We landed on Mars today!

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Mars_Insight

Our latest Mars probe landed successfully today, after a 7 month journey from it’s launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Designed to study the physical structure of Mars, the probe will look for water, and use super-sensitive seismometers to study the planet’s interior. It will drill down into the ground beneath the lander to help scientists explore the mantle and core of Mars.

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I go “Over The Edge” Saturday

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Jim_Over_The_Edge

Saturday, November 10, I go “Over The Edge“. I’ll be rappelling down the side of the Marriott Hotel in downtown Visalia as the culmination of my fundraising participation for The Source LGBT+ Center. I’m scheduled for 3 pm, so come on down and join in the festivities as I and a bunch of other folks help support The Source.

There will be a festival on site, along with the rappelling. Come on down between 9 am thru 4 pm and join us as we celebrate 2 1/2 years of community service, and fund our expansion project and our ongoing programs.

There’s still enough time to donate, and you can do that at https://visaliaovertheedge.com/jim-reeves/  Every donation is gratefully received, and there other rappellers you can support, at https://visaliaovertheedge.com/list.cfm

Friday, starting at 4pm, VIP and top earners will lead off the event, with Assemblyman Devon Mathis, Chris Ortiz of the Visalia Police Department, and radio personality April Skye going “Over The Edge”. Feel free to stop by and cheer them on.

The Source LGBT+ Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

I am a former member of the Founding Board of Directors, an Advisory Board member, and volunteer at The Source LGBT+ Center.

July 4 – Civil War

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alexjones

I must have missed the memo. To where do I report for the July 4 Civil War that’s going to be started by us liberals? Is my BB gun weapon enough? It looks like a 9mm hand gun, but I don’t even have any BBs at the moment. I hope the stores haven’t sold out, I’m sure there must have been a run on them by now.

Alex Jones says we liberals are going to launch a civil war this Wednesday. Totally coincidentally, Jones sells lots of survivalist gear on his site, so after you watch his war warnings, you can go buy all the stuff you’ll need to survive this holocaust. Best choose the “overnight shipping” option, though.

I suppose my best contribution will be in the communications/radio tent. I can dispatch the hell out of this war, but I’ll need all the secret codes and unit designators so I know who I’m talking to and what I’m telling them. I’d hate to get something wrong, and have Bravo Unit attack a Starbucks, rather than the Walmart.

Image: Alex Jones Twitter

(I usually don’t cross post, but this one is too funny not to make fun of in as many places as possible.)

Audio comments, City Council meeting May 21 2018 – Speaker lambastes city, LGBT group

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citycouncil

“THAT’S CHILD PORNOGRAPHY!”

Well, no, it’s not. Not even close. Gabriel Jacquez spoke at the public comments section of the May 21, 2018 Visalia City Council meeting, and took the city to task for allowing our event, Pride Visalia, to take place. During his comments, he drew a really strange connection between drag queens dancing and child porn. Listen to the recording above to see if you can follow his…  “logic”. I can’t.

Immediately following his remarks are mine, given a few minutes after his. I had planned on simply giving a short presentation to the Council about Pride Visalia, and then invite them to attend.

That got thrown out the window after I heard his remarks. I tried to address Mr. Jacquez’s remarks as best I could, without turning my three minutes into a complete mish-mash.

I’m glad it worked out the way it did, it would have been unfortunate had I gone first, and then Mr. Jacquez following. In that scenario, I would not have been able to respond.

Sorry for the poor quality of the image. That’s me, at the podium, in the upper right hand corner of the image. It’s a screen capture of a phone video, which was recording a video feed that was playing on yet another phone. A copy of a copy of a copy of a copy.

Sorry that the audio quality is not the best, either. It’s also a copy of a copy, especially that last few seconds.

You can hear the (almost) complete audio at the article by the Visalia Times Delta, here. My comments are attached to the video at the top of the article, Mr. Jacquez’s in the video further down the page. At some point in the future, the City of Visalia should have an audio recording of the meeting, with the full comments. (only a few seconds have been cut, however. Mostly us introducing ourselves, and possibly a bit at the end of Mr. Jacquez’s remarks.)

All in all, a most upsetting Council meeting for me.

Trump wants a “space force”

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trump_death_star

*sigh*

I wonder if Trump knows what happened to the Emperor?

GOP, NRA complicit in Florida school shooting

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ar15

When you drive the getaway car from the scene of a liquor store robbery where the clerk was killed, you can be charged with homicide even if you never entered the store. If you supply alcohol to someone and they’re involved in a fatal DUI crash later, you can be charged with a crime. If you hide a criminal from the police, you can be arrested.

Give money to a Congressman who votes to allow mentally disturbed individuals easy access to high-power assault rifles, however, you’re off scott-free when one of those people uses that weapon to kill others.  If you lobby to take military style weapons off banned firearms lists, you’re just a patriotic American who supports the Second Amendment. Vote to make these things possible, and you’re only responsible for “thoughts and prayers”.

The United States is sick. I was holding onto the hope that this disease was not terminal, but that diminishes each time we see the news of another mass shooting. Just this year alone, we’ve had 20 fatalities at school shootings, 17 of them in the most recent incident. What have we done about it? Nothing. Well, almost nothing. We elect and re-elect people like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Devin Nunes, and Donald Trump. We let them off with issuing platitudes. Children die, the NRA remains silent and writes checks.

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History keeps changing.

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Jose SarriaScrolling through my Facebook feed this morning landed me on a post by The Advocate about California’s State Board of Education’s recent approval of ten history and social science textbooks that are LGBT-inclusive. It spurred me to write a blog about it, and as I was doing a bit of research I ran across something I hadn’t known before. It also made me realize I had been wrong in previous posts I made about the first openly gay individual to run for public office. I hate it when that happens!  (being wrong about something I’ve stated firmly in the past, not learning about something I didn’t know before.)

So, in the past, I had thought Harvey Milk was the first openly gay person elected to public office in the United States. I was gleefully corrected by a member of what I call my “anti-fan club”, a few people who love to slam anything and everything I write (because I’m a gay atheist, and that just riles them and their conservative Christian world view to no end, and who can’t stand the idea that I was graciously given a public platform at the Visalia Times Delta’s website). They work overtime to find something wrong in my posts, and proudly post corrections, and condemnations. One particular person’s correction at least educated me, when it was pointed out that Elaine Noble was the first openly gay or lesbian individual elected to a state legislature in the United States. Harvey Milk had ran as an openly gay man for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, but lost in his first attempt in 1973. Noble was elected in 1974, and took office in January of 1975. Milk won his next attempt, taking office in January 1978. He became the first openly gay man elected to office in California.

Turns out Elaine Noble wasn’t the first openly gay or lesbian to run for a public office in the United States.

Meet Jose Julio Sarria. In 1961 he ran for San Francisco Supervisor, the office Harvey Milk would finally win in the election of 1977. Sarria did not win.

In further researching Mr. Sarria, I discovered some more things I didn’t know! For instance, I had heard of two historical figures in San Francisco, namely The Widow Norton, and The Empress of San Francisco (more properly The Grand Mere, Absolute Empress 1 de San Francisco). I did not realize they were the same person. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

October was LGBT History month. It took November’s California Board of Education’s vote to approve ten LGBT-inclusive textbooks for me to actually learn some history I hadn’t known before. There’s a great historical time line presentation at GLSEN’s website, where I stumbled upon Mr. Sarria’s information. Go check it out, I think you’ll be as interested as I was. In fact, now that I’m done with this post, I’m going back to finish my history lesson. I got sidetracked at 1961!

History doesn’t really change, but how we view it, and how it’s presented does. California is leading the nation in LGBT inclusive education. Since we are one of the largest textbook customers in the nation, many states will end up using the same suppliers, and the children in those states will benefit from our standards.

Just another reason I’m a California guy, through and through.

 

 

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