Never let a crisis go to waste
As the nation approaches what we earnestly hope is the turning point toward victory over this unseen threat, we are frequently reminded of the cynical Machiavellian political axiom to “never let a crisis go to waste.” We are already hearing speculation about the “new normal.” This phrase is typically used to imply something is becoming commonplace that was previously abnormal or rarely seen. We’ve also seen examples of political agendas being used as leverage in legislation ostensibly focused on providing support for suffering American workers.
Having lived through numerous crises and pandemics, from the polio epidemics of the late 1940s, through the Asian flu, Hong Kong flu, avian flu, and a veritable pestilence of political correctness “flu’s,” I offer the following point of view regarding how we can ensure the coronavirus crisis doesn’t go to waste, even as “New Normals” are being suggested for our nation…
It will be a long time before our nation decides what it has learned from this experience. Meanwhile, there will be many who have agendas to pursue that will try to convince us of various “lessons” that should be deeply burned into the nation’s collective psyche.
As we begin to reflect on what will be yet another victory over powerful enemies (be they a virus or the country that sent it to us), we should count and be grateful for our Blessings, all 331 million of them–our fellow Americans. For indeed, we are blessed to live in this great nation.
On a daily basis throughout this crisis, we have been reminded of the existential importance to our country of those fellow Americans whose talents, services, and dedication to their duties and professionalism are truly the rock on which our great nation is built. To some bloviating politicians they were known as Deplorable’s, today we know better. These Americans stayed at their posts despite the deadly threat of an unseen enemy. They cared for the sick, comforted the dying, supported our families, and provided the myriad of services and compassion that together create our unrivaled quality of life as a nation and as a people.
New Normal: Blessed are the Dedicated, for they shall be known as Dependables.
For decades our politicians have allowed – even encouraged – the evisceration of our nation’s manufacturing capabilities. Other countries have rebuilt and expanded their economies using the rubble of our own as their building materials. Meanwhile, our economy has emphasized “services” over production and manufacturing. Only recently, was our energy sector released from a prison of regulations and restrictions to give us the national self-sufficiency needed to power our economy as well as our machines, without the threat of an energy blackmail.
Our nation’s latest brush with crisis and catastrophe should convince us that we must establish a new normal of self-sufficiency in all national strategic technologies, manufacturing capabilities (including pharmaceuticals), resources, and stockpiles of essential materials and supplies. Having these supplies, technologies, and production capabilities is not simply a matter of national security. As we have seen, the New Normal must recognize these are a matter of national survival.
With as much determination and focus as it took to get us to the moon in 1969, the nation must bring its critical manufacturing capabilities back home to create not only the security the nation requires, but also to provide the millions of jobs for Americans that will revitalize our economy, as well as strengthen our survivability.
New Normal: Blessed are the Prepared, for they shall be known as Survivors.
Across the nation, down to our individual neighborhoods and the streets we live on, we have seen countless examples that the American core value of caring for others through selfless acts of compassionate outreach is alive and well. On our street we have seen neighbors checking on each other to ensure they were safe or to provide needed essentials. Children and adults – would be “Pavement Picassos” – chalking uplifting messages and humorous morale builders on our streets and driveways. “This too shall pass,” whimsical art (some of it quite good actually), and telephone numbers to call if neighbors need something, helped remind us that we already have American antibodies in place to ward off other threats to our well-being–isolation, loneliness, and despair.
Such acts of care, compassion, and concern for our fellow man were anything but the exception, but rather the rule in cities and towns, villages and Crossroads across America. Yes, Virginia, America still has a heart!
New Normal: Blessed are the Compassionate, for they shall be known as Americans.
The post-crisis New Normal need not and should not reflect erosions and expropriated Freedoms and liberties. Overzealous and authoritarian infringements on our Liberties during an opportune crisis must be seen as what they are, desecrations of the sacrifices for Freedom for ourselves and our allies made by millions of Americans since our founding. In the post-crisis New Normal, we should redouble our efforts to ensure all our citizens understand and appreciate their precious Liberties and Freedoms, and how carefully they must be guarded during and after threats such as we are currently enduring.
Liberty and freedom should be celebrated as never before – and protected as never before. This virus has reminded us that we really are “One People, and One Nation Under God.” Who can now deny American Exceptionalism? Further, we are the exception because while we may be governed by those we freely elect; we will not be ruled by those who consider themselves our superiors.
Importantly, the New Normal need not be new at all, but based on a renewal of the fundamental principles that have made our nation a global beacon for Liberty and Freedom, and Yes, Exceptionalism.
One Nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice for All. This ringing affirmation of human dignity and Freedom must remain the Old Normal, the New Normal, and the Future Normal for us and all Humankind, if we are to save this Crisis and not let it go to waste.
© Copyright 2020 BelleAire Press
Other works by Dr. Connors…
Baited Trap, the Ambush of Mission 1890
Now Available As E-Pub
Baited Trap, The Ambush of Mission 1890 is the story of helicopter rescue Mission 1890, one of the most heroic—and costly—air rescues of the Korean War. This harrowing Air Force-Navy mission is explained in compelling detail, creating a detailed personal account of what five incredibly brave and determined Air Force and Navy airmen achieved on June 25, 1952 in the infamous “Iron Triangle.”
The Korean War’s Greatest Love Story
Baited Trap is much more than a heroic war story from the “forgotten war.” It is also the Korean War’s greatest love story, following Wayne and Della Lear, Bobby Holloway, Ron Eaton and Dolly Sharp, and Frankie and Archie Connors as they tried to put their lives and families together even as the Korean War was reaching out to engulf them.
Truckbusters From Dogpatch: the Combat Diary of the 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing in the Korean War, 1950-1953
Truckbusters from Dogpatch is the most comprehensive Korean War unit history yet prepared–over 700 pages summarizing squadron histories and first person accounts—and includes over 1,000 never before published photographs and images, highlighted by the 8 ½ x 11-inch format.
Arguably, Truckbusters From Dogpatch is the most authoritative unit history ever prepared on the Korean War. In addition to consulting formerly classified squadron histories filed monthly throughout the conflict, the author was in touch with hundreds of veterans of the 18th—pilots and ground crew—whose personal recollections add vivid detail and emotion to the facts recounted in the official documents.
On its way…
We are delighted to report that the long-awaited e-Publication edition of Truckbusters from Dogpatch is nearing completion. The huge, 700+ page, 1,000 image original print edition is being updated and organized into four e-Publications, each covering a year of combat. With the advantages of e-Publication, color images will add more depth and immediacy. Hyperlinks will connect readers with additional information and resources. The e-Publication format will allow convenient, portable reading from iPads and similar devices.
The first e-Publication edition will be 1950. We will bring you regular updates on this page.
Recent Log Entries by CAPT Connors…
Carrier Captain’s Night Orders: “Call Me…”
After reading these Night Orders you can better appreciate what training, attention to duty, and vigilance was required by underway watchstanders in those days. What has changed since then that has resulted in the recent tragic collisions between U.S. Navy ships and other vessels?
“We do it all!” (USS Saipan LHA-2 motto)
Saipan CO, CAPT Jack Renard, was not exaggerating when he noted that “without exception, SAIPAN is the most versatile instrument of peace or war on the seas today.” Like its motto pointed out, SAIPAN could do it all.
In Dire Straits of Gibraltar
I had never taken the ship (aircraft carrier F. D. ROOSEVELT) through the Straits before as the OOD. Now I was expected to do so while the rest of the ship—including the Captain—was fast asleep.
U.S. Navy and back to the future Star Power
The reliance today by U.S. Navy afloat units on satellites and highly complex electronics, all of which are vulnerable to compromise or destruction by an enemy, can also leave us highly vulnerable, particularly if our ships and Surface Warfare Officers are not trained in more traditional methods of navigation and seamanship.
Losing satellites could badly compromise or eliminate satellite navigation. Funny, I trusted the star fixes, but the GPS readings that came later, were suspect. As this Log Entry points out, satellites are vulnerable. They can be hacked or “taken out” in a variety of ways.
But with training, a sextant, the right tables and a handful of stars or a noon day sun, the cosmos will tell you where you are on planet Earth.
Soot, as a weapon? Recalling the Mediterranean Cold War in the Sixties
The watch team cheered, we even heard cheering from PriFly aft of our level. The Captain was happy, the bridge watch team was ecstatic. The Russians on our tail? Not so much! Main Control had “gotten into the War,” and I wrote in the ROOSEVELT’s deck log: “Blew tubes at 1430.”
The In-Port Watch on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier in the Sixties
“Not that I can think of,” I replied, then added the required legal response: “I relieve you Sir.”
The fateful words are spoken. From this point on, anything that happens on this watch will be my responsibility.
“Very well, I stand relieved. Quartermaster, LTJG Connors has the deck,” the now off-watch OOD announced to the Watch Team.
I, in turn, step back out onto the quarterdeck to take a look around to see if there are any boats headed towards the ship.
The air is very cold, but refreshing, in small doses.
The far off boats of Cannes, swing in the breeze.
At this distance, the beautiful city rolls itself like a white wave, far into the hills. On the distant horizon, covers the mountains like a picture post card.
Memories of the Fru Dee Roo
When the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV A-42) was towed toward the oblivion of the scrap yard in 1978, she consisted of some 65,000 tons of obsolete steel and equipment–but she left many more tons of memories with the tens of thousands of Navy men who had served aboard her during her 32 years of commissioned service.
The “Rosy” or “Fru Dee Roo” or “Rusty Bucket” to those of us who alternately cussed her amongst ourselves and who fought for her honor with outsiders, was more than just a ship. She was home for some 4,000 men–a floating “town” some 1,000 feet long with over 500 miles of wiring, 150 television receivers, 111 storerooms where some 81,000 items were kept in readiness, and with 12 oil-fired steam boilers that drove it at speeds up to 32 knots. A bit of a “gas hog,” the ship’s boilers burned some four million gallons of fuel per month on average. This “town” carried over 70 warplanes of many types and could launch them at a rate of two per minute.
We were “the stick” in case the “talk softly” part was not successful.
What The Hell Flag Signal
The day the ROOSEVELT got the What the Hell Flag Signal. As the OOD, you knew you had really screwed things up when an oiler gave you the “What the Hell” Flag Signal.
On this afternoon, as we were making our high speed approach on the oiler, the Captain suddenly announced that he had the conn (was maneuvering the ship himself), then announced that Commander “Neversail” had the conn. I was amazed. I assumed that he wanted the new Navigator to get some experience, but to actually let him maneuver the ship (with the Captain making “recommendations” while standing right beside him), was risky as we were barreling down on the unsuspecting oiler. “Things” didn’t go well, as they say.