A military planner/strategist often contends with the fact that much of what they do ends up on a shelf as a plan, only for use when needed. Most of the time these plans are not needed; and it’s equally important to know that we don’t want them to be needed. For when they are, something bad has happened. During my time as an officer in the United States Army, I served for a time as an operational and strategic planner, and often drew the task of writing plans in support of Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEO). Some of those plans were specifically built for Afghanistan while I worked out of a Bagram headquarters in 2011. Like many veterans and those still on active duty, I never thought the world would witness the catastrophic collapse of Afghanistan in less than two weeks. It’s a rare moment when the best laid plans are impacted by decisions no planner can control or contemplate.
In his State of the State address January 19th, Governor Sisolak of Nevada pitched a new proposal to attract 'innovative' tech companies to the state and rebuild the economy after the devastating impact of the pandemic. The proposed bill would enact "innovation zones", essentially cities that would be built and temporarily controlled by companies, with all the powers and responsibilities of Nevada counties. Many opponents of the proposal compare the zones to "company towns", towns where all stores and housing is owned by one company. The difference lies in governance, the innovation zones will have a governor appointed board, who have all the powers of county commissioners. Elections for those positions start when there are 100 registered voters.
It was early September 1814, when a young American lawyer Francis Scott Key was sent aboard a British flagship. Just offshore of Baltimore Harbor and not far from Fort McHenry, he was sent to negotiate the return/trade of hundreds of POWs who had been captured by the British Military over the prior years of war, now known as the War of 1812. After a week of tough negotiations with Britain, on September 13, 1814, they agreed the prisoners could be traded on a one-for-one basis. Key was so excited, he went below deck to give the news to all the American prisoners. He told the men “Tonight you will be lifted from your chains and you will be set free.” When Key reached the deck again, he spoke with the admiral to arrange the transferring the prisoners back to the shore. The admiral told Key he would honor his agreement, but that it wouldn’t matter because Britain now had their entire naval fleet along the bay and they had given the colonies an ultimatum. If the colonies would not lower the flag, flying above the rampart of Fort McHenry, Britain would keep laying down fire (cannon blasts from the ships) on the fort until Fort McHenry was removed from the face of the earth.
During the April 15, 2021, Congressional Hearing on Reopening America from COVID-19, Representative Scalise starts the hearing with some very powerful opening statements: “Dr. Fauci, the question I get asked the most these days, is pretty simple; “If I got the vaccine, why can’t I resume my normal activities, why can’t my children go back to school, and why can’t I go to a restaurant with my friends again?” Neither the CDC, nor NIH, nor the White House have provided a satisfactory or consistent answer to that question. In the absence of logical guidance, Americans have done what American’s do better than anyone in the world. They’ve taken the initiative to safely get back to their everyday lives as fast as they can.”
Bruce Jenner, known as Caitlyn Jenner since 2014 (1), is considering running for Governor (2) of California in the upcoming election, due to the Gavin Newsom Recall (3). In a 2015 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer, Jenner revealed that he is a coservative in the realm of politics and that he has considered himself a Republican his entire life. (4) When Jenner spoke up about his struggle (5) with Gender Dysphoria (6), he was immediately made into this sort of icon for the LGBTQ+ community. With that high status came much scrutiny when it came to political ideals, seeing as that is all this country can seem to focus on in the past 7 years.
The phrase “Innocent, until proven guilty” has slowly turned into “Guilty, until proven innocent” in this modern world of media and social media. People do not wait for the justice system to do their duty. Their first reaction is to scream “GUILTY!”, rise up in arms and call for blood. This reaction comes from both sides of the aisle and it is the type of reaction that is killing our society.
A recent study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism revealed a ridiculous uprise of hate-crimes against Americans of Asian descent by 149%. And I call it ridiculous because that is what this situation is. Hate crimes against humanity are committed by ridiculous, ludicrous, and preposterous people and schemes. Now this raises a very important question(s) that must be asked. Who is targeting the asians? And what are the motives behind this sudden violence? Here’s a few potential causes that could’ve sparked this controversy. President Trump has routinely referred to the Coronavirus as the ‘China Virus,’ and some believe that while the former President intended simply to be politically incorrect, others are saying that these accusations have led to anti-asian hate crimes. In New York, where the number of anti-Asian hate crimes jumped from three to 28, all but four were related to the coronavirus.
There have been rumors, from both sides of the isle, about the State Of The Union (SOTU) Address. Rumors involving when it is required to happen and the precedent of when it has happened in the past. I even played into these rumors for a few days until I started doing my own research for this article. First, I want to put it out there that Joe Biden was scheduled to do the SOTU Address on February 3, 2021. That date was later canceled and his speech was scheduled for February 23, 2021.
In mid-February, Texas faced another historic storm. This time, it was an ice storm. Yep! An ice storm in Texas, you heard correct! According to the Texas Tribune, “The winter storm that left dozens of Texans dead, millions without power and nearly 15 million with water issues could be the costliest disaster in state history, potentially exceeding the $125 billion in damage from Hurricane Harvey.” The ice began forming on Thursday the 11th of February. Texans are not used to driving in such conditions, and being a native Texan myself I can assure you that to be true. I was on the way to the airport in the Permian basin, and as I was on highway 191, I saw 2 car wrecks, 3 off the road, and one car heading eastbound slid off the road, which didn’t stop until it slid across the road going westbound towards Odessa, all within 10 minutes of driving.
Are you the kind of person who could watch hours upon hours of legislative proceedings or read legal brief upon legal brief? That is what I call entertainment. While I watched the 25+ hours of the senate impeachment trial, I laughed, shouted, grunted and was completely shocked by some of the things I witnessed. I could go on and on about the senate impeachment trial of Former President Donald J. Trump which took place over the last week, but I want to focus on a few main points and facts.