ACTIONS CREATE REACTIONS - 02.02.2022
February 2, 2022
Good Wednesday morning. It's already February. I'm author Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California. Welcome to RUPP'S NOTES/FBI SPECIAL AGENT HARTMANN SERIES posts.
Happy Lunar New Year, everyone! It is the year of the Tiger, which is characterized by power, passion, and adventure. May it bring you all those things and more.
Yeah, my RAMS are going to the Super Bowl. Yes, the NFL put on another exciting Sunday. Both games were great to watch.
First, there was Cincinnati's 27-24 overtime win over the Chiefs and then my Rams' 20-17 win over the 49ers. The result is the lowest-seeded Super Bowl we have ever seen. Never before has the National Football League's showpiece been absent of all the 1 and 2 seeds. The Bengals and Rams lost 12 games between them in the regular season. That has never happened before.
The Rams game was a nail-biter for me. They were down 10 points in the 4th quarter and seemed headed to a 7th straight defeat to their NFC West rivals, the 49ers. Then my son's and grandson's favorite Ram, Cooooooop – Cooper Kupp, came through to save the day.
In case you're wondering, the average ticket price for Super Bowl LVI down the road from me opens at $10,540. Or, if you want to sit on the 50-yard line, the going price is $46,681 each. I'll be watching with my sons and grandson here at home.
As an NFL fan, I need to note two additional things. First, the former Washington Redskins that became the Washington Football Team have now settled on the Washington Commanders as their new name. Second, after 365 games, the Goats' last game was a loss to the Rams in last week's NFL divisional playoff. At age 44 and 22 seasons of football, Tom Brady retired as the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns with seven Super Bowl rings. He tweeted that "My playing career has been such a thrilling ride, and far beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs. When you're in it every day, you really don't think about any kind of ending."
Speaking of endings, I'm off on another tangent respecting my upcoming novel SKYWARD. My main characters, the identical Bowman twins, have given up on the direction the Earthly world is going and are off to establish a new world in space. My research has taken me to Darwin, Huxley, and H.G. Wells, who, like my Bowman twins, believed science could change the world and addressed the open-ended question of humanity's ascent or extinction. So, at the moment, I'm just finishing rereading H.G. Wells book "The New World Order." What it's telling me is that humans have considered the same basic problem for a long, long time. Just what I needed, another slowdown in coming to the end of my manuscript.
My thoughts have also taken me back to Newton's Third Law of Motion, which states an equal and opposite reaction for every action. I believe his scientific law applies to human reactions. Simply put, it means that every force can be undone.
As I contemplated the above, I noted several news articles that confirmed my feelings.
This may be a stretch, but Pope Francis stated this week that "Information based on scientific facts is a human right." He urged Catholic journalists to help people misled by false reports about the coronavirus and vaccines. Not sure if religion and science mesh that well?
"You just couldn't have the menu that we have [without gas]," says Tony Palermo, co-owner of Tony P's Dockside Grill in Marina Del Rey, California. A report on greenhouse gases suggested banning the use of natural gas to help save the planet. To which chefs commented that this will negatively change the art of cooking. My friends, this suggests that the backyard barbeque may be on the way out. That's why I'm learning how to cook the perfect steak using Sous Vide.
The White House issued a stark warning about the global chip crisis. It was going to take action to bolster domestic chip production. This presents a paradox as producing the chips contributes to the climate crisis. At the same time, they are designed to reduce it. An article in THE GUARDIAN indicates that the semiconductor industry has a problem. Demand is booming for silicon chips, which are embedded in everything from smartphones and televisions to wind turbines. But it comes at a significant cost: a considerable carbon footprint. The production of these chips contributes to the climate crisis. It requires vast amounts of energy and water – a chip fabrication plant, or fab, can use millions of gallons of water a day – and creates hazardous waste.
"What a waste of precious water," Michael De Ghetto, chief assistant general manager of Glendale Water and Power, said recently as he gazed upon an area where more than 35 million gallons of runoff from Glendale, Burbank, and Los Angeles are dumped each day. Burbank, the city where I reside, is looking to increase wastewater recycling to help overcome the current drought conditions believed to be caused by climate change. But the environmentalists are against it. The environmentalists tell us water recycling would adversely affect the cottonwood and sycamore trees that push skyward and the fish that dart beneath the swooping shadows of cackling waterfowl. Few realize that the Los Angeles River is a thriving river habitat sustained by a constant flow of treated wastewater for much of the year.
The phrase, you can't win for losing comes to mind. It suggests that you can't win because you keep losing; things would be going great if they weren't going so poorly.
Prophets with an understanding of science have long warned that evolution was not necessarily upwards. At the moment, I can foresee a degeneration in our direction, where we can take a path that makes us extinct if we are not careful and follow science.
I write crime fiction novels based on the FBI and frequently take authors' license in my writing. I watch the three CBS Television FBI series and have the impression that the writers of the TV series FBI International have done little research and really have stretched the concept of author's license. I doubt if the FBI acts overseas as is depicted in this series.
The FBI maintains legal attaché offices in many countries. The following is just part of what the FBI website has as their responsibilities – "Typical duties of a legal attaché include coordinating requests for FBI or host country assistance overseas; conducting investigations in coordination with the host government; sharing investigative leads and information; briefing embassy counterparts from other agencies, including law enforcement agencies, as appropriate, and ambassadors; managing country clearances; providing situation reports concerning cultural protocol; assessing political and security climates, and coordinating victim and humanitarian assistance." There is an FBI Fly Team based at the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., who are trained to be ready to deploy to any country immediately. Again, from the FBI website – "The Fly Team is a small, highly trained cadre of counterterrorism investigators—including special agents and intelligence analysts—based at FBI Headquarters who stand ready to deploy anywhere in the world on a moment's notice. The team brings the FBI's strategic and tactical counterterrorism capabilities to bear in partnership with other U.S. government agencies and foreign partner-nation entities in critical overseas locations to detect, penetrate, and disrupt terrorist networks." It does not appear this team would get involved in the types of cases depicted in the TV series. Nor treat local foreign law enforcement the way the TV team does. The main character reminds me of the term "Ugly American" used to describe American tourists during the 1950s-1960s.
Lastly, I read an article suggesting that Gen Zs are often considered humorless, which perfectly fits my Bowman brothers characters in SKYWARD.
Until next week.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright©2021 by Richard V. Rupp