NORTHERN SNOWS AT RECORD LEVELS

The Rutgers graph, which goes back 56 years, shows a disconcerting amount of snow is building in the north, for this early in the season.

snow-extent-northern-hemisphere-highest-56-years-winter-cold-2023nh

Snow-cover enhances the amount of heat lost to outer space. Locally, after fresh snow, our temperatures can be a good ten degrees colder than just before the snow, when the ground was bare. Currently, where I live just south of 43 degrees north latitude, the ground is bare and we are being lulled by a somewhat easy-going and snow-free December. To our north, however, Hudson Bay is rapidly freezing over, and the vast snow-covered areas of Tundra and Taiga is creating the “Hounds of Winter”, which I expect to soon come howling south. WUWT reported parts of Siberia are already experiencing record cold.

So much of the Northern Hemisphere is land that an expanded, early snow-cover creates cold high pressure, while the North Atlantic and North Pacific are relatively warm. This clash creates amazing gales, bigger and more energetic than most hurricanes. In fact the deepest Aleutian and North Atlantic storms rival great typhoons, and the area covered by high winds is greater. It a good thing these monster storms stay away from inhabited areas (with the exception of Iceland, where the people have to be especially tough.)

The clash between cold land and warm oceans tends to perturb the jet stream. Rather than remaining zonal, (which I prefer because it traps the coldest air to the north), the jet is prone to loop south over land and north over the seas, and be “meridienal”, which creates the greatest arctic outbreaks, and snowstorms in the southern cities. This makes children happy and the adults, (who must face the heating bills and the snow shoveling), a bit grouchy.

The fact the snow cover is at record levels does not bode well for a foolish world which has adopted a “green” policy and now faces a shortage of fossil fuels. I have done my small bit, collecting and purchasing eight cords of firewood to keep those near and dear to me warm, even if there are no deliveries of oil and propane. However I do waste my brain-cells worrying about others, though worry does no good.

I found myself looking back over the years, and recalled that in 2019 my little town went from a brown, leafy, rustling December to 36 inches of snow, in the space of three days. When I looked back at my old posts from that time I rediscovered two sonnets I liked, because they defeated worry. The first was from before the snow fell, and the second was from just after.

With holidays I nearly missed the last,
Brown day. It wasn’t on my Christmas list:
“The last, brown day.” Snow will make it be the past;
The white comes fast; the landscape’s kissed
By wool on trees and roads, but if a drift
Must block my path I wish a pile of leaves
To rustle through. The way sounds shift
From crisp to sift, from leaves to snow, just grieves
My heart, for I know snow is here to stay,
And therefore isn’t like the last, brown day.
Seize the moment, before it slips away.
Seize upon the last, brown day; in a kicking way
Rustle through leaves. Make life be play.
Rejoice all through the last, brown day.

With night’s snow fell a silence. It was deep
As the snow was deep; grew deeper as snow
Grew deeper. The world did not go to sleep
But was wary, waiting. I do not know
What it awaited. Anticipation,
Like a small boy restless in a cold bed,
Impatient for Christmas, breathed steam that hung
In the dark stillness. No blue, green or red
Christmas lights blinked. The power was out.
No furnace rumbled and no fridge hummed.
No sledding-hill’s child freed a far-off shout.
What broke silence was me. My fingers drummed
As I awaited the soft light of dawn
And the Power we need to turn back on.

CAN’T BLAME HIM

It seems like Donald Trump has finally cracked up, after six years of unrelenting attack of the most foul and dishonest sort. My reaction is basically, “What took him so long?”

On “Truth Social” Trump stated, regarding the 2020 election, “A massive fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great “Founders” did not want, and would not condone, False and Fraudulent Elections”.

Trump stated the only two responses possible were to throw out the 2020 election results and declare him president, or to have a new election. Such drastic action is a step farther than Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of Habeas Corpus during the Civil War or Harry Truman’s seizure of Steel Mills in the Korean War.

I actually felt such personal outrage (about what seemed to me like obvious fraud) after the 2020 election that I expected action of this sort back then, while Trump still had the power of the presidency. So did the Democrats and Rinos, I think, which was why razor wire was erected around the Capital, and why the peaceful protests of the time of Biden’s inauguration have been misrepresented by the media as an “insurrection.”

Now it (Trump’s declaration of a veritable insurrection) seems like it is too little too late. For Trump to now say the 2020 election should be invalidated and he should be proclaimed president seems a bit like Napoleon crowning himself emperor, only Napoleon had the power to enact such an audacity. What power does Trump now have?

If the FBI felt they could raid Trump’s home three month’s ago, with no evidence of any real wrong doing, what will they do now? The media has gone silent after the initial flurry of indignation, and I fully expect Trump will soon be arrested.

Of course, there may be much going on we don’t know about. Nothing reported in the media has made much sense for years, whether it is the absurd meteorological “science” about Global Warming, or the absurd medical “science” surrounding the vaccine, or just about anything having to do with politics. Therefore it should come as no surprise when the actions of Trump make no sense.

I am reminded of a “prophecy” made by Kim Clement back in 2008 which stated that the United States would be “ruled by two presidents”. It drew some attention right after the election in 2020, when some felt it was being fulfilled, but then was largely ignored when it seemed it was discredited.

In any case, we seem to be experiencing the old Chinese curse, “May you live in Interesting Times.”

MEETING BLUSTER WITH BLUSTER

Today we had another taste of winter: Blasting winds that dropped the windchill temperatures ten degrees below what the thermometer actually said. A few lone snowflakes whipped sideways, basically lake-effect snows blown all the way from Buffalo.

I can’t confess to feeling all that fond of such weather any more. Once I associated the growing cold with snow, and with the chance school might be cancelled, but now I run a private school and don’t want it cancelled because taxpayers don’t pay for my sloth.

In fact, if you read back ten years through this blog, you will understand snow doesn’t get me off the hook; it makes me work harder to keep my place open. This does tend to diminish any romantic feelings I might have had towards cold and snow. White Christmas? Be damned.

Add to this the fact my body does not withstand the cold as well as it once did, and one might understand why I am becoming a curmudgeon, regarding the cold. Where I once threw snowballs without mittens, my hands bright crimson, now my hands turn a sorry shade of blue when temperatures are barely cool. I’d rather sit by the fire than go out in the cold, when I can get away with it.

Unfortunately I can’t get away with it. Staff shortages have nipped-in-the-bud all my attempts to delegate work to others, and a nasty attack of bursitis even slowed my active wife, so rather than receiving compassion I must be, at the very least, not a curmudgeon.

At 6:45 AM, when even the sun has the brains not to rise in December, I have to open my Childcare and greet people at 7:00 not with gruffness, but in a cheery manner. Call me a hypocrite if you will, but I do it.

Though I am dishonestly cheerful with others, God hears my true grumpiness as I head off into the twilight of dawn in a howling wind that just about dents your eyeballs, to work. I mutter stuff about how He is a God of miracles, and it would be sort of nice if a relative I never heard of died and left me a place in Florida.

Yet this morning all my griping got to me. God didn’t tell me to shut up. I just got a little tired of all my own whining. Rather than parking as close to the Childcare as possible, and ducking from the relatively warm and windless car into the chilled Childcare to turn up the heat full blast and stand beside the blower, I parked up the hill.

My excuse was that, when the sun got around to rising, it would hit up there first, and melt the frost from my windshield. I’d driven to work peeking through a little hole I’d scraped in my hurry. But something beyond that excuse was involved, for rather than hurry from the hill down to the Childcare, cowed by the blustering wind, I just stood by my car, in the orange twilight and blustering wind, and took the spectacle in, with my jaw thrust out.

If the wind was going to bluster, I could bluster right back.

No longer hot-blooded, I shake my head
Over what a great wuss I have become,
And decide to defy my sense of dread;
To quit my cringing as if long life's sum
Of added years amounts to a mere flinch, 
And instead to spring up from where I quail;
For even quail do not sit, not moving an inch
As the spaniel nears. They burst out and flail
The startled dawn and fearlessly face
The shotgun's blast. So too will I pause 
My flinch from cozy home to warmed workplace
And stand unbowed despite the north wind's claws.
In pumpkin predawn cold my puffing breath
Becomes dragon vapors, flaming at death.

THE NORTH WIND ROARS

Sometimes it seems to me that, in order to really appreciate the lights of Christmas, you first need to face the darkness and cold. Maybe you don’t appreciate the dark and cold, but in another sense, yes, you do.

You need a front to roar through and the power to go out and all the mass-produced electric tinsel to go dark, and to sit in the dim light of the lone candle you can find, watching the flame wobble in a drafty old house and listening to the wind roar outside.

Looks like tonight’s that night, for me.

The north wind roars. Those four words say it all.
The north wind roars. Haiku would be too long.
The north wind roars. Who needs a coyote's call
Yipping inky horizons with mournful song?
The north wind roars an arctic lion's victory.
The north wind roars. When younger I could see
A path to spring: Quilt-cuddled I could be
Consoled, but now no longer am I free.
The north wind roars. Don't speak to me of hope.
The north wind roars like surf that will not ebb;
Dark days that won't lengthen; hangman's cruel rope
For innocent necks; a spider's sucking web...
Kind pines are bent, and all that good adores
Is humbly hushed because the north wind roars.

THANKSGIVING SONNET 2022

What am I thankful for? I'm thankful for
Those who put up with me, for I can be
Hard to endure. I just wish there'd been more
Who endured me, because it seems to me
That, if people had been a bit better 
At enduring me, I surely would have been
A better person. I am a debtor
To kindness, to forgiveness of sin,
For surely rejection brings out my worst.
Rather than flattered, calmer and clearer,
I am afflicted by anger, and cursed
For the world looks ugly, as does my mirror.
Acceptance heals us. We need such cures.
Thanks be to God, who all of us endures.

DAY OF REST SONNET

Tired of the tedium, I want to quit
All my quitting: My desire to be free
From desire. All I want to do is sit
At the Father's feet, and hear the things He
Wants to talk about, or, if it should be
Silence, to just sit and hear the silence.
The racket of this world's racket I must flee
And duck into the down of His warm presence
Like a duckling. Responsibility
Can go cluck. One hour spent in His house
Is worth more than all profits I could see
Through years of worldly work. So, I'll douse
My ambition and do what is deemed best:
On the seventh day sit down, shut up, and rest.

PENETRATING THE CALLOUSNESS

The bald-faced lying in the media and in politics has gotten to me. Anyone with half a brain knows the entire Global Warming scenario is politically correct balderdash. I first became sure of this ten years ago when He-who-I-will-not-dignify-by-naming spoke of Global Warming during a State of the Union, and did so with a sort of wink and a shrug, and an audible murmur of soft laughter passed through the hallowed halls of congress, and I knew every person there knew Global Warming was balderdash. They knew but figured they were in-the-know, above the unwashed masses. I think that was when I first felt a sort of despair creep in: One cannot have confidence in leaders who hold you in contempt.

No longer do elected officials seem to feel any need to explain what they are doing, or to convince voters that what they do is a good thing to do. They do not need to convince voters because they can win elections even if out-voted. Their voting machines have a crooked way of counting, and if politicians pay the “machine”, they can ignore the voters.

Rather than Love-thy-neighbor, politics has instead taken a turn towards Utterly-ignore-thy-neighbor. What else can you call it, when you ignore the voters? To some this seems an expediency, for if you can ignore objections, you can get things done. However, the Founding Fathers of the United States did not believe the common man should be utterly ignored, nor that the common man’s objections were always unwise. Therefore, in essence, the turn politics has taken is against the Founding Fathers and towards tyranny.

This will not come to a good end. Tyranny never does.

But what I think bothers me most is the callousness of certain “Useful Idiots” who play their small part in various dishonest schemes, and who tee-hee together like adolescents who have gotten away with some small crime committed against a schoolteacher. They deliver phony votes in an election, utterly unaware the crime they commit is enormous. It is treason, in fact; treason against the United States of America, but they’d be flabbergasted if they faced hanging. To them it is just a lark.

If I was allowed to escape shadow-banning and censorship and deliver a single sermon, I’d like to shame such lamebrains. I don’t want to win votes. I don’t want to be popular. I just want to deliver one hell of a tongue-lashing, to put such people to shame.

If you skip class, it should be for glory,
Not for corruption you call a "foible".
Your homework's undone; you think your lame story
Will undo your want and make life be joyful,
But your teacher's long gone. The chore you skipped
Was bailing the boat you've been gliding in
And it's wallowing now. It seems you've shipped
In a leaky scow, are residing in
Dangerous sloshing, and had best start bailing
Because excuses won't save your tanned hide
And you'd best not quit the sweat of sailing
If Safe-Harbors you hope to duck inside.
It's a lark to skip homework, classes, work
But no fun seeing it has made you a jerk.

POST-ELECTION SONNET

The round, yellow moon is slowly rolling
Down the purple west, as in the orange east
A spark of flame blinks. Calm is consoling
My bitter mood where all things I like least
Are on my list, and the senseless polling
Of politics jangles my nerves. Why pretend
You care when votes are rigged? The sad, tolling
Death knell of democracy's feeble end
Is in the air, but still the planet turns.
You cannot make the dawn go down, nor bring
The setting moon back up. Kings dream their fire burns
Without balms, their virus wins through suffering,
And their poison knows no antidotes
But the Greatest Power heals without votes.

THE RED GRAVE

Unless I am mistaken, we are not hearing the usual cheering which follows an election victory by a majority. A few of the usual suspects, Hollywood hacks, are preening and triumphantly clucking, but there is a strange sullenness on the streets. One might even go so far as to suggest the majority lost.

Perhaps I am merely turning into a cantankerous old coot, but I suspect the voting machines were turned up full blast, when it comes to altering the correct count of the vote. It would be easy to check. If it is true that we, “Trust, but verify”, we need only hand-count a few, select machines, in unannounced precincts, and see if they match the given results. But of course, this is the very thing the “winners” will scrupulously avoid.

In any case, the hoped for “Red Wave” has seemingly turned into a “Red Grave.” Even Donald Trump seems especially bad tempered. One can hardly blame him. Trump has endured an onslaught from the “Swamp” for six years, attempted to fight fairly midst cheaters, and it is difficult to win elections when even the voting machines are rigged. He now says we should do away with the machines and hand-count ballots, but it seems a bit late for that advice.

Again, I may seem like a sore loser, and to be indulging in a “conspiracy theory”, when I suggest the voting machines were rigged. However, it worked in Venezuela, so why not try it here? To be honest, in my bones I feel the machines were rigged. The public is simply not behaving as one would expect, if the majority won.

It is said, “cheaters never prosper”, however at the moment they certainly must feel smug, if the voting machines were indeed tampered with.

In fact, this may be the darkest moment for the United States since the infant American army was booted out of New York City in 1776, and Washington suffered defeat after defeat as he was chased clear across New Jersy and the Delaware River, until he only had a few thousand troops left, and many of those few remaining soldiers would be leaving in a few weeks when their enlistments were up. The survival of the United States balanced on the point of a hair, only a few months after the Declaration of Independance was publicized, and then, right at that critical time, Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet beginning,

These are the times that try men’s souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

At this point I suppose it is good to remember historical times when might did not make right.

At the height of Assyrian Power, King Sennacherib had defeated all powers but a small city-state with its capital in Jerusalem, and he marched a huge army up to its walls. According to his history, he forced them to pay tribute and marched away. According to the people of Jerusalem, on a single night 185,000 of Sennacherib’s soldiers died, “slain by an angel of the Lord”, just outside the city walls. (Cholera? Poison in the well water?)

More recently, things looked bleak for Russia when Napoleon marched towards Moscow with an army of 450,000. Only 28,000 made it back from that debacle alive and fit to fight another day.

Cheaters never prosper.

However, this is not to say we are not about to endure a bitter winter, like Washington’s troops did in December 1776, and in Valley Forge in 1777, and following winters as well, before the sunshine of victory shone.

In God We Trust.

INDEPENDENTLY ENSLAVED

My mother, who saw the stock market crash of 1929 (or how it ruined her father) and who then experienced the hardship of the Great Depression, had no illusions about poverty being a good thing. She knew what it was like to appreciate something as simple as having warm feet in the winter. Therefore, she had a great fondness for the song, “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly”, in “My Fair Lady”.

The desire to escape the misery of cold and hunger, and of needing to choose between heating and eating, is innocent, natural, and often commendable. It has led to the advancements which have allowed the poor in America to face the problem of, (of all things!) obesity. To a certain degree it has been possible to forget the hardships which people who no longer walk with us once told us about. However, those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

This winter could see us again facing a choice between heating or eating, largely due to the insanity of an “energy policy” which seeks to replace what works with what doesn’t work, in order to combat a fictitious bugaboo called “Global Warming.”

The coming election will likely be a statement by we, the people, that we do not feel this “energy policy” is a good idea. It is as simple as that. However, it will cause a shuddering to run through the establishment called “the Swamp”, for the “energy policy” provides them with their paychecks. If they can’t tax the poor to “save the planet”, how can they remain rich?

At this point it is necessary to admit that not all of our desires to escape discomfort are innocent, natural, or even commendable, as was so well pointed out in the song by the Eagles called, “Lying Eyes”.

The song is basically a reproach to all who “sell out” to avoid discomfort, especially women who marry for money. It’s most brilliant line, in my view, is, “Every form of refuge has its price.”

In a sense the coming election is likely to be a rebuke to a minority, the so-called “Swamp”, and a simple statement by a majority that the “price” for their form of “refuge” is too high.

The question, in my mind, is whether or not the “Swamp” will be able to accept this rebuke. If they believe in the United States and what we stand for they will humbly step aside, however there are some indications they feel the majority is merely “riffraff getting uppity.”

In which case they are proclaiming themselves tyrants. They are crowning themselves emperor, like Napoleon did. They are placing the crown on their own head, as Napoleon did, and displaying contempt towards what the United States stands for.

Up until Napoleon crowned himself, he was a hero of Beethoven, and the rough draft of Beethoven’s Third Symphony was initially dedicated to Napoleon. However as soon as Beethoven learned Napoleon had crowned himself, he scribbled out the dedication, and he did so so savagely the quill gouged the page.

In like manner, many people in the “Swamp” may lose the dedication of admirers, even followers, if they ignore the majority. It is the price they’ll pay, for “every form of refuge has its price.”

Despite the evil the Swamp is entangled in, one feels a sort of pity for them, for in a way they too just want to have enough to eat, and warm feet in the winter. However, security is not insanity, and they have lost touch with the down to earth.

Wealth should not be measured by bread alone, or by other low and material “indicators”. One needs to take a hard look at what they call “wealth” and ask themself whether or not it is actually an addiction.

Has one become Independently Wealthy, or Independently Enslaved?

Oh, how sad it is that those who dreamed they’d rise so high sank down to the depths of such a Swamp!