The Tale of the Arab Spring Break


In 2011, Chris Jeon was a 21-year old UCLA student from an affluent Orange County neighborhood. A brilliant student and dedicated mathematics major, Chris had his eyes set on a lucrative summer internship at the largest asset management firm in the world – a position that would catapult him into the career in finance that he had always dreamed of. But by the end of the summer, Chris would find himself not sitting in a cubicle, but fighting alongside Libyan rebels in their revolution against Muammar Gaddafi.

This is the story of one of the most epic and unlikely summer breaks ever.

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The Origins of Father’s Day


We would like to take this opportunity to wish our father, and all fathers out there, a very happy and special Father’s Day.  Of course, we cannot let this day pass without looking back and wondering how the celebration started and who the brilliant individual was that kickstarted the idea.  In just another shining example of why Washington is such a great state, credit for Father’s Day is officially given to Miss Sonora Dodd of Spokane, WA.  Dodd was one of six children raised by her single father and Civil War Veteran, Sgt. William Jackson Smart.

While listening to a sermon at church on Mother’s Day, she thought about all her father had done for her and her siblings and decided fathers should have a day, too. Because Dodd’s father was born in June, she encouraged churches in her area, Spokane, Wash., to honor fathers that month.

– Library of Congress

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Mother Russia’s Medal for Mothers


Most of us are aware that population growth is a problem, and we are familiar with population control techniques employed by governments and suggested by economists and doctors to limit the dangers of overpopulation.  Case in point: China employs an infamous one child policy that limits urban couples to having one child.  This is part of the reality of the world we live in today – population is growing at an astronomical rate, and this growth has caused grave concern the world over about the Earth’s ability to support the continued addition of humans across the globe.  Alas, that is a topic for a different post on a different day.

The point is, overpopulation is a very recent concern and development.  Not so long ago, the bigger someone’s family was, the better.  When society was mostly rural and agrarian, more children meant more bodies to help around the house, raise crops, go hunting, etc.  As we moved from the country to the city thanks to the Industrial Revolution, large families became less important as an economic tool and transitioned to be more of an economic burden.  However, it appears this memo was never received in good old post-World War II Soviet Russia. Continue reading

The Gold Star Mothers Club


For those who have never been involved in sending a close friend or relative off to war, it is hard to imagine the myriad of emotions experienced on a daily basis – a mixture of pride and anguish that will never leave a parent, sibiling, or spouse until their warrior comes home. As a reservist myself, I cringe to think of the effect that a deployment would have on my parents. Fortunately, the culture surrounding military families provides for the single greatest support system that could exist around such a massive organization.

But on this day, we remember those who never came home as well as the families they left behind.

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The Greatest Filibuster of All Time


fil·i·bus·ter

noun

1. the use of irregular or obstructive tactics by a member of a legislative assembly to prevent the adoption of a measure generally favored or to force a decision against the will of the majority.
2. an exceptionally long speech, as one lasting for a day or days, or a series of such speeches to accomplish this purpose.
3. a member of a legislature who makes such a speech.

Twitter Crashed the Stock Market


I love days when the stock market is up. It generally means that something good is happening in the world, and that people are making money. Today was one of those days; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, one of the three main American indexes used to judge the health of the stock market, was up about 1% this morning. Then, a Twitter message sent to millions of users caused what is known as a flash-crash as people around the world saw what they thought may have been one of the most shocking news stories in a decade.

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Will North Korea Strike? Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jong


(If you don’t get the title reference…get cultured.)

Missile launchers near the borders. American warships chugging towards the Korean Peninsula. A cartoonish North Korean guy threatening to wipe everyone else off the map. Once again, it seems like we are closer than ever to a second Korean War. Actually, it would technically be the same war since a peace treaty was never signed to end the first one, but I digress. To someone who is only moderately familiar with the situation, things look bad: North Korea, or Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as it is formally known, almost certainly has nuclear technology as well as rockets to deliver it with; they have the largest army by number of personnel in the world; and they have a young leader with something to prove. But are things really as bad as they think? Let’s face it; diplomatically, things with the DPRK are always screwed up to one degree or another. So let me offer a few considerations from a military perspective that will hopefully let you breathe a sigh of relief.

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