Socialism Reattempted

I have been working on a political cartoon that would portray, in a picture, the sheer ignorance of certain “political correctness” and “virtue signalling.”

I use the word “ignorance” because it is the most spiritual way of stating another brother or sister doesn’t know what the -bleep- they are talking about. It is better to call a politician “ignorant” than a “liar”, when they promise everyone free cheese mined from the moon.

Truth is beauty, but ignorance is the lack of Truth, and tends to create ugly consequences. The way to solve problems is through Truth, albeit often solutions appear in a slower and more painstaking manner. Ignorant promises of quick-fixes may draw a crowd, but the happy crowd becomes an unruly mob when the promises are revealed to be lies. Then the ugly mob requires policing, and all too often what began as benevolent promises deteriorates into brutal oppression. (For example, Venezuela.)

When one has been sold a shadowy snake-oil, there is a sad moment when one realizes the stuff doesn’t work. It is during such times Truth may be called “cruel.” Also there may be a period when one undergoes disbelief and denial. During such times ignorance takes on a life of its own, fighting for its very existence, like a shadow attempting to avoid vanishing in a beam of light. Ignorance can then become dangerous, like a cornered rat, but also comical, for there is something humorous about the sight of a person attempting to cling to a shadow.

For example, when I have studied long and hard to glean some tidbit of Truth, (for example about Arctic Sea-Ice), I find it comical when some young whippersnapper, who knows nothing about the topic, acts as if they know more, and furthermore claims I should be censored. In some ways they work harder to censor Truth than to know Truth. Such behavior deserves a cartoon.

In order draw out the humor and create a cartoon one needs to adjust the contrast, placing events together in a way that reduces ignorance to absurdity. While I haven’t worked out the details, I have been toying with the idea of comparing the 1968 Democrat Convention with the 2020 Democrat Convention, and guessing what young Democrats outside the convention might protest about, concerning the politics of Democrat higher-ups, inside the convention.

In 1968 Democrat policy had us in the Vietnam War, but the young Democrats, who faced being drafted and being forced to fight and perhaps die, were demanding a reason to die, and refusing to fight without reason, but rather than reason they were attacked by the police of the Democrat mayor of Chicago, whereupon the youth began chanting, “The whole world is watching.”

In 2020 Democrat policy seems at least as ignorant as 1968’s, and it occurred to me young Democrats might be equally frustrated, but have a different chant outside the Democrat convention. This time it might be, “The whole world is laughing.”

(For in my eyes the lack of Truth involved among Democrats makes much, spoken as gospel by the “Politically correct”, appear so ignorant it sounds like the soliloquies of Shakespeare’s fools. But modern youth are not always the fools their brain-washers assume, and already bristle at some of the ignorant suggestions they are asked to swallow, if they are to be “Politically Correct”.).

My personal cartoon of this situation would have 1968 and “The whole world is watching” on a first frame and 2000 and “The whole world is laughing” on the second, but lots needs to be worked out. I’m not sure I’ll ever get the details of the picture right.

Therefore I was glad to see a fellow did get a lot right, and displayed, in a different way, the joke of “Political Correct Ignorance”, at least in part:

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ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Greenland “Heatwave” Hype–

Sometimes the rants of Alarmists amuse me. Rather than moan softly and roll my eyes, I sit back and admire how something ordinary can be turned into something that sells newspapers (and/or attracts grant-money.)

In my last post I mentioned how a “blocking high-pressure” has persisted over Greenland, leading to lots of sunshine and far fewer North Atlantic gales ramming into the mountains and dumping copious amounts of snow onto the icecap. I warned this would reduce the yearly increase in Greenland’s “ice-balance”, even without including any summer melting. A massive amount flows off the ice-cap as glaciers and calves off into the sea, all year long, and, if not replaced by huge snows, the “ice-balance” dips. Alarmists were mute when the “ice-balance” blipped upwards the past two years, but I warned they would find their voices this summer as the ice-balance fell.

I neglected to include a further warning. Some ice might actually melt, especially with the blocking high-pressure making sunshine so persistent. Ice and snow always does melt on Greenland, especially at the very edge, although it doesn’t melt back as far now, as it did in the Medieval Warm Period, when the Vikings were able to raise several thousand cattle and over 100,000 sheep and goats. Though summer thaw is normal, when any sort of thaw occurs you can expect the Press to beat their drums. As the start of summer thaw has occurred yet again, and the Press has gone ape, I thought I’d give examples of some of the stages the Press’s hoop-la typically goes through.

First, a dramatic photograph is needed. Such pictures are usually of the dramatic meltwater rivers that form in the south of Greenland, where very thick ice pushes south into milder Alantic air and nearly twenty-four-hour-a-day sunshine, and also slopes down from an altitude of over 10,000 feet, where its cold, towards sea-level, where its above freezing. Obviously the top of the ice will melt, especially where a slope faces south, and the streams of melt-water that then get going in June and July can thunder. In New England we call such abrupt melting of snow and ice a “freshet” and they are usually brief, as we run out of snow to melt, while in Siberia the Lena River can rise sixty feet as the snows melt. However in Greenland the supply of snow and ice is not only boundless, but the streams are not running over rock and sand, but ice, and they cut crystal canyons and even find crevasses where they plunge underground. Ice-geologists have to be very careful, because one slip and you get no second chance and can’t hit the “replay button”, be they do take wonderful pictures of fantastic formations. The holes melt-water pours into are called “moulins” and they can be small:

Or they can be huge:

And I can understand why a young, strong geologist would want to get someone to pay him to look at such wonders. I myself prefer to stay home and, on a hot day in July, to type “Moulin images” into my search engine, and then sift through the thousands of pictures from glaciers all over the world.

I assume the Press does the same, to find a picture to sensationalize the screaming headline GREENLAND MELTING, (though sometimes they accidentally use a moulin from a glacier in Alaska or Tasmania.) But the picture the Press used this year was really unique, and made me chuckle.

The Press of course will fail to mention this is not an icecap. It is a lake or inlet, nice and flat, which does what lakes and inlets do, (freeze in the fall and thaw in the spring). This is a picture of some coastal-Greenland meteorologists heading out to retrieve some equipment before it sinks to the bottom.

You can tell this pictures is taken from a lower elevation because the mountains are snow-less and brown. To the upper right of the picture there is some evidence of the edge of the true Greenland icecap.

Once you move up onto the actual icecap and move away from the edges, temperatures rarely nudge above freezing, and are often far below. The deep snow compacts under the weight of year after year’s worth of snow, becoming this compact (yet surprisingly drafty) stuff called “firn”, and then finally compacts into the glacial ice, roughly a mile thick, from which ice cores are drilled. These ice-cores, when examined, do show a difference between winter snow and summer snow, which creates a yearly layer and allows the dating of cores. But they apparently show something else which is interesting.

Around once every 40 years a “blocking high-pressure” creates enough sunshine to actually create a thaw which can be noticed in the ice core records.

Such a thaw can’t merely be a few minutes above freezing. It must last long enough to soften at least the top sixteenth of an inch of snow, making it more like the sticky stuff that boys fling at each others in snowball fights, than the drifting powder which boys find fairly useless.

Please observe that, in the eyes of the media, a photo of the sun softening the top sixteenth inch of snow up at 10,000 feet would make a boring picture, (which is why the Press uses pictures from other places, in order to increase the sense of drama and sell more papers).

Also sometimes the temperatures nudge above freezing for such a brief time that the snow doesn’t even soften, nor leave a permanent record for ice cores. I assume the recent event was just such a brief thaw. However it is still possible to drum up drama and sell newspapers, even from such an inconsequential event….as follows:

First of all, the Press can stress the inconsequential event occurred over a vast area, and a sub-headline may scream, “40% of Greenland thawing.” Then the Press will include a graphic that is honest, but misleading if misinterpreted, such as this:

The above map has nothing to do with how much water was produced, or how much the sea–levels rose, but rather shows where temperatures inched above freezing enough to make snow sticky. It is a large area, for June. To me it demonstrates how the “blocking high-pressure” has made it especially sunny up there (and especially dismal, cold and rainy down in New England, where I live.)

The next step is to take the above data, (which involves “area” and not “amount”), and sensationalize how early the “area” is. But in fact, even if the top sixteenth of an inch of the snow over the entirety of Greenland softened, it wouldn’t produce even a trickle of water. It takes more serious melting to produce melt-water creeks and moulins. However to sell newspapers (and get grants) a graphic is created that is all about “area.”

It may be true that the mid-June “area” is “unprecedented” for so “early” (though in actual fact it should be expected, as the sun is near its highest), and it furthermore may be true the word “unprecedented” sells headlines, (especially when coupled with pictures of floods), but I must say, at the risk of being a “party poop” and “wet blanket”, that “area” is not the same thing as “amount”.

The records we have from the Greenland icecap are gathered by tough men in rough conditions, and I will not put such men down, but the data they gather are records that are recent, and can’t show the scope of history. The “average” of the above graph can’t include unseen variations hinted at by the history of Vikings in the Medieval Warm Period. And they don’t include “amount”.

Let me give you an example of how “area” can mean next to nothing, in terms of “amount”.

When we read that this “unprecedented” area is above freezing, it involves individual stations. Let us look at such a station, way up over 10,000 feet.

As you can see, at this station temperatures poked above freezing twice in a period of roughly fifteen minutes. (Not enough to flood Florida or the Netherlands). (And maybe not even long enough to soften the snow enough to be noted in future ice-core records.)

Yet this station’s temperatures are included in the blaring headline, “40% of Greenland Above freezing. Thaw Unprecedentedly Early.”

I suppose the above station deserves its fifteen minutes of fame as much as the next man, but I am not expecting a wall of melt-water to descend upon us, from the north, any time soon.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –A New Old Pattern–

I read an article in a Russian shipping-periodical recently that basically derided Americans for being fools about sea-ice. Once sentence, roughly translated, stated, “Two things that don’t go away in the summer are sea-ice and American’s insistence it will.” This demonstrates that Alarmists are making America a laughingstock.

As Alarmist’s error becomes increasingly obvious the only truly alarming thing is the behavior of Alarmists themselves. They resemble a man at a bar defending his beloved home team, when he has had too much to drink. The actual statistics may show that his team is in last place, but one tends to be reluctant to bring such facts forward, because the drunk cannot be relied upon for rational responses, and is clenching his fists.

It used to be fun to debate Alarmists, because they would bring up actual facts and statistics, and this forced me to think. I was constantly learning things I hadn’t known about oceanic currents and atmospheric circulation and the chemistry of the atmosphere and sunspot cycles and the history of the arctic. Now that seems to have largely ceased, as the responses have degenerated to the level of, “Your mother is fat and wears army boots.” Or even, “Fossil fuel leads to child-porn”:

Green New Deal advocates: “Pipeline and resource development leads to man camps, human trafficking, and child-porn rings.”

 

 

 

 

This could be dismissed as the grousing of a sore loser, or of a dangerous drunk at a bar, were it not for the fact many Alarmists are adamantly prone towards socialist thinking of the sort that allows “purges”.

Some of the most disgraceful behavior seen in human history has involved one section of a society blaming another without much rhyme or reason. Christian Germans fought alongside Jewish Germans in World War One, but after the Germans lost that war so-called Christians blamed the Jews for their defeat, and their society went through a decade-long paroxysm of neighbor attacking neighbors. In like manner Russia took umbrage at its more prosperous yeoman farmers when its socialism led to hunger, and dubbed them “Kulaks” (tightfisted),  and sent hundreds of thousands to Siberia, with a suspiciously large percentage dying before they even arrived in Siberia. Getting rid of the better farmers contributed to one of the worst famines in Russia’s history. Over and over history demonstrates such hateful “purging” behavior proves to be a case of biting-the-hand-that-feeds, and/or cutting-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face, and such atrocious behavior towards neighbors should be resisted wherever it appears. Even if such wolves don sheep’s wool, point out their teeth; resist the so-called “resistance”; point out when so-called “Christians” are not Christian.

Partially this involves firmly pointing out when Truth is obfuscated with the shallow, hypocritical  deceits of doublespeak.  This is a topic that could go on for 10,000 words, but it boils down to being clear and specific, and not getting swept up by waves of generalization. For example, when I speak of the “elite” I need to be aware some leftist protesters don’t have a penny to their name. In like manner when leftists claim they are the “resistance”, they need to be asked to be specific about who exactly and what exactly they are “resisting”. For another example, the word “liberal” means “generous”, but some so-called “liberals” fail to qualify, for what they give is never their own money but instead is other people’s tax-dollars. If you are truly generous your wallet should get thinner, but their’s get amazingly fat.

A second way to avoid the socially disastrous “purge”-mentality is to reduce the other’s arguments to absurdity.  This is particularly easy to do, concerning sea-ice. Just as it was an embarrassment to Democrats to have protesters outside their 1968 convention chanting, “The whole world is watching,” it will be equally embarrassing to have protesters outside the 2020 convention chanting, “The whole world is laughing.”

Why is the whole world laughing? Because the doom-and-gloom Alarmists stated the low sea-ice of 2007 was the beginning of the end, and the Arctic would be open water by 2012. They got very excited in 2012, for that was a very low sea-ice year as well, even lower than 2007, and they could shout, “See?!! See?!! It’s happening!!!” The problem was, it wasn’t. The Arctic was nowhere near ice-free in 2012, which proved their 2007 prediction incorrect. They should have been hanging their heads, not dancing in glee. And since then the sea-ice has only increased, which is in direct violation of the “Arctic Death Spiral” theory, (which states decreases should “accelerate”, due to changes in “albedo.”)

It is now seven years since the arctic was suppose to be ice-free. Can you believe it?  (Time flies when you are having fun.) Seven years! But will the Alarmists stop their antics? No. Now they are saying it will be 2030 that the Arctic will be ice-free. I likely won’t live so long.

At what point do you stop taking such panic-prone people seriously? Up to a point you try to be polite, but its hard when they are never polite in return, and instead use the word “Denier” like Hitler used the word “Jew” and Stalin used the word “Kulak.” Eventually you simply have to be impolite, and just laugh in their faces.

Reality speaks Truth, and the facts say the sea-ice has been low because the AMO has been in its “warm phase” for most of our adult lives.  Now the AMO is hithering and thithering about the neutral state, and will perhaps tip into its “cold phase” within five years.

AMO 201904 amo_short

The reduction of sea-ice extent this spring has been fairly typical for recent years. There is no sign of an accelerating “Death Spiral.”

DMI Extent 20190615 osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t get as excited by this graph as I used to get. I used to get excited if it dipped into “lowest-for-date” territory, but after following this graph for approaching two decades, (and also studying history), I’ve come to see the behavior as typical for a warm AMO. In other words, it is pretty humdrum. At my age I have to increasingly chose my battles, and it isn’t worth my time to bulge veins in my forehead about what is humdrum.

The “area” and “volume” graphs are also fairly humdrum, but the temperatures-above-80-degrees-latitude graph is worth a comment.

DMI 20190615 meanT_2019

This graph is interesting because it hasn’t followed a pattern established in recent years. In the past decade the temperatures have shown warm spikes during the winters, as relatively moist and mild plumes of air have come north, and then temperatures would abruptly fall below normal in May, once the sun was up and beginning to influence temperatures, and then temperatures tended to remain below normal through most of the summer. This year the winter spikes were far more modest, but temperatures haven’t fallen below normal in May. What has changed?

An honest answer is, “I don’t know.” But I have noticed changes in the “pattern”. There has been high pressure at the Pole much of the spring, with little sign of the anomalous low pressure I used to call “Ralph.” The low pressures have politely circled the Pole down near the Arctic Circle, behaving themselves and obeying the textbooks.

One effect of having high pressure at the Pole is that there are fewer clouds and more sunshine, and, when the sun is up 24-hours a day, this may explain the temperatures in the above graph moving from a degree below normal to a degree above normal. At the same time I need to be cautious that I am not doing what Alarmists do: Deny the facts.  The fact is that I assumed the “Quiet Sun” was what led to the cooler summer temperatures at the Pole. My assumption is shot full of holes, so far, and I will be watching temperatures at the Pole carefully, as Spring gives way to Summer.

The high pressure over the Pole has extended south as a “blocking high” over Greenland, which has led to a loopy jet-stream bringing colder-than-normal temperatures in sub-polar regions, especially the Central USA and Northwest Europe. This blocking high will also lead to a lower “ice mass balance” in Greenland, but this is not due to melting (so far in the spring) but rather is due to much less snowfall. (It is important to be aware of such changes, as Alarmists are prone to cherry-picking data; they didn’t like to bring up Greenland the past two summers when the ice-balance was increasing, but the subject will likely be brought up this summer, with ice-balance decreasing.)

Currently the low pressure systems rolling around the periphery of the high pressure squatting on the Pole are becoming a bit larger, and the one between Western Russia and Franz Josef Land has been wobbling east in a manner that encroaches upon the Pole, and is even a little “Ralph-like”. (Typical; no sooner do you figure out a pattern then it changes!) A smaller storm sits in the Canadian Archipelago, and the High Pressure is reduced to a weak ridge over the Pole.

 

The lows rolling along the north coast of Eurasia have pushed a lot of sea-ice north out of the Kara Sea, and then west and then south into the northern Barents Sea. As always, it is amazing how mobile the ice is. After a fuss about there not being enough sea-ice against the east coast of Svalbard for polar bears, a great deal crunched south, not only against the east coast but even into the west coast regions of Fram Strait, usually kept open by a warm tendril of the Gulf Stream.

There has not been so much “wrong-way-flow” in Fram Strait as last year, and increased amounts of ice flushing south should reduce the volume of sea-ice in the Arctic but may increase the cooling of the North Atlantic.

Across the Pole the extent of sea-ice in Bering Strait has been less, as sea-ice was pushed north there. In terms of the Northwest Passage, both the eastern approach from Baffin Bay and the western approach from Bering Strait seem to be opening up, so I have hopes we may gain some actual pictures from the adventurers who have the time and money to attempt the passage. But I fear they may be discouraged by a major clot of ice persisting in the central passage around 100 degrees west latitude.

It is interesting to note that semi-circle of thicker sea-ice created by the northward push of sea-ice in Bering Strait during the winter. Such features tend to persist, and are helpful when attempting to gauge the flow of the ice during the summer. Often ice-watchers think ice has melted when it has merely moved.

It’s also interesting to see the ice seems to be nudging the coast of Alaska at Barrow. As Barrow is one of the few places left where we have an actual webcam, I thought I’d take a look, and the midnight sun revealed….a wall of fog. Oh well, we’ll wait on that.

Without any buoys with webcams, or any adventurers (so far), there is little eyeball evidence to use, assessing the situation. One can track the paths of buoys without cameras, and surmise the sea-ice is not being flushed from the central arctic:

However I must confess the above squiggles sorely lacks the fascination I derived from the old buoy-webcams. I miss them greatly. If anyone discovers any new ones, please tell me, and I’ll jump for joy. With the hot days of July approaching, views of sea-ice are wanted.

The only other news is that the Hudson Bay thaw has just begun in the Northwest, with the ice still quite thick to the south. While the sea-ice is less in areas of the Arctic Sea’s periphery, it is quite compacted in the Central Arctic.

Stay Tuned.

LOCAL VIEW –Beautiful Breezes–

Winter may be conceding defeat, at long last, (though they are still getting May snows to our west, in Denver and Minnesota).  After our bit of sleet here last week, the south finally broke through the veritable wall of chill that always seems to keep New England cold, even when the Mid-Atlantic states swelter, most every April (and, this year, into the first half of May).

The dividing line between summery-warmth and early-spring-chill is often shown on weather maps by a warm front approaching New England from the south. We Yankees watch the approach of this warm front with both hope and cynicism.  On rare occasions it flies right past us: I recall one hot spell in the first days of April (in 1990?) when we hit 90ºF, but such events are rare. More often the warm front stalls. Things conspire against it’s progress. The waters south of New England is chilled by winter; mountain ranges to our west allow cold air to crouch low, and to refuse to budge. To our west the warm front may proceed north to Albany, Burlington, Toronto, even Montreal, but it dips south to the east, and can’t cross New England.

The warm front is attached to a storm to our west, and the south winds ahead of that storm are assisted by high pressure to our east, (which is a westward extension of the Azores High, locally known as the Bermuda High).  As the storm is deflected to our north by this high, it eventually finds a “weakness” and proceeds east to our north, “over the top” of the high pressure. As the storm passes to our north it drags a cold front south, and the cold front usually passes over us just as the warm front is tantalizingly close, brushing the warm front (and all its warm air) out to sea.

If the cold front is powerful, then clear, crisp weather follows, but if the cold front is feeble, and if the Bermuda High is strong, the cold front becomes stationary just to our south, and dreary weather continues, as the stationary front eventually becomes a warm front as the next storm approaches. Sometimes the front undulates like bumps on a shaken jump-rope, and a series of weak storms pass.  But this isn’t all that interesting, unless you are a meteorologist. In fact it irks you, if you are stuck in New England, suffering cold and cloudy weather, craving spring.

By May, to our north, the nights are getting short and the days very long, and there is simply no way the north can generate arctic air, with so much sunshine. Rather than “arctic fronts” the cold fronts start to be called “polar fronts”.  Also the boundary between the north and south retreats north, as does the “storm track”. Therefore it is usually May when we finally see some truly summer-like air make it this far north. Hallelujah!

I will post all the interesting maps at the end of this post, but, knowing some are bored by maps (an attitude which I fail to understand, but respect), I’ll simply state what we experienced.

One thing I should mention is that an indicator of clean waters, called by some “the State Bird of Maine”, appears just when the weather gets nice. It is called “the black fly.”  It is a reason many who move to New Hampshire depart after a summer or two. If you work outside, as I do, you tend to like cold mornings, as black flies don’t pester until temperatures approach 60ºF, and also you tend to like breezy days, when swarms of insidious insects try like heck to swim upstream and get to you, but fail, just downwind.

One nice thing about this cold and wet spring is that the chill kept the black flies at bay. I got lots of vegetable gardening done. However it was also weather great for growing grass, but not so great for mowing, as the grass was too wet.

At this point I should mention another thing. I draw a distinction between gardening and gardening. Eh? My distinction boils down to this: “Can you eat it?” I spent years, even decades, working as a so-called “landscaper” for charming, rich old ladies, producing a crop you could have stored in a teacup. It wasn’t a total waste, for my work did feed me, my wife, and five children, but it bugged me that no actual food was produced. The old ladies had money, and their pay bought food, but all our work in gardens produced no actual food. Therefore, to this day, I have an almost allergic reaction towards non-productive gardening; (IE: “landscaping”.) I don’t mind growing sunflowers (seeds are high in protein), or roses (rose-hips are high in vitamin C) or day lilies (buds and wilted blooms make a delicious soup) but I very much mind cutting the grass. No one eats the grass. It might be acceptable if the cut grass was fed to livestock, which you could eat, but it isn’t.

In any case, my wife doesn’t want to hear my brilliant arguments. When the grass at our Farm-Childcare gets long, she believes we look more “professional” if it is cut. Because I believe I should chose my battles, I meekly cut the damn stuff. Fortunately it has been so rainy this spring that I haven’t often had the ability to cut the damn grass. But consequently the grass has gotten deep. I have noticed my wife giving me glances of an aggrieved sort. The time has come to act, or face consequences.

Yesterday would have been a perfect day to mow, as it was hot and muggy, and the black flies came swarming out. Back in the day I could keep them away by chain-smoking, as they don’t like smoke or nicotine, but since my lungs told me I had to quit such fly-repellent, I have found an inferior repellent is the exhaust of a mower. But yesterday, just when the grass started to dry out, the humid heat would produce a drenching downpour, and therefore the best use of my time was in the vegetable garden, where I produced future food for humans by planting seeds, and was present-tense food for clouds of hungry black flies.

Today would have been a perfect day to work in the vegetable garden, as the surge of tropical air fed a storm passing to our north, and as it strengthened it brought south a cold front, and then, as the departing storm strengthened further, the winds increased to a point where the average speed approached 20 mph, and a few gusts approached 50. There was not a black fly in sight.

At this point I should mention a final thing. At the northern latitude where I live you had better plant as early as you can. You have a limited “window of opportunity”. The growing season is so short that many crops will fail to mature, if you wait too long. Furthermore the sun is as high in late May as it is in early August. Farmers know that, after early August, the sun gets too low, and growing slows down. If you plant a bean after early August, it may sprout more quickly than it does in May, but then the sun is so low the bean grows in slow motion. If you plant in May you see results fast.

Therefore, on a breezy day in May, without a black fly in sight, the last thing I wanted to do was mow the grass. Yet I had to do it. I approached the mower with a bad attitude. To my own amazement I swiftly felt I was more lucky than I believed possible.

The grass was so long (and my rider-mower has such problems) that I had to creep, and the job took forever. (I exaggerate, but it did take hours.) Yet by the time I was done I felt blessed, for I can think of no other way I could have been forced to sit on my duff outside, and witness how wildly beautiful a windy day in May actually is.

There are times it is good to see what an ass you are. Behind my mower, I left cropped turf, basically a Marine crew-cut, as ahead of my mower I witnessed long grass responding to the wind. Have you ever watched long grasses on a windy day? How they ripple and shimmer? And sink and bound-back? How beautiful grass can be, yet what beauty was I making? Producing cropped turf behind me, that fed none?  (Maybe this experience should make me more understanding of those who cut me down, feeding none). In any case, it was amazing that the long grass I detested, when I began, became grass that was my guru:

What a wonderful windy wind it was
With gulped air clear from Canada; sky clear
As well; green grasses displaying the laws
Of brisk breezes; bounding far faster than deer
On the run; and shining and shimmering,
Rippling in clear sun’s pure white: A cool light
So different from yesterday’s simmering
Tropical humidity: Sheer delight
Whisking away the wetness; sweet sighing
Drying the dampness, then deeply roaring
To make new-leafed boughs bow, and trying
To make grasses bow. But bowing’s boring
If you’re hay in the wind. Instead, you prance,
And make ups-and-downs be part of your dance.

(To those of more scientific inclinations, I hope to find time to update this post with meteorological maps explaining the situation which led to the above sonnet.)

*******

Here are the promised maps, (from the Weatherbell site, which offers a 7-day free trial subscription, if you love weather maps.)

Yesterday’s map shows a strengthening 995 mb low departing over Nova Scotia, with strong breezes (blue) in its wake, and a cool, Canadian high-pressure pulled down over the Great Lakes to our west. The “Bermuda High” that gave us warm south winds is weakened to a small circle off Florida,  partially by a sub-tropical storm (actually given the name “Andrea”) moving through it and out to sea over Bermuda. As “Andrea” fades northeast the Azores High, to the lower right margin, will again extend west and combine with the unusually strong (for southerly latitudes) 990 mb low over Nebraska, which gave Denver snow on its cold side, and which is drawing warm air from the Gulf of Mexico on its warm side (and causing tornadoes where the cold and warm clash), and south winds will surge north again.

AA1 gfs_mslp_uv10m_conus_1

The Canadian High suppressed the above-normal warmth (red) to the southeast states, as much of the north and west was below-normal. (Blue, green and purple.) The cold and rain to the west is seriously delaying spring planting in America’s breadbasket.

AA2 gfs_t2m_anom_conus_1

The warmth is expected to rebound in the east in two days:

AA3 gfs_t2m_anom_conus_10

And then a ripple of cold again rides “over the top” of the high pressure, perhaps giving us thunder in three days.

AA4 gfs_t2m_anom_conus_12

The upper-air 500 mb maps have shown a stubborn ridge in the east, and deep trofs to the west that are forced to head north and then ripple up and over the eastern ridge.  Yesterday’s map showed above-normal pressures weakened to the east by “Andrea”, (light red) as the trof to the west is impressively below-normal (purple). The last trof, which was impressive out west, is far weaker, as it reaches Maine.

AA5 gfs_z500_sig_conus_1

If this pattern persists some places out west might not be able to plant at all, which makes my small, experimental garden a little more meaningful.

POPPING “VICTIMHOOD”


One impulse I’ve often been embarrassed by in my life has been the urge to pop victims right in the snoot. This is especially embarrassing because I strive to be a spiritual person. But one time, when young, I was saying peace and love were desirable, and another person sneered I only said that because I was a gutless wimp who couldn’t fight. So I punched him. It shamed me because my reaction was so obviously not peaceful and not loving.

Victims tend to especially draw this out of me when they become militant. Even when I start out sympathetic they lose my sympathy. For example, when I lived in New Mexico I was friends with many Latinos and was in sympathy, but La Raza does not touch my heart with warm feelings of love.

The problem with getting mad about being a victim is that it can make people react in a way that victimizes you and perpetuates your victim-hood. If La Raza starts a war there will indeed be victims, rather than an end to victimization. If they “win” the war then they will merely move from being the oppressed to being the oppressor. Then a new people can get mad about being a victim.

It can be very hard to remain calm. For example, when people in Europe were attempting to have a debate titled, “Blasphemy – crime or freedom of expression,” some militant feminists decided to debate in a way all their own.

The priest did rather well, quietly praying as the ladies doused him with water and raged, and then, after “security” had ushered the women out, (when the priest noticed the water bottles were in the shape of the Virgin Mary), picking a bottle off the floor and kissing it.

I’m not sure I would have done so well. I can’t say how I might have reacted. Attempted to give the girls a spanking? Gotten beat up?  It probably would have been a shambles.

I tend to avoid rallies and crowds, as I am too easily provoked. And it has become clear that some are out to provoke. Even in Berkeley, once a center of free speech, Antifa appeared to use fascist techniques in what it claimed was anti-fascism.

One starts to wonder exactly who is the victim and who is doing the victimizing.

Some claim it would be good to “bring things to a head” and that they want “blood in the streets”, but to me it seems anti-American to destroy our ability to discuss differences in a sane and civil manner. I am starting to really be touched by any group which includes many races and nationalities, cooperating and harmonizing, because it defies the entire separative ideology that at times it seems the media supports, and desires to make rampant.

How can I say the media supports such a thing? Because the media has sought so hard to preserve its status as “the voice of freedom” that it blackballs other voices, attempting to make people who are not fascists appear to be fascists. For example, an effort was made to never show any pictures of Blacks, Latinos, or Asians supporting President Trump. A more honest press would have felt more free to report the diversity of America’s views. Here are some minsters meeting the President (which got little press):

What I see is two forces at work in America. The powers of division, and the powers of unity. The powers of hate, and the powers of love. If we are divided we will fall. If we remain united we will stand. If we are victims, we are victims of our own separative exclusiveness.

Only one thing can save us, and that is the Personification of Love.

One small child has the weight of an army
If God is in all, for in that small one
Is the same pure, stunning Infinity
Marching hoards are led by. The same warm sun
Shines on and out-of rich and poor alike.
The widow’s farthing means more than Miser’s million
When Love prompts her; for pride is a dike
Holding refreshment from sands parched by a sun
Which wants to be kind but must be cruel
Without water. If you compare your lot
With others, and sneer and resent, Poor Fool,
You are missing what you’ve already got,
For God’s in all, and you don’t have to wait.
See that and your aching will evaporate.

LOCAL VIEW –Scorched Earth Sonnets–

The state motto of New Hampshire is “Live Free Or Die”, but bureaucrats don’t seem to understand that “free” means I can do what I want, and they can just buzz off. It used to be a man could run his farm how he wanted, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, and he didn’t need a bunch of busybody bureaucrats butting in to test manure for methane.  Old farmers were married to their land, and didn’t  need to ask a person who knew nothing about the quirks of his particular plot of dirt for permission to love it. Bureaucrats beg to differ. They spend all their time far from the dirt and weeds, inventing rules and regulations which make it harder to farm, quite certain they know more about farming than the farmers they oppress.

Sorry about the rant.  I could on for pages about the error of their way and the idiocy of their belief. (For example, they actually believe in “Global Warming”, and are stupid enough to base policy on what has been scientifically refuted, but that is a “hot topic” I had better avoid.)

Instead of going on for pages and boring your ears off, I’ll give a little example.

In New Hampshire farmers have always been free to burn the dead, dried weeds from the prior year in their garden in the spring. The flames kill some weed-seeds and the ash fertilizes next year’s crop. No permit was ever required. This still is the law, but now you have to fill out forms and to be officially called a “farmer”.

My farm has been a farm for 250 years, (perhaps longer), and I dug my first post-hole in its stony soil in July, 1968. Maybe the farm had never produced a profit from food, but it has produced a lot of delicious meat and vegetables, and I don’t need any bureaucrat telling me its not a farm if I don’t file forms.  But, because I’m a cantankerous old coot and can’t be bothered to jump through the hoops, I legally have the status of an ignorant immigrant from Massachusetts, who lawmaker’s figure cannot burn the weeds in his garden without burning the entire town down, and therefore need a lot of legal advice.

Who needs a permit before burning weeds in their own garden? And, if they are going to burn the town down, will a slip of paper and paying a fee beforehand (and maybe a fine afterwards) make the flames less orange? All the rules and regulations likely makes fires worse; (or at least they “burn me up”).

Who needs permits? I’ll tell you who. (Deep breath). Stupid people are who, hapless Flatlanders who need a nanny, before burning weeds. They grovel before Bureaucrats, needing a nanny for everything. They need a nanny to tell their own children right from wrong, and when I tell them I withdrew my own children from public school and Home-schooled them, they are horrified. How dare I disobey the “nanny”? I just tell them I trust my own judgement over that of an outsider who neither knows nor (apparently) likes me. I’d rather be free, than some slave-to-a-nanny.

But I will play their game if I must. Below I offer evidence I got the nanny-permit, and burned the weeds without burning the town down.

(Please notice the blue hose in the bottom of the second picture. If the wind had unexpectedly risen and the burning weeds had shown the slightest sign of going-out-control, I would have quenched the fire. This sort of common-sense is something nanny’s don’t admit ordinary people, [even mad poets like myself], have.)

Yet as I burned last year’s weeds in my garden, something odd occurred. I was officially off-duty, and not watching the children at my Childcare, but all the children gathered to watch me burn weeds. My staff, who must keep the children from being burned, also watched. And parents, arriving to pick up their children, seemed strangely in no rush to get kids in the car and hurry home. They too lingered to watch what has been done for 250 year:  A New Hampshire farmer burning last year’s weeds in a garden, creating an incense in the April air.

I seemed a sort of rock-star, even though I was doing something everyday and ordinary: Burning weeds. I felt like a rustic character in a glossy magazine, and perhaps I should pose, gazing in a picturesque way at the honking geese flying over, heading north

Politicians and Bureaucrats have a desire to be rock stars, [and therefore to get more votes, which leads to more funding and other-people’s taxes to play with,], but that was not why I burned weeds. That is not why farmers are farmers and why poets are poets. They do what they do for something different than popularity.

What is the difference? I’ll leave it to intellectuals more skilled with prose to say. Instead I’ll just enjoy the poetry and beauty God puts in every day and every weather and evey situation, a sweet sanity that heals, has nothing to do with money, and can’t be bought.

Sometimes, just to prove to the doubter in myself the poetry is there, I get into a binge of sonnet-writing. The following two aren’t that good; more like rough drafts or sketches; but they demonstrate there is poetry even in burning weeds.

As I burned all evidence that last year
I did not weed as I ought, it seemed strange
How people gathered. Fire brought me no fear
Of arrest, because I’d bothered to arrange
The “burn permit” bureaucrats want. (Perhaps
The fact I dealt with rules seemed so strange
That folk saw I’m serious?) (It seemed a lapse
In my poet’s-misjudgment?) (I’d deranged
Some accepted order of things, with my fire?)
All I did was burn last year’s tall brown weeds
And reveal my garden had an entire
Lower level, called earth. Such ashes feeds
Unplanted seed. Why did a fan club watch deeds
That I did? Are they all hungry for seeds?

*******

I burned the evidence. I failed to weed
To the proper degree during the heat
Of last summer. I had the crazy need
To write sonnets. Such needs surely defeat
My desire to get fat. There’s no mystery
To why poets starve. My garden was proof
You reap not what you sow, but what you see
Fit to weed. My crop shrank under a roof
Of green which turned brown in frosts of fall,
And then stayed proof all winter that I shirk,
But this spring will be different. To all
I announce that this summer I will work
Beyond sonnets that help day-dreamers slumber,
And will grow at least one blasted cucumber.