast to remain at tropical storm strength ("S") before weakening to a tropical depression (D). The winds of 40 to 70 mph are tinted in amber. 

The primary problem with Beta will be flooding.

"Blessed are the Peacemakers"

When did you think you would ever see this?
Associated Press photo of the U.S., Israeli, Emerati and Baharani flags displayed on Jerusalem's old wall. 

President Trump deserves a Nobel Prize for this accomplishment. 

I like this cartoon.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Tropical Storm Beta Update, 10:10am Saturday

Please allow me to break down the graphic for you.
  • Blue = tropical storm warning.
  • Pink = hurricane watch.
  • Yellow = tropical storm watch.
  • Amber = area experiencing winds tropical storm force (40 - 74 mph).
  • H = forecast strength is hurricane (sustained winds 75 mph or higher).
  • S = tropical storm force winds are forecast (40 to 74 mph).
Flooding is the biggest threat from Beta. 
                                   

Friday, September 18, 2020

Justice Ginsburg: Rest in Peace

 Associate Justice Ginsburg lead an amazing life. Condolences to her family and the many that loved her.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Update on My Third Book

I have been asked, many times, as to the status of my third book. 

I’m happy to report that, as of today, the first draft of the manuscript is complete. My editor and I will do a second edit for style and consistency next week. Then, I will begin the search for someone to represent the work. I’m reasonably confident it will be published based on the feedback I am receiving. 


However, if I cannot find a publisher in a reasonable period of time, I will self-publish the work. 


Thank you for your patience and good wishes. I have learned that writing fiction is much more difficult that writing non-fiction.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Video of a Train Derailing in Kansas City

Here's something you don't see every day: A Union Pacific train derailing yesterday in Kansas City. The trainwas hauling new cars as it traveled west on the Missouri River bridge. The video is below.
As far as I know, no one was hurt. The camera is run by Virtual Railfan. You can view cleanup in progress here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Extreme Bias of the MSM

The Babylon Bee is a fantastic satire site -- better than the Onion (was when it was a satire site). Here is an item from an hour ago.

More and more, the Babylon Bee seems to predict the future. I was watching ABC Evening News to see my friend, Ginger Zee, report on Hurricane Sally. Her reporting well great, as usual. But, what should have been the lead story -- the historic peace agreement in the Middle East -- didn't run until 17 minutes in. And, when it finally did, listen to this "mask" zinger from Martha Raddatz* at the start of the report.
Not only did the Babylon Bee forecast this bias, ABC News didn't help itself. How? They went to a commercial after the report on the Middle East. After the commercial, the first story was the ineffectiveness of masks! You can't make this up!
It is no wonder 86% of Americans believe the MSM is biased.


*Martha cried on air when President Trump was declared the winner of the 2016 election. The crying came after Martha speculated -- without any evidence -- that Trump would be a failure when it came to Mideast strategy. The irony is amazing, especially in view of President Obama shoveling our money at Iran.

Hurricane Sally Update: 4:55pm Tuesday

Sally is attempting to make one last try at intensification before landfall. The pressure has dropped 4mb (to 975mb) in the last hour. 

Here are the latest storm surge forecasts. If the eye passes just west of Mobile Bay, the 4-6' forecast might be slightly low.

Record flooding is likely inland.

9am Update on Hurricane Sally

Sally weakened a bit overnight. Here is the storm as it appeared on radar at 8:55am.
Maximum winds at this time are 85mph.

The storm will likely be known for historic flooding.
The bright yellow is a forecast of more than 15 inches of rain. The amber, extending into South Carolina, is 7-10 inches. Here is the timing from my friends at AccuWeather.


Tornadoes are possible today and through the night.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Noon Monday - Hurricane Sally Update

Noon Update: Sally Has Strengthened into a Hurricane
Sustained Winds are now 90 mph. Pressure 986 millibars

Hurricane Warning Issued for the Entire Alabama Coast. Still looks like landfall will occur along the coast of Mississippi or near the MS-AL border.
I still believe the storm will reach sustained winds of 100 m.p.h. before landfall. Sally is reorganizing today and the latest data indicates pressures are falling -- down to 991 mb as of noon, the pressure has dropped rapidly to 986mb.

Major Storm Surge
This does not include waves or astronomical tides. It is possible the surge will be higher than forecast along the Mississippi coast -- a very dangerous situation.

Major Flooding Likely!
The peach color from the City of New Orleans to just off the coast of Mississippi is a forecast of 20 inches of rain. Major flooding will occur in eastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

Safety Recommendations With COVID Factored In:
  • Make a hotel/motel reservation well inland. There is no point to getting on the road and finding everything already sold out. Be sure and cancel if you do not need the room. In this case, I would go west (e.g., Lake Charles, Beaumont) to stay away from both winds and flooding. 
  • Make provisions for infirm friends/relatives well in advance. 
  • Get prescriptions filled before you evacuate. 
  • Put an app like AccuWeather's on your smartphone. It will keep track of your location and automatically provide the latest emergency warnings. 
  • Your "Go-Kit" should include at least two masks per person, soap, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and, if available, disinfectant spray. 
  • Fill your car with fuel. I still recommend a road atlas or map in addition to whatever navigation system you might have. 
  • Power failures are likely. If you have a generator, fill it with fuel. If you wish to purchase a portable generator, do not put it in the garage, indoors, or anywhere near an air intake. Carbon monoxide is a danger. Nearly half of the fatalities from Hurricane Laura were from carbon monoxide after the storm. 
  • Consider taking your passport or putting it in your safe deposit box. If the worst happens, you'll need it to prove identity for disaster documents. It will be difficult to recover in a ruined home.
  • Take at least two large bottles of water for each family member along with protein bars or other easy-to-carry food. 
  • If you decide to stay home, make sure you have a working fire extinguisher, non-electric can opener, and a first aid kit. 
As always, I promise there will be no hyping of the storms. 

If you wish to learn more about how hurricane warnings are made, go here

Sunday, September 13, 2020

11:40pm Sally Update

There is a newer forecast higher up on the blog. 

A quick update: Below is the 11:30pm satellite image with a considerable amount of lightning occurring (circled; colored dots = lightning) near the developing eye.
The cites of New Orleans (NO), Gulfport (G), Mobile (M) and
Tampa (T) are marked for reference
If you compare with the satellite images in the posting below, it is obvious the storm has become better organized and is strengthening. Those in the hurricane warning area (red in the path image in the posting below) should complete their preparations by noon Monday.

The rest of the info in the posting below is still valid.

Goodnight.

Hurricane Sally Trying to Intensify

There is a newer forecast higher up on the blog. 

-----
The change in weather satellite images over the past two hours is rather dramatic.

Sally at 8pm.

Sally at 10pm.
The large black area with gray in the middle is known at a "central dense overcast" and its formation is a sign of tropical storm intensification.

Forecast Path of the Eye of Sally
The Hurricane Center and I now agree on the path, although it could be ± 20 miles east or west. I believe the sustained winds at landfall will be in the 100 to 110 mph range with stronger gusts. This will set up a serious storm surge threat.

Storm Surge Forecast
This does not include waves or astronomical tides. It is possible the surge will be higher than forecast along the Mississippi coast -- a very dangerous situation.

Major Flooding Likely!
The peach color from the City of New Orleans to just off the coast is a forecast of 20 inches of rain. Major flooding will occur in eastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

Safety Recommendations With COVID Factored In:
  • Make a hotel/motel reservation well inland. There is no point to getting on the road and finding everything already sold out. Be sure and cancel if you do not need the room. In this case, I would go west (e.g., Lake Charles, Beaumont) to stay away from both winds and flooding. 
  • Make provisions for infirm friends/relatives well in advance. 
  • Get prescriptions filled before you evacuate. 
  • Put an app like AccuWeather's on your smartphone. It will keep track of your location and automatically provide the latest emergency warnings. 
  • Your "Go-Kit" should include at least two masks per person, soap, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and, if available, disinfectant spray. 
  • Fill your car with fuel. I still recommend a road atlas or map in addition to whatever navigation system you might have. 
  • Power failures are likely. If you have a generator, fill it with fuel. If you wish to purchase a portable generator, do not put it in the garage, indoors, or anywhere near an air intake. Carbon monoxide is a danger. Nearly half of the fatalities from Hurricane Laura were from carbon monoxide after the storm. 
  • Consider taking your passport or putting it in your safe deposit box. If the worst happens, you'll need it to prove identity for disaster documents. It will be difficult to recover in a ruined home.
  • Take at least two large bottles of water for each family member along with protein bars or other easy-to-carry food. 
  • If you decide to stay home, make sure you have a working fire extinguisher, non-electric can opener, and a first aid kit. 
As always, I promise there will be no hyping of the storms. 

If you wish to learn more about how hurricane warnings are made, go here