#TheResistance

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resistance

This came across my Facebook feed today, reposted by George Takei.

” I listened as they called my President a Muslim.
I listened as they called him and his family a pack of monkeys.
I listened as they said he wasn’t born here.
I watched as they blocked every single path to progress that they could.
I saw the pictures of him as Hitler.
I watched them shut down the government and hurt the entire nation twice.
I watched them turn their backs on every opportunity to open worthwhile dialogue.
I watched them say that they would not even listen to any choice for Supreme Court no matter who the nominee was.
I listened as they openly said that they will oppose him at every turn.
I watched as they did just that.
I listened.
I watched.
I paid attention.
Now, I’m being called on to be tolerant.

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Sheriff Boudreaux with the TCSO 9-1-1 Dispatch crew

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Hey, that’s us! That’s me, up there in the back row on the left, in glasses. On Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, we had an “all hands on deck” staff meeting.  Dispatch, along with Records, IT, and the Business office staff were on hand for a yearly confab with Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux.   We spent an informative hour with the Sheriff, as he brought us up to speed on the many projects in the works at the department.  He also took some questions, and we didn’t hold back.  It was a good meeting, with everyone looking forward to the future and the plans for the next few years.

These are the folks that handle 9-1-1 and non-emergency calls into our dispatch center. We handle calls for the Sheriff’s Office, Farmersville, Exeter, Woodlake, and Lindsay Police Departments. From missing children to shootings, this is the group that takes it all in stride, and gets help going.

It’s a great group of people, and I’ve enjoyed the 22 years I’ve been there.  I’m going to be there for a while yet, and I don’t know of any other place I’d rather work.  Well, like I’ve said before, NASA, but they don’t seem the least bit interested. Alas.

Image: Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Facebook

 

 

Jimmiejoe’s Space Age – A Recap

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Curiosity takes a selfie. On Mars.

Today, we (deliberately) crash-landed a space probe on a comet.  The Rosetta probe was “gently” crashed into the comet 67P, on which a specifically designed lander had soft-landed on November 12, 2014.  I was watching ESA/NASA TV when the loss-of-signal event indicated the flight had ended with the probe impacting the surface of the comet.

I am one month older than the space age.

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Sulu is gay? Could’ve fooled me.

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Sulu is gay? Could have fooled me.

I just saw ‘Star Trek Beyond’ last night.  (It’s very cool in 3D) Prior to the release, it was announced by John Cho, who plays Sulu in the JJ Abrams reboot/alternate timeline Star Trek, that Sulu is gay.  There are at least two scenes where Sulu is with his husband and their daughter (Demora, one assumes).  However, based on the scenes in the final theatrical release, you might be excused for not seeing the gay part.

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Damn… I missed it

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The Thunder From Down Under was in my home town last night, and I missed it.

Damn.

I hope the ladies had a good time.  I understand we had a small contingent of gay men there, too. Just to keep things balanced no doubt.

My first paid publication

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In the Visalia Times Delta’s weekend edition, July 16/17 2016, I have my first paid-for published article.  I’ve had several other items appear in the print edition of the paper, but they’ve all been either letter to the editor submisisons, commentary editorials, or blog posts that were published.  This is the first time I’ve been paid to have something appear in the paper, and it was at their suggestion.

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Is World War III being set in motion?

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brexit

The last two World Wars started in Europe. After World War II, political structures were put in place to reduce the danger of another.  Are we seeing the increasing pace of events that could lead to WWIII?  I wonder.

India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons, and are perpetually on the brink of war.  Korea and Iran are trying their damnedest to get nukes. China, Russia, Israel, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States all have the bomb.  There may be others.  The CIA might know who, but we don’t.

The events that led to the “Great War”, later renamed to World War I because we had to start numbering them, didn’t start in 1914. The catalyzing event, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria,  was merely the spark on a growing powder keg of social and political upheaval that was decades in development. The political decisions made at the end of this war set up the conditions for the next, which took less than 25 years to erupt, and led to the rise of the Nazi party and Adolph Hitler in Germany.

That spasm of war took another four years to end, with millions more dying.  Europe was again devastated.  Out of that war came such institutions as the UN, NATO, and later the European Union.  Now, the latter has seen one of it’s major members vote to leave.  The United Kingdom will leave the Union within two years.  Stock markets around the world saw their shares plummet in value on that news, with trillions of dollars of wealth being wiped out. Money people know what has happened in the past is a good indicator of what will happen in the future, and they don’t like what they see.

By itself, the UK leaving would probably not lead to war.  But other forces working in the world today might lead to that very outcome.

Europe is dealing with a refugee crisis like it hasn’t seen in more than half a century.  The middle east is always in the midst of chaos, with the further destabilization that occurred after the United States barged into Iraq adding to the mess.  Governments are having trouble maintaining order in some places, and in others they don’t even pretend to try. Religious fanatics (or those using religion for political goals) are using the mechanics of war to gain and hold entire regions.  Weapons manufacturers are getting rich(er) arming all sides.

All of this, on it’s own, would probably have been manageable, even with the UK leaving the EU.  Climate Change could be the wild card that leads to WWIII.

Billions of people live in areas destined to be severely impacted by global warming.  From rising sea levels swamping coastal regions of Asia and India, where billions live, to the increased severity of cyclones, hurricanes, and storm surges, there is potential for severe disruption, both socially and politically.  Hundreds of millions of people could be displaced, food production disrupted, and fresh water in short supply.  This could cause mass migrations of desperate people, and the resulting undermining of governments.

Local wars could break out, and with the intertwined agreements tying countries to each other’s defense, we could see the battles spread like they did in the “War to End All Wars”. The one we had to start the numbering after because it didn’t stop anything.

If the United States were to elect Donald Trump as President, I think the risks of war would be advanced severely.  His bluster, incompetence, and lack of any reasonable intelligence about world affairs would be a crisis that could hurtle the world into the next, perhaps final, catastrophe.  I’m 99% sure we won’t put him in the White House.  I think he is a bullet we will easily dodge, especially after he starts going toe-to-toe with Hillary Clinton.  That may not be enough, however, to insure we don’t add a “III” to the list.  We may only delay what could be the inevitable.

I don’t think this will happen soon,  probably not even in my lifetime. I’m concerned for the children of my nieces and nephews, and their children, however.  The second half of the 21st Century will be the cauldron, and climate change could be the fire that brings it to a devastating boil.

I’m almost glad I (probably) won’t be around to see it.

 

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