His helicopter crashed this morning. Four other people dead as well.
Neil Peart, one of the greatest if not THE greatest rock and roll drummers of all time, died after a three year battle with cancer. He was 67.
I have been completely amazed by the outpouring of appreciation for Peart from people I would never have expected in a million years. I am just genuinely surprised by the diversity of the people in my timeline on twitter, on fb, and elsewhere, who have all mentioned his death and the loss. I mean, I knew he was amazing, but I had no idea he was this widely appreciated by so many others. Peart like to state that Rush always wanted to stay the disaffected 16 year old teenage boy- I guess there are a lot of us out there, male and female alike. Perhaps my favorite quote regarding his death was “Your favorite drummer’s favorite drummer has died.”
One of the things about getting older (and I am still relatively young at 49), is watching the waves of events that seem to surround you. Early 20’s, the first round of friends marrying, grandparents dying; late 20’s and early 30’s, first rounds of friend’s kids and divorces; late 30’s and early 40’s, people’s parents and cultural icons from your youth, friend’s second marriages, friend’s kids graduating from college; late 40’s, your teenage heroes dying of natural causes, your friends start to die prematurely, and the generations ahead of you start to die off rapidly. In my small town of 300, four people in their late 70’s and early 80’s have died in the past few months. Harry Chambers, proprietor of the general store in town, and I were talking, and we noted that a couple more obituaries and we’re going to be the next generation under the gun. I said that I am not sure I am ready for that, and we both agreed that we don’t have much of a choice.
That’s kind of what is so remarkable about groups like Rush, for me. I understand that they are not for everyone, and that’s fine, but for me, all of the world has changed in the past four to five decades, but when I put 2112 on my earphones, I am again lying on the floor of the college radio station, lights turned out, speakers turned to 11, escaping from it all.
This post is dedicated to Cam-WA! Love you dude or dudette! Don’t ever change!
I spoke to Cole about two hours ago and have been given the all clear to log in and stay logged in. I’ll be back to regularly scheduled posting most likely this evening.
Until then we can clearly use a new open thread to talk about whatever.
Due to technical difficulties with the site, I’ll be logged out of WordPress for ten days to two weeks. I’ve asked that someone send me an all clear email when (if?) they get the problem fixed. But for the next fortnight or however long it takes, I won’t be around as I’m not going to futz around with logging in, making separate journal entries about when I’m logged and what I was doing, logging out, entering that I’m logged out, etc, etc, etc. I expect I’ll be back, provided someone eventually notifies me that it is safe to log back in. It’s just much easier to log out once and stay that way until I get an all clear.
Everyone have a happy and healthy New Year.
Update at 9:15 PM EDT
Just a quick update to clarify in response to some comments. I am not quitting the blog! I am not quitting blogging here! I will be back either on January 5th or sooner if we get an all clear before then. To further clarify: if I can only be logged in when I’m drafting or editing a post or clearing a comment, then it will make posting and commenting difficulty as I have to log off once I hit publish, which means I won’t be logged in to comment. Just think of this as a short vacation.
A belated guest post from our beloved Schlemazel, written in 2012.
NOVEMBER 23, 2012 AT 2:38 PM
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no war on Christmas. Papa says, ‘If you see it on FAUX News it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is there a War on Christmas?
115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET
No war on Christmas?
VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by rationality in an irrational age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not provable by rational observation. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, can be little. The reaction to this great universe of ours can be for man to be a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a war on Christmas. It exists as certainly as hate and stinginess and demagoguery exist, and you know that they abound and give to their life its highest ugly and lowest meaning. Alas! How merry might be the world if there were a war on Christmas. It might be as merry as if there were no teabagers. There would be no inchoate hate then, no petty sniping, no panic to make less tolerable this existence. We should have enjoyment, except in insensate cruelty and slights. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be increased.
Not believe in the war on Christmas! You might as well not believe in T-bone eating Bucks! You might get your papa to hire men to watch all of FAUX News to catch the war dispatches, but even if they did not witness BillO frothing at the mouth, what would that prove? Nobody sees the war on Christmas, but that is a sign that there is a real war on Christmas. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see (according to FAUX News). Did you ever see welfare queens driving Cadillacs on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the evils there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
No war on Christmas!? Thank God! it lives, and it lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, it will continue to make mad the ‘brains’ of morans.
Merry Christmas, everyone! Much love to all those who have gone before us, and can longer be with us.
It’s that time of year again…
If you’d like to participate, just reply to this e-mail or write to me (Batocchio9 AT yahoo DOT com) with your best post of the year before 12/25:
(If it’s not a reply, adding “best post” in the subject line would also help.)
To modify Jon Swift’s 2008 solicitation:
I would be very honored if you would participate and send me a link to what you think was your best post of , along with a short description of it. Please make the hard choice and send me only one link. I would like to post it before the end of the year, so if you could get it to me before Christmas, I would really appreciate it.
One submission per blog, please, otherwise things can get messy. Group bloggers can pick a piece among themselves, but are also welcome to submit their work via their individual blogs, if they have them.
As usual, I’m aiming to find the right balance between “inclusive” and “manageable.” If you know a few excellent blogs (preferably on the smaller side) that you suspect might not be on my radar, feel free to send me their website address (and contact info, if you have it).
“She was a very, very tough lady,” Mr. Skotak said. “She carried a phaser with her right up to the end.” https://t.co/jH3MxZQyHi
— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) December 4, 2019
I’ve always thought of Fontana as the Mother of All Trekkies — she showed us it was possible. Yes, of course, that women could succeed at writing ‘action shows’ for television (which was no small thing). But also that women — we — could play with the two-dimensional sci-fi Wagon-Train-to-the-Stars characters (mysterious dark alien, stalwart trickster captain, hard-bitten hard-drinking medical man) and make something worth sharing. She certainly wasn’t the first to turn fanfic into a living (I can’t be the only one who wanted, back in the day, to see Nimoy and Shatner do a turn as Sherlock and Watson) but she gave a STEM-curious generation the key to a particular door…
D.C. Fontana, who helped craft the lore of the 1960s television series “Star Trek” and developed one of its signature characters, Spock, as the show’s first female writer, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Burbank, Calif. She was 80.
Her husband and only immediate survivor, Dennis Skotak, said the cause was cancer.
Ms. Fontana was part of the “Star Trek” universe from its early days, working alongside the show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, as a story editor and writer…
In a 2013 interview with StarTrek.com, the franchise’s official website, Ms. Fontana said she thought her greatest contribution to the franchise had been “primarily the development of Spock as a character and Vulcan as a history/background/culture from which he sprang.”
She fleshed out the character’s back story as the child of a human mother and a Vulcan father while she was a story editor and associate producer for “Star Trek: The Animated Series” in the 1970s. She later wrote, with Mr. Roddenberry, the pilot that launched “Star Trek: The Next Generation” in 1987.
Dorothy Catherine Fontana was born on March 25, 1939, in Sussex, N.J. She was raised by a single mother in Totowa, N.J., and dreamed of becoming a novelist, she said in an interview with the Writers Guild Foundation in 2014.
After high school, she studied to become a secretary at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. She told the foundation that she had thought that clerical work would be a good day job for an aspiring novelist, but that her goals had changed when she became a secretary at Columbia Pictures’ television arm, which was based in New York.
When her boss died of a heart attack, leaving her jobless after just two months, she decided to move to California, in December 1959, to see if she could break into television writing. She achieved early success selling scripts to western series, which were popular in the early 1960s, including “The Tall Man,” “Shotgun Slade” and “Frontier Circus.” …
Ms. Fontana wrote for all three seasons of the original series. She later wrote for other science fiction shows, including “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “Babylon 5,” as well as influential series outside that genre like “Bonanza,” “Dallas” and “The Waltons.” …
Speaking to StarTrek.com in 2013, Ms. Fontana reflected on what it was like to be a female writer in Hollywood in the 1960s. While working on “Star Trek,” she said, she did not realize that she had gone where no woman had gone before.
“At the time, I wasn’t especially aware there were so few female writers doing action adventure scripts,” she said. “There were plenty doing soaps, comedies, or on variety shows. By choosing to do action adventure, I was in an elite, very talented and very different group of women writers.”
From the blog The Objective Standard:
… [W]hat truly set Fontana apart was the artistic integrity of her own work. Consider, for example, “This Side of Paradise,” which tells the story of the “logical” Mr. Spock discovering emotions, falling in love, and being tempted to abandon his lifelong mission of discovery in order to remain in a seeming paradise forever. With its elegant dialogue and sympathetic tone, the episode evokes the viewer’s emotions but takes a firm stand against utopian fantasies and in favor of embracing the more rewarding challenges of real life. Reducing such a complex plot, profound ideas, and compelling character developments to a single hour-long episode was a remarkable achievement.
It was par for the course for Fontana, however, who earned a reputation for hard work and intense focus. “The first draft [a producer] gets is really my third or fourth draft, because I’m always refining,” she said. Conscious of the practical limitations of producing a series within money and time constraints, she was nevertheless committed to her artistic vision. “I just work at it so hard that I feel, this is what I want to say.”…
Asked once how she would like to be remembered, her answer was simple—and characteristically straightforward. “I would like to be remembered most just for being a damn good writer.”
Just a reminder to submit your pet pictures for the Balloon Juice Pet Calendar 2020. You can click the link to the upper right that says “Pet Calendar Info” and get the full rundown on how to submit. Get them in soon so we can get cracking!
Also, I thought that this year, in the pages prior to the start of the calendar, we would have an In Memoriam for those we have lost. So if you have a favorite comment or memory about General Stuck, efgoldman, greennotGreen, Scotian, schlemazel, or any others, please place them or link them in the comments below. I will then go through and pick out a few and we will include them in the calendar so that when you get it you can look back fondly on their memories. As a bonus I can spend the next six months dealing with angry emails from people whose memory was not chosen because that’s how we roll on this shit website where no good deed goes unpunished you insufferable pricks.
Update: On a computer or a tablet in landscape mode, you can click the link in the upper right that says “Pet Calendar Info” and get the full rundown on how to submit. On a phone or on a tablet in portrait mode, you can find “Pet Calendar Info” under the 3 horizontal lines, aka the hamburger.
Statues are powerful things. When we cast figures in bronze, we immortalize their contributions to history.
It took far too long for Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to join Central Park's 23 male statues, but I'm so glad we're finally here. https://t.co/JEL8MbhcUc
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 23, 2019
New York’s Central Park to erect first sculpture honoring women https://t.co/oPFswerkZP
— The Guardian (@guardian) October 21, 2019
… [A] city commission voted on Monday to erect a monument depicting three pioneers in the fight for women’s rights: Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Sojourner Truth.
The likeness of Truth, an escaped slave and abolitionist, was belatedly added to the sculpture in response to criticism that African American suffragists were initially excluded.
“This statue conveys the power of women working together to bring about revolutionary change in our society,” said Pam Elam, president of the monumental women not-for-profit of volunteer advocates, historians and community leaders, which has gained key support from the Manhattan borough president, Gale Brewer.
The organization’s statue fund privately raised $1.5m to create and maintain the new monument and for an associated educational program.
The work will be dedicated in August 2020 on the Mall, an elegant park promenade lined with American elm trees. Next year marks 100 years since American women won the right to vote…
[The 19th Amendment was passed in 1919, but not ratified until August 1920.]
Barack Obama on Elijah Cummings: "His life validates the things we tell ourselves about what’s possible in this country — not guaranteed, but possible … We have the capacity, the chance, as individuals and as a nation, to root ourselves in good soil."
Via CBS pic.twitter.com/6E90sRIhrz
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 25, 2019
My friend @DreadScottArt got sick of civil war reenactments, and decided to stage a slave rebellion reenactment.
On 11/8-9, hundreds of reenactors will march on New Orleans and recreate the the largest slave rebellion in US history. https://t.co/VsNEiNMDJ1
— Molly Crabapple?? (@mollycrabapple) October 26, 2019
I realized that with African American people, where we've been blocked from being all that God meant for us to be, I don't have time to be patient.
– Elijah Cummings, Rest in Power pic.twitter.com/cHRPVLMcuL
— Reese Waters (@reesewaters) October 17, 2019
Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces that the late Rep. Elijah Cummings will lie in state in National Statuary Hall in the Capitol on Thursday, October 24.
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) October 18, 2019
The courts handed Elijah Cummings a posthumous victory…https://t.co/ajnYweG8dW
— Jeff Mayers (@TimeLordJeff) October 20, 2019
Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a sharecropper's son who rose to become the powerful chairman of a House committee that investigated President Trump, has died at age 68. Cummings was a formidable orator who passionately advocated for the poor. https://t.co/CV6sJffWHn
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 17, 2019
WATCH: Elijah Cummings in June:
"200 to 300 years from now, people will look back on this moment and they will ask the question, what did you do? … I may be dancing with the angels when all of this is corrected, but I've got to tell you, we must fight for our democracy." pic.twitter.com/6Mk1OWnbni
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 17, 2019
I want to tell you – and I want you to believe me – that you just do not know what a powerful loss this is for us all. The leadership #ElijahCummings practiced was remarkable and special. In these times, especially, we must really pause & respect the passing of great people.
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) October 17, 2019
How would you caption this photo? pic.twitter.com/nlvOuokt2t
— EssenViews (@essenviews) October 18, 2019
The House has lost our North Star. Chairman Elijah Cummings was a leader of towering character & integrity. His wisdom, his warm friendship and his great humanity will be deeply missed. Rest in peace, my friend. https://t.co/WP0830KCkV pic.twitter.com/Hx8RFIWFPC
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) October 17, 2019
Well, this is bloody awful news.
Since the President’s horrendous decision to pull US Special Forces, as well as the US Marine Corps artillery batteries supporting them out of Syria, a cottage industry has sprung up among the President’s supporters and defenders that this is really the fault of President Obama because President Obama and his administration either had no Syria strategy or they had a bad one. And that this is the ultimate driver of the President’s betrayal of our Syrian Kurdish and Arab partners in the Syrian Democratic Forces that has enabled Erdogan to begin a campaign that will likely include an attempted ethnocide of Syria’s Kurds.
Some of these defenders would not know, let alone understand, low intensity warfare and/or strategy and policy if it walked up and bit them. Some actually know better. But all of them are actually grappling with a strawman. President Obama and his administration had two different, but related strategies regarding Syria. The first was to quite simply not get sucked into the Syrian Civil War. Humanitarian assistance would be provided to refugees seeking shelter in adjacent states, internally displaced Syrians that made it to where the US was operating along the Syrian-Iraqi border or within Syria would be provided for and protected, but the US would not get pulled into the Syrian Civil War, and the underlying proxy wars by regional powers that had been partially driving it, and risk escalating that conflict as it would have regional consequences. Frankly, from a semi-informed observer as this was playing out, this drove a number of President Obama’s actual advisors and senior national security officials nuts as several of them wanted the US to intervene because of the humanitarian crisis being created by the Syrian Civil War. Instead President Obama opted for what was, essentially, a containment strategy of trying to keep the Syrian Civil War and the proxy wars being fought by Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran under its cover contained within Syria so as not to destabilize the rest of the region.
This strategy was really an assumption of risk strategy in order to buy time. The US, as the leader and largest and most militarily powerful member of the multinational coalition operating in the area, would assume the risk that the Syrian Civil War and the proxy wars for regional hegemony subsumed within it, would and could be kept within Syria. That they would not spill out and over its borders and negatively impact Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Israel. And that they wouldn’t negatively effect the two sets of high level diplomatic negotiations being undertaken in the region: the Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative of 2014 and what we now know were the JCPOA+5 negotiations with Iran regarding its nuclear energy and weapons programs. President Obama had decided to play for time. To assume the risk that either the Syrian Civil War, the proxy wars for regional hegemony taking place within it, or both wouldn’t blow up into a larger conflagration, spill over Syria’s borders, and engulf the entire region.
It is also important to remember that in 2013, when Bashar Assad’s chemical attack on his own citizenry crossed the red line that President Obama had unequivocally stated, there were calls for both a retaliatory strike to punish and deter Assad and for Congress to weigh in before any action was taken, President Obama did, in fact, seek Congressional approval for such a strike. The majority Republican House of Representatives refused to provide President Obama with the authorization to make that strike and enforce the red line he had set. Congressman Paul Ryan, the chair of House Budget Committee at the time, went so far as to assert that the called for strikes would not achieve US strategic objectives and that they would be “feckless show of force” that would “only damage our credibility”. A New York real estate developer and reality TV star named Donald Trump tweeted that “The only reason President Obama wants to attack Syria is to save face over his very dumb RED LINE statement. Do NOT attack Syria, fix U.S.A.” As a result of Congress denying him explicit military authorization to engage Syrian military targets outside of the Authorization for Military Force for the global war on terror, President Obama did not order a strike.
The Obama administrations’s second Syria strategy was for pursuing the campaign against ISIS. Specifically to apply low intensity and unconventional warfare doctrine to reduce ISIS’s physical caliphate that spanned Iraq and Syria’s shared border, and, ultimately, to reduce ISIS. This is the “by, with, and through” strategy that I’ve referenced here before and that you may have seen mentioned or referred to in news reports and other analyses. Simply put the “by, with, and through” strategy focuses on finding reliable host country partners who are willing to fight on their own behalf and then sending the US’s unconventional warfare specialists, the Green Berets (Special Forces) to embed with them in a train, advise, and assist mission. This is a very, very light footprint strategy. Small teams of US Special Forces known as Operational Detachments Alpha (ODAs), with specific enablers from other elements of US Special Operations Forces and, most likely some of the CIA’s paramilitary operators at the outset, as well as a small support element were sent into Syria to identify, recruit, and vet local Syrians that would then be trained, advised, and assisted with operations against ISIS. Eventually a small contingent of US Marine artillery were also moved into the US led Coalition’s theater of operations in Syria to provide fire support for the ODAs and their host country partners they were embedded with.
Train, advise, and assist has a very specific meaning here. Training means that the Soldiers on the ODAs would teach the Syrian Kurds and Arabs that are known as the Syrian Democratic Forces how to fight more effectively against ISIS. These host country fighters didn’t need to be taught how to fight, both the Syrian Kurds and Arabs have their own ways of war. What the Special Forces Soldiers on the ODAs did do was to teach them to fight more effectively at the tactical and operational levels against the specific type of enemy that is ISIS within the theater strategy that was established based on the US’s national strategy against ISIS. Training blends into advising and assisting, especially in regard to logistics and planning. As the Syrian Democratic Forces became a more effective host country fighting force, especially within the context of the type of campaign that had been designed to reduce ISIS’s physical caliphate, defeat them, and then retard their ability to continue to terrorize and destabilize the region*, the US Special Forces would do less assisting in the actual combat operations. Part of the assistance was also air support. The US led Coalition flew sorties day and night as necessary to degrade ISIS targets on the ground. Here is the link to the continually updated list of these sorties and strikes.
The US and its coalition partners had been trying to successfully adapt and implement a “by, with, and through” strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan since GEN (ret) Petraues’s revised Counterinsurgency Manual, FM 3-24: Counterinsurgency, arrived to great fanfare in the mid aughts. The key idea behind a “by, with, and through” strategy is to empower the lowest societal level you can work with, ie the population layer/element, work from that level up (work from the bottom up), and then reconcile the tactical and operations gains made with the state to state strategic efforts, such as diplomatic initiatives and the use of economic and information power, being made at the top end. This never really worked during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom (OIF and OEF) because we didn’t actually institute a true “by, with, and through” strategy. Rather, we had US Conventional Forces and our Coalition partners, also usually Conventional Forces, trying to implement and realize something that is the specialty of US Special Forces. I’m not knocking the efforts put in or the actual tactical and operational successes achieved, as there were and are many, just that the size of Iraq and Afghanistan and the need to have Conventional Forces work outside their expertise by undertaking an unconventional warfare strategy, did not lead to theater strategic success. Often because of failures at the national and theater strategic levels and despite the tactical and operational successes.
The size, scope, and scale of OIF and OEF made it impossible to let Special Forces take the lead as we simply do not have enough Green Berets to work one entire theater the size of Iraq, let alone two with the second theater being the size of Afghanistan. Even if we pulled in all the other US Special Operations Forces – SEALs, Operational Detachment Delta/Delta Force, Rangers, Air Commandos, Recon Marines, the Intelligence Support Activity (Gray Fox/Field Operating Group), Civil Affairs, and PSYOPers – and had them pick up the slack while ignoring their own missions and mission specialty areas, we still wouldn’t have had enough Special Operations Forces to do the job. There is a reason that Marines and Special Operations Forces fight battles and conventional Armies fight campaigns and wars in the Land Domain; because the former do not have the capacity to scale to the latter.
The campaign against ISIS in Syria, however, was different. The theater of operations was limited in size. We had been able to identify, recruit, vet, and then train reliable host country partners that we and our Coalition allies could work “by, with, and through”. A limited number of Operational Detachment Alphas, plussed up with personnel from other SOF elements, with a small support element and a small amount of Marine artillery batteries for fire support were tremendously successful! Perhaps beyond anyone’s legitimate expectations based on the mixed results from trying to apply the “by, with, and through” strategy during the latter portions of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. And that success carried over to maintaining the peace in the area of operations once ISIS’s physical caliphate had been reduced. About 1,000 US Special Forces and Special Operating Forces, working with the SDF, had been able to reduce ISIS’s physical caliphate to nothing because the SDF, as the host country partners, did the hard, dangerous, and deadly work. Which is why the SDF suffered over 10,000 killed in action and the US Special Forces partnering with them suffered zero KIA in this campaign.
What the President has thrown away with his rash and ill considered pull out and betrayal of our Syrian Kurdish and Arab allies, and what his defenders and supporters don’t understand in their rush to defend him by blaming all of this on President Obama and his administration, is just how successful this campaign against ISIS has been. How much reward we reaped in exchange for the amount of blood and treasure wagered and risk assumed. And how well it was working to maintain the peace in this area of Syria by preventing ISIS from reestablishing a stable physical ground base of operations from which to try to reestablish the physical caliphate.
There wasn’t one single Obama administration strategy for Syria, there were two distinct and specific strategies. The first was to assume risk by not intervening in the Syrian Civil War in order to buy time for what were considered to be other regional priorities – the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and the JCPOA+5 negotiations and the reduction of ISIS. The second was an unconventional warfare strategy to degrade and reduce ISIS’s physical caliphate and reduce ISIS’s capacity to continue to terrorize and destabilize the region. While the first strategy’s efficacy is debatable, the second strategy to counter ISIS has been successful beyond all possible expectations. And the President has thrown away all of that success and by doing so betrayed our Syrian Kurdish and Arab partners, weakened and diminished the United States power and ability to project power, and degraded our moral standing. He has further destabilized the region. He has handed the Russians, the Syrians, the Iranians, and the Turks a victory without them having to actually contest for it. And he has most likely set the conditions for Erdogan to try to finally solve his Kurdish problem.
This post is dedicated to the late Sergeant First Class (ret) Terry Caldwell. Terry was my Area Specialty Officer (ASO) and taught me everything I know about small team operations and the practical realities of asymmetric, irregular, and unconventional warfare. Rest well Old Man!
* Interestingly enough the chart at the previous link is based on the four phases of conventional warfare, not the seven phases of unconventional warfare used by US Special Forces, which is the result of the commend element of CJTF-OIR being a conventional 3 star Corps headquarters. There is also a full description of the campaign at that link.
Disclosure: In May 2015 I was on site to present the kickoff and keynote briefing of XVIII Airborne Corps’ strategic assessment week and was on site throughout the week as the cultural subject matter expert/cultural advisor as their preparation for assuming command of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve. The briefing focused on the regional strategic and geo-strategic considerations of the Levantine problem set and the campaign against ISIS. It was specifically prepared for the Commanding General, Command Group, senior staff, as much of their staff as could be jammed into the auditorium, and a variety of attendees by secure videoteleconference at a number of outstations. Also in attendance were several senior leaders (general officers) from our Coalition partners who were on the Coalition senior staff. In the weeks after the briefing I prepared a strategic assessment on how to leverage the campaign against ISIS to set the conditions in the theater of operations to secure the peace after the termination of military operations. My work for XVIII Airborne Corps was as a private consultant being paid on contract. I was asked to do this work by the then Corps’ G5 (Officer in Charge of Plans), who I’d both previously worked with at III Corps and who was a student at USAWC when I was the cultural advisor at both. My civilian mobilization/appointment as a senior civil servant at both USAWC and the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Security Dialogue assigned to US Army Europe were not political appointments. I was not then, nor have a I ever been, part of President Obama’s appointed foreign policy, national security, and/or defense policy team, though I did provide significant support to a number of those appointees during my civilian mobilization from 2010 through 2014.
Diahann Carroll walked this earth for 84 years and broke ground with every footstep. An icon. One of the all-time greats. She blazed trails through dense forests and elegantly left diamonds along the path for the rest of us to follow. Extraordinary life. Thank you, Ms. Carroll. pic.twitter.com/YXjh7d3LWU
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) October 4, 2019
And next time someone complains that “we” haven’t made any progress in the last fifty years, look at this clip from her groundbreaking TV show and think of the 17 different ways such ‘snappy jests’ would no longer be acceptable outside of a very specialized audience:
Diahann Carroll was the first African-American woman to star in a sitcom. "Julia" debuted 51 years ago. Legend. Her contributions are truly iconic. RIP
Julia: Has Mr. Colton told you.
Dr. Chegley: Tell me what?
Julia: I'm colored.
Chegley: What color are you?
Julia: I'm a Negro pic.twitter.com/6SoClrQGB5
— Dartunorro D. Clark (@DartDClark) October 4, 2019
If you’ve got some free time on Tuesday October 1st and want to do a good deed, this gentlemen deserves an appropriate send off.
Veteran Edward K. Pearson who passed at the age of 80 passed without family to mourn him. He’ll be buried October 1 at 12:30 at Sarasota National Cemetery. Anyone who can attend is welcome. pic.twitter.com/2XWJumcEmY
— Chris Levesque (@Chris_Levesque_) September 29, 2019
Given his age, my guess is he’s either a Korean War or, more likely, a Vietnam Veteran (or both). The funeral home handling his interment invites anyone who is able to to attend.
Edward K Pearson
Naples – Edward K. Pearson, 80 of Naples passed on August 31, 2019, interment will be on Tuesday October 1, at 12:30 pm at Sarasota National Cemetery 9810 State Road 72
Sarasota, FL. This Veteran has no immediate family all are welcome to attend
Published in Naples Daily News on Sept. 29, 2019
So if you’re in the Sarasota area, or can get there without too much fuss, and are free or can clear some time on Tuesday in the late morning/early afternoon, I’m sure your attendance will be welcomed.