Diary

Watercooler 7/31/2017 Open Thread: Delaware National Guard, Good Work If You Can Get It, Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em

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Delaware National Guard

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The Delaware Army National Guard traces its origins back to August 31, 1655, when Swedish settlers were asked to take up arms to defend the colony against a Dutch attack on Fort Christina. During the American Revolution, Delaware’s First Regiment fought with General George Washington at the Battle of Long Island. In the War of 1812 all Delaware volunteer units saw service at Lewes, where they comprised the bulk of force that drove off a British naval squadron seeking control of the Delaware River. The 198th Signal Battalion (ARNG DE), which traces its lineage to three militia units that were federalized during the War of 1812, is one of only nineteen Army National Guard units with campaign credit for the War of 1812.

In the Mexican War (1846–1847), the Federal Government would not accept volunteer companies but the Delaware volunteers were not content to stay home. After much red tape, a statewide composite unit was formed. They fought with distinction in the battles of Contreras, Cherubusco, Molino del Ray and Chapultepec where there were almost twice as many Delaware volunteers present as marines. The unit lost so many men in these actions it became known as “The Bloody 11th.” The Militia Act of 1903 organized the various state militias into the present National Guard system. One of the units formed since was the 198th Coast Artillery (AA), which traces its history to the three militia units referred to above.

In the 1980s, aviation regiments began forming in both the regular Army and the National Guard. The 150th Aviation Regiment was created in Delaware from the 150th Aviation Battalion of the 50th Armored Division. Following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, numerous units of the Delaware Army National Guard have deployed to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Troops from both the Delaware Army and Air National Guard volunteered to support disaster relief operations in Louisiana and Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“Operation Arctic Vengeance I and II” saw over 300 DEARNG Soldiers volunteer to support the State of Emergency declared by Gov. Jack Markell following a pair of debilitating snowstorms from Feb. 7 through Feb. 12, 2010. DEARNG troops completed over 250 missions assisting local and state agencies with including Emergency Medical Services, fire calls, law enforcement, dialysis patient transport and civilian transport to warming stations.

UMich hiring admin for ‘cultural appropriation prevention

The University of Michigan is looking to hire a new “Bias Incident Prevention and Response Coordinator” to clamp down on “students of concern” and “enact cultural appropriation prevention initiatives.” The full-time job, which pays between $46,000 and $57,000, oversees handling of “bias incidents” reported on campus, as well as various “social justice initiatives.” The role also has crisis-management components, such as providing “a safe listening space in which to offer compassion, support, and guidance to students” after especially severe “bias incidents.”

FDA Extends Deadline—Will Reconsider Premium Cigars

Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a new, comprehensive plan on its approach to regulating tobacco products that includes extending the pre-market application deadline for cigars. The commissioner, though, did mention that the agency will take a fresh look at the treatment of premium cigars under the agency’s current regulatory structure. He also hinted that premium cigars could be exempted from the FDA’s Final Deeming Rule in the future. Gottlieb said that the agency will open a new rule-making process to engage with the premium cigar industry to better understand its products.

Human nature being what it is…consider the “seven deadly sins” for example…humans have spent millennia brutalizing their fellow humans in countless ways. Any manner of capital crimes, indentured servitude, outright slavery, concentration camps, gulags…you get the idea. Somehow, though, I don’t quite get there with “cultural appropriation”, and certainly NOT with the need for the University of Michigan to fund a “Bias Incident Prevention and Response Coordinator” position at the school. I mean, really?

On a lighter note, my one small sin these days is smoking cigars. While I am no serious aficionado, I buy top quality, hand-rolled sticks, looking for a rating above 90, and have no real preferences except I don’t care for a really large ring gauge. So, the news that the FDA was going to reconsider the pending regulations concerning the cigar industry is a big deal, and one that I am glad of. Let’s hope the gub’mint can see its way past the tabaqueros and torcedors, and we can light up while we enjoy the open thread….