Rest of March – Cold, Wet; April-June – Wet According to NWS

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Originally posted on Illinois State Climatologist:
The NWS Climate Prediction Center released their latest outlooks for March, April, and beyond. So far, March has been cooler and drier than normal. The statewide average temperature 36.8 degrees, which is about a…

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I love today’s post from Topology Magazine


Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language. It speaks of the very essence of being human. When we want to give high praise to someone we say, “Yu, u nobuntu”; “Hey, so-and-so has ubuntu.” Then you are generous, your are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, “My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours.” We belong in a bundle of life. We say, “A person is a person through other persons.” It is not, “I think therefore I am.” It says rather: “I am human because I belong. I participate, I share.” A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed, or treated as if they were less than who they are.

Desmond Tutu
No Future Without Forgiveness

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Dryness Continues in Central Corn Belt

Valuable information for us home gardeners & small urban farmers as well as the agrobusinesses. I had never heard of “flash droughts”, but it explains a lot regarding lawn and garden growth right now. We’ve already drained the water barrels and are doing supplemental watering with the city water supply at our house to goose the summer crops along right now. For the rest of the yard, we’re already seeing some cracks in the soil, and it’s only mid-June.

As always, Jim Angel’s amazing!

Illinois State Climatologist

Summary: Rapid drying has occurred across the central Corn Belt since June 1 as virtually no rain has fallen, including most of central and northern Illinois. In addition, high water demand on soils has caused soil moisture to steadily drop in sites across Illinois. Estimates at one location in central Illinois put the water loss from evaporation in the soils and transpiration from plants at 2.4 inches since June 1.

When we get this short-term combination of little rain, high temperatures, and high evapotranspiration rates in summer months, we call it a “flash drought” because conditions can deteriorate rapidly such as they did in the 2012 drought. In my opinion, we are not quite there yet, but we could be if this continues for another few weeks.

Current Conditions and Forecast

Rainfall: Here is the map showing the dryness across the central Corn Belt since June 1. The area shaded gray…

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Will We Learn From, or Repeat, History?

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

John F. Kennedy

A report on NPR this morning noted that there have been less protesters at the Republican National Convention than had been expected. A person being interviewed speculated that perhaps the open carry laws of Ohio and the strong show of force by citizens carrying long guns and hand guns openly may have kept protesters home.

This is not enforcement of peaceful revolution; it is peaceful revolution denied. 

Fast forward to November 8, 2016. Forty five states now allow open carry of guns. In how many of those will citizens show up near polling places with open carry long guns and hand guns to keep peace and order? To what extent will this disenfranchise some from voting who have historically, and currently, experienced a disproportionately high number of shooting deaths, such as people of color?

Rewind to the 1930’s. Hitler was made chancellor of Germany with the belief that he could be controlled. But from the late 1920’s on the Brownshirts, “various roughneck elements that had attached themselves to the fledgling Nazi movement“, where an essential part of the rise of the Nazi party and Hitler. Their use of intimidation initially, and then violent application of emergency rule following what was likely a staged event, the burning of the Reichstag, cemented Hitler as absolute ruler.

I am NOT comparing all of the gun-carrying citizens in Cleveland to the Nazi Brownshirts, although a small fringe likely have sympathies (consider the reports this past February about White Supremacist support of Trump). But the potential of intimidating voters from going to their polling places November 8 is the same regardless. It may very well be the deciding factor that brings in the election of Trump.

Conditions are very different now than in 1920’s and 30’s Germany. As such, the reasons for citizen anger with the government and their fear of others differ greatly. But the anger and fear is strong today, and perhaps as strong, as in history then. In our favor, if such is a favor, is that those who could become violent Trump supporters are better fed and overall more comfortable than the Hitler supporters who faced severe economic depression. And the opposition Democratic party is much stronger. But the urgently needed balancing forces within the Republican party are in disarray right now.

I urgently hope that my Republican friends, and the party nationally, can succeed in their efforts to restore a solid, reasoned Republican party to serve as a counter to this fringe that is now taking control of their party. In the meantime, hurrah to Ted Cruz who refused to endorse Trump but rather encouraged people to vote their conscience.

But I urgently hope, too, that greater control by the people of both parties at all levels can be ceded from moneyed interests so that more people can have confidence that government is a place for peaceful revolution, a place for once again building a more just society that equitably cares for all its citizens.

But this is a perilous time. We stand at a crossroad. Will we learn from history and thereby avoid repeating it? Or will we slip down the path destined to repeat history in our own, unique way?

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