As a giant Historic” blizzard heads for the east coast to the point where I’m writing it before it gets there just in case there is no power let me suggest that even though it prompted me to actually buy a snowblower I suspect there is little “historic” about it beyond our perception of it.

One of the things about humans as creatures who exist in time is we have something called “living memory” which is defined as all the event that exist in the experience of the humans alive today.

So if the oldest person in the world is say 115 then, depending of the age of their oldest memory there is a time in living memory when there was no such thing as airplanes while on the other side of the scale a five-year old of today never remembers a time without twitter, smartphones, the internet you get the picture.

What does this have to do with the weather? Simply this. Earth has cycles, some that we can clearly see every year, for example the seasons, some which are longer, for example droughts and floods that come and go as snowfall increases and decreases. And there are others that are much longer, for example the Blizzard of 78 was a huge blizzard that shut down my state of Massachusetts (although if you’re under 40 you don’t remember it) and there was the great ice storm that shut things down around here about six years ago.

However the reality is likely that while these might be the biggest storms in my memory I suspect that there have been plenty of bigger storms like it around here. They simply happened before I was born.

Such storms would have had bigger impacts because the ability of the people to move such snow & stay warm would have been harder, but also lesser because people didn’t travel 50 to 100 miles to work daily.

The point it there are likely weather cycles that are years log, decades long, centuries long millennia long and perhaps some that are even longer.

We know cycles exist, what we don’t know is why. Of course we can theorize as our science increases or make educated guesses. I for example, would guess some of this might be because the path of the moon around the earth and the earth around the sun and the sun around whatever it orbits is not entirely consistent or gravitationally changes as other objects pass though our system or near it and perhaps cycles that the sun goes through as well etc etc etc.

But it’s human nature to turn things they see into “historic” events rather than part of the natural cycle of the universe because it seems to increase our own importance in it.

So by all means prepare for the storm that’s coming that all proper precautions but I suggest you Keep this article in mind next time someone tries to sell you something based on impending doom of the planet.

By:  Pat Austin


SHREVEPORT – The “Perfect Headline of the Week Award” goes to NOLA for their article about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s prayer rally:

Bobby Jindal’s prayer rally brings out Louisianians’ complicated feelings about the governor

Yes, it sure has.

Look, I’ve done my fair share of Jindal-bashing.  He’s done some things right and some things really poorly.  Like they said, it’s complicated.

This prayer rally business is a perfect example of how Jindal brings out the best and the worst in us.   I am never going to argue against more prayer for our nation and our society as a while.  No, sir.  I believe that’s the premise upon which our nation was founded.  But why is the governor holding a prayer rally on the LSU campus?

Here’s the thing:  The prayer rally yesterday at LSU drew several hundred protesters and they were upset about a variety of things, one of which concerns Jindal’s cuts to higher education which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.  Jindal looks first at higher ed anytime he needs to trim the budget.  So how dare he use the facilities at LSU to host his prayer rally, which some see as a launching, or at least posturing for, his presidential campaign!:

It was outrageous for the governor to throw a prayer rally on LSU’s campus — an event seemingly aimed at raising his national profile — while simultaneously asking for state higher education to absorb at least $300 million in budget cuts next year, they said.

“He is using it to launch a presidential campaign. … We are subsidizing his move on to national office on the backs of our students,” said Kent Filbel, a LSU professor who attended the protest in his academic robes.

Indeed, the overarching complaint heard about Jindal from legislators and constituents alike is that he focuses too much on national issues and too little on state problems.

The governor’s press office has sent out numerous emails about Jindal’s thoughts on radical Islam and federal abortion bills over the past two weeks. But they have yet to send out a single release regarding the troubling state budget shortfall, which currently totals $1.4 billion and threatens to send public colleges and universities off a financial cliff.

In truth, Jindal has been posturing for a presidential run for the past several years; one of the top complaints about him has been that he’s never in the state.  His frequent absences even gave rise to a “Where is Bobby?” cottage industry of t-shirts and coffee mugs along the lines of “Where is Waldo?”

But again, it’s complicated; Jindal has done some things for which he has won much admiration in Louisiana like his fight for the coast after the BP oil spill.  The Obama administration twiddled their thumbs and stalled around while the giant oil slick slid toward the Louisiana coast, killed the seafood industry (which is just now beginning to rebound), put hundreds of related small businesses out of business, appointed an “Oil Spill Czar” and put down a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf.  Jindal was rightly outraged by it all and fought like a mad-dog for berms, booms, and drilling.  Of course, Politico thought Bobby was posturing then, too, but most of us down here didn’t see it that way.  We were proud of him, then.

As far as the prayer rally goes, Jindal may have been posturing with that one.  Well, yes, he probably was.  Not that he doesn’t believe in what he said, or that he’s not a believer in Christian prayer – I think he does and he is.  But the whole affair seems staged to draw the most possible attention.  Many of the protesters saw his use of the American Family Association to bankroll the event as a stick in the eye of liberal causes.

Maybe it was.

So what?

Jindal even tried to merge the prayer rally with a Right to Life event in Baton Rouge, a move that failed to gain support of the Catholic Church who also saw the rally as political posturing:

Still, LSU academics aren’t the only ones bothered by Jindal’s national ambitions. The governor tried to orchestrate a merger between the Right to Life march — one of the anti-abortion movement’s largest annual events in Louisiana — and The Response on Saturday, a move which the Catholic Church rejected. Louisiana’s bishops weren’t interested in attending Jindal’s prayer rally, even though the governor identifies as Catholic and attends mass every Sunday.

“The event was viewed more as an evangelical event with a political tone to it, and the bishops don’t participate in such events,” said Rob Tasman, executive director of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Jindal insisted that The Response was not connected to his presidential ambitions.

“Today is not a political event. It’s a religious event. It’s not a political event,” Jindal said in an interview.

The problem is, most people saw it that way.  Optics.

Posturing.  Posing.  Positioning.  People are tired of that.

Note to politicians:  Say what you mean, mean what you say, be up front about your intentions, and then let the people decide.


Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’  He said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went.

The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go.  Which of the two did his father’s will?”

Matthew 21:28-31b

We keep hearing how Bibi’s visit and upcoming speech to congress is an insult to Barack Obama.

One might debate if this is a smart diplomatic move or no when dealing with an ally, but perhaps Israel’s prime minister is using a Christian standard to judge who is a ally or no:

“Either declare the tree good and its fruit is good, or declare the tree rotten and its fruit is rotten, for a tree is known by its fruit.

One could take a look at the condition of the Middle East to see how good his policies have been, but rather than rehash the last few years let’s take a peek at two events of this week

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will represent the United States at the 70th anniversary ceremony for the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp on Tuesday—rather than President Barack Obama or Vice President Joe Biden—while other countries are slated to send their heads of state.

well it’s not like other heads of state are showing up…oh wait:

“Heads of state from France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, and Denmark will be present,” Wiser adds.

Well things are pretty busy for the President, that’s why he couldn’t go to the big Charlie Hebdo event, it’s not like he can, for example drop everything and go somewhere if a 90 year old who doesn’t allow women to drive in his country dies or something.

President Barack Obama will cut short his three-day trip to India to travel to Saudi Arabia to pay respects following the death of King Abdullah, U.S. and Indian officials said today, hours before the U.S. president was to depart for New Delhi.

The schedule change means Obama will skip plans to visit the Taj Mahal, the white marble monument of love. Pradeep Bhatnagar, a top state official based in the city of Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located, said U.S. security officials informed him of the cancellation today.

So let’s get this straight, the head of a Regime that doesn’t allow women to vote, or drive & restricts Christians & Jews (if they were allowed) is worth this Administration time.

Remembering murdered jews by either the Nazi’s or Islamic Terrorists is not.

Frankly given those facts when I hear people complain that Bibi has symbolically spat in Barack Obama’s face my response is, it’s a wonder he hasn’t done the real thing.

Update:  Now I know why Obama took the bust of Churchill out of the Oval Office

When in November 1932, shortly before Hitler came to power, and Churchill was in Munich doing some historical research about the First Duke of Marlborough,…an intermediary [Putzi Hanfstaengl] tried to get him to meet Hitler, who was in Munich at the time and had high hopes of coming to power within months. Churchill agreed to meet Hitler, who was going to come to see him in his hotel in Munich, and said to the intermediary: “There are a few questions you might like to put to him, which can be the basis of our discussion when we meet.” Among them was the following question: “What is the sense of being against a man simply because of his birth? How can any man help how he is born?”

Gilbert comments:

This may seem a simple sentiment to us now, but how many people, distinguished people from Britain, the United States and other countries, who met or might have met Hitler, raised that question with him? So surprised, and possibly angered, was Hitler by this question that he declined to come to the hotel and see Churchill.