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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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.

 

Summer time, and the living is easy

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jim_source_06242016

“… and all I got was this stupid T-shirt!” is not a phrase I would utter today.  I put in a shift at our LGBT + Center this afternoon, and had a good time.  Had a very interesting, and lengthy, conversation on the phone with a gentleman in need of our services. I hope he comes in to take advantage of all that we offer.  I also had a illuminating conversation with two transwomen, on their lives, their thinking, and trans issues in general.  I learned a lot, just sitting and shooting the breeze with them.

At the end of the day, I got this cool t-shirt.  Not bad.

Here’s our Facebook page.

Here’s our webpage.

 

The importance of being still

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pooh_forest

“Say, Pooh, why aren’t you busy?” I said.
“Because it’s a nice day,” said Pooh.
“Yes, but —”
“Why ruin it?” he said.
“But you could be doing something Important,” I said.
“I am, ” said Pooh.
“Oh? Doing what?”
“Listening,” he said.
“Listening to what?”
“To the birds. And that squirrel over there.”
“What are they saying?” I asked.
“That it’s a nice day,” said Pooh.
“But you know that already,” I said.
“Yes, but it’s always good to hear that somebody else thinks so, too,” he replied.

LGBT center to serve Tulare & Kings Counties

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Did you see the article in Saturday’s edition of the Visalia Times Delta? If not, go here and check it out. We’ll wait.

Isn’t that just the greatest news? Here’s their webpage, and here’s their Facebook page. Here’s their fundraising page. Go toss them a few bucks. Or more. We’ll wait again.

Back?  Thanks!  The response to this endeavor from the LGBT and allied community has been astounding. From nearly meeting the initial fundraising goal in just a few weeks, to the outpouring of “likes” on Facebook and the buzz on social media, theSOURCE promises to be a resounding success.

Visalia has long had LGBT groups holding activities.  From an over 20 year ongoing monthly potluck dinner group, gay bowling leagues, softball teams (go Skittles!), the Lavender Ball,  Pride in the Park, Family Fest, the second LGBT Pride Lions group in the USA, the Tuesday Evening Dining Group, gay-straight alliances at local high schools, and COS Pride just to mention a few, Visalia has bucked the trend of most other places in the Central Valley.

There have also been dark times.  Suicides of LGBT youth and adults has been an un- or under-reported fact of life here.  Many young gay people leave the area as soon as they can, some never to return.  In 2001 a gay student at Golden West High School sued the Visalia Unified School District over anti-gay harassment he suffered there.  George Loomis won his case, resulting in new policies and training for Visalia Unified.

The times, as they say, are a’ changin’.

theSOURCE will provide a clearinghouse for resources, information, counseling, medical and mental health services, social activities, and more, all geared to supporting the LGBT and allied community.  Access to medically accurate information for the treatment of STDs, as well as HIV/AIDs, and referrals to practitioners familiar and friendly towards the gay community will be provided.  Information on welcoming and affirming religious organizations will be available.

A new page in Visalia’s LGBT history is about to be turned.  From the heart of Visalia’s downtown (208 W. Main, Suite B in the Montgomery Plaza), theSOURCE will serve the entire community, regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression, race, religion, physical or mental handicap, age, income level, or any other classification you care to come up with.

At theSOURCE, you don’t have to be out to come in.  You don’t have to be gay, either.

At theSOURCE, you’re welcome.

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