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Taking a moment.
#1
To think about the victims of the fires in Greece.  Somehow while we shrug them off  as 'normal' it's hard to imagine that they happen more often than imagined in Europe.    Poor bastards trapped in their cars, some between a cliff and the fire.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-24/greece-fires-survivors-fled-into-sea-to-escape-flames/10031316

Also at the other end of the scale, thousands homeless and who knows how many drowned in Laos when a dodgy dam collapsed.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-24/laos-dam-collapse-leaves-several-dead-hundreds-missing/10031084


A moment to look up from our respective local political navels can't do any harm.
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#2
Yep, bad shit happens every day.

To the very same people, if you happen to be a Rohingya, or trapped in a South Sudan refugee camp...
Love is... that one person whose freshly-warm toilet seat you don't find disgusting.
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#3
Inspirational railroad graffiti:

[Image: 42098249220_464db36542_z.jpg]
I like it hot and sticky - Di Wundrin
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#4
Deep, and good advice. I used to chat to the cleaners and maintenance people all the time. Firstly because they were more interesting than most of the people in the offices, and secondly you never knew who was going to win Lotto.


But further to the OP re your California fires ... another group of 28 volunteer fire fighters flew out yesterday to lend a hand in that Mendocino wildfire. There are others already there but don't know how many.

They do that here in the fire season, they pack a bag and fly or drive to wherever the local 'fireys' need some relief troops.
Around 2000 turned up in cars and buses and fire service vehicles from South Australia back a few years ago when the East coast was alight and the local fire fighters were dropping from exhaustion.

They were on the road for 24hrs then went straight to work. The volunteer Fireys and Emergency people are OZ's heroes.
You're welcome.
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#5
I'm sad about all this rough shit, but I'm glad for the fact that people will help out, in near heroic ways.

We're such confusing creatures.

We are willing to rescue people from floods and fires we caused.

Still,

Kudos to all that sacrifice to help.
Selfless service is the way out, imho.
It's how we call the bluff on the non-existent self.
( kind of a Bhuddist/ Christian concept...but not the worst way to go.)
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#6
Actually a hundred or so from here isn't a drop in the bucket compared the numbers of regular and volunteer fire units over there, they outnumber us by millions, I guess it's little more than a gesture really.
We appreciate the US lending us the big water dropping choppers for our season Least we can do.
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#7
As ecological disasters become more common, i think that the world at large will have an opportunity
to put their efforts towards something other than war.
And to put our resources into more reasonable efforts.


Something good could come from this absurd nightmare.

Maybe we could slow down on our relentless exploitation and hang up our fantasy of spreading freedom across the globe, with military intervention...and help people instead.

or not.

The bombs aren't cheap.
Maybe it's time to assess the costs and what exactly is gained from it.

So horribly wrong of me to suggest such a thing.

Yet, most people default to a position of decency.

We don't favor pointless and expensive relentless violence.

Most Americans want out of stupid wars.
Most of us would rather be helpful.

I believe that.
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#8
Our military is run a little differently. Judging from appearances the majority of them spend more time on disaster relief exercises than actually engaging in battles.
Mostly it's used more like your National Guard ? than regular Army.

There's moves afoot to use Army personnel to help out with drought relief, ferrying fodder, maintenance, heavy equipment needs etc. Also maybe with fodder distribution. Transport costs are through the roof and trucks capable of carrying a load of hay from further away are becoming harder to find.

There's close to no feed at all available in the Eastern states. The last harvest of hay in North Queensland was shown in the News the other night. The conditions up there are fine for growing it, but they just can't grow it fast enough to supply the "Mexican states" to the south plus their own even longer and worse drought affected in the bottom half of the state.

Nothing is growing in NSW that qualifies as cattle feed and Victoria is also drying out fast and they need what they have to cover their own needs.

Fodder is being sought as far away as WA, that's equivalent to Maine buying hay from California.
Gets expensive. like 10,000 dollars per truckload which is good for only a couple of months at best and far beyond the means of farmers to pay.

But the military doesn't have that many trucks either nor many aircraft big enough to carry significant amounts of hay to cover the shortfall. It's too far and too expensive for choppers and too slow and logistically complicated for shipping it around the coast.

What they could do is distribute it from railheads.
Bringing it over by train hasn't been used as the hurdle of unloading it in remote areas, and then getting it from the rail lines to remote communities stymies it.

There's not enough vehicles out there to get it to the places it's needed. A ute (pickup truck) full of hay wouldn't go far and the time and fuel costs for the farmers make it too damned hard for them to make the constant 4 to 8 hour round trips to retrieve it in small loads from the rail sidings.
But that's still being worked out too.

Bit of a problem all round but at least they're not sitting in barracks polishing their boots.

There'll be a contingent sent to Indo for earthquake relief and rebuilding on Lombok Island too I'm guessing.
It's normal procedure to send soldiers with shovels rather than machine guns on neighbourly visits down here in Oceania.

We've got a tiny military compared to yours and we try and get the best value we can from them. Well, without starting wars to keep them occupied anyway.
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#9
I wish we atheists had an equivalent way to say "God bless you."
The sentiment is decent. Even if the god part is obscene.

Same with saying grace before dinner.
It's not a bad idea.
Except for the god stuff.

I wish you well.

(Even that smells lame. "Wish?")

How do we convey our concern and fondness in a neat and tidy way?

(Probably not like this.)

sigh.

(You get the idea.)
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#10
How about the ST: TNG thingy of "Go carefully"?

It says 'don't fuck up by getting sidetracked or distracted because we love you'.

My personal favorite: "If you die, we'll kick your dead body."

It says 'do whatever you want but you know what will happen if you die'. Smile
You can lead 'em to knowledge, but you can't make 'em think.
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