#5SmartReads - May 18, 2022
Hitha on Somalia, Novavax, and the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act
Still at War: The United States in Somalia (Just Security)
If this headline is news to you, you’re not alone. I confess that I didn’t know President Trump withdrew our troops from Somalia, and Biden redeployed them last week.
This article does a fantastic job of explaining the history and the reasons for American military intervention in Somalia. What began as a humanitarian intervention in the 1990’s is now a beachhead to combat extremist and terrorist groups in the region.
I know we all have the inclination to read the headline and skim the first few paragraphs, but this well-researched piece is worth your time, especially if you’ve wondered why we deploy troops in places we may think we have no business being in, or wonder why the defense budget is so huge.
And I just want to share my deep gratitude for all our military servicemembers and their families for literally putting their lives on the line to protect us. It’s a debt we cannot repay (and I’ll reserve my commentary on the state of the VA for another day).
THERE IS AN IN-PERSON BRIDGERTON EXPERIENCE. And while it unfortunately isn’t in New York, if you’re in Chicago/LA/SF/DC/Montreal, please go and tell me all about it.
Because after you read Adrienne’s experience at the ball, you’ll be clicking over to buy tickets ASAP.
“Really for the first hour, everyone just stared at each other and complimented each other. Young. Middle-aged. Old. Black. White. Mexican. Chinese. I saw an entire interconnected world in the rooms of a streamer-inspired cosplay ball held in what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described as one of the most segregated cities in America. This was a party for unabashed Bridgerton fans, and the intentionality of the location and the fandom perfectly complimented producer Shonda Rhimes’ decision to showcase the steamy books but cast the characters in a multitude of races.”
That’s the world I want to live in. Or, at the very least, visit for a few hours.
There’s a new COVID vaccine that may be hitting the market soon. Is it too late for this more traditional vaccine, or could it help turn the tide for those who are hesitant to receive mRNA vaccines or with the new Omicron lineage we’re currently battling?
I welcome it, in any case. But especially if the data backs up the preliminary claims that it is more effective against Omicron, or can be a part of combined flu/COVID booster (combined vaccines are nothing new, are well-researched and has data to support their safety).
“The company, which has a long history of making flu vaccines, announced in late April that it has begun human trials of a combination shot designed to induce immunity not only against COVID-19 but four different strains of influenza as well.”
BRB - currently looking up locations where this trial is being run…
“I’ve got so many irons in the fire that sometimes I’m burning my own butt. I have to get up earlier, I have to work longer, and I have to have a bigger cup of ambition in the morning to get it all done…I don’t have time to burn out, I’m burning up. I’m a creative person and every new thing will create something else … energy begets energy and creativity begets creativity, so I just really have to stay with it because I want to see things happen, I want to make things happen.”
I am tired just reading through Dolly Parton’s incredible accomplishments (50 Grammy, 4 Emmy, 1 Tony award nominations, having sold 100 MILLION albums, the incredible impact of Imagination Library, and funding important research like the eventual Moderna COVID-19 vaccine).
Who needs a refill on their cup of ambition?
The other part of this advice in doing the things is the most important - to not take yourself too seriously, and to not dwell on past mistakes.
Is my next book about Dolly Parton? We’re Doing: The Life Lessons of Dolly Parton has a nice ring to it…
If you want to know what Congress is doing about the White supremacist terrorism problem that’s murdering innocent people in the country, I have news for yoou.
The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act - which has sponsors from both sides of the aisle - will be taken up by the House Rules Committee on Tuesday.
In the Senate, Senators Manchin and Toomey have a bill to expand background checks that you would think be a no brainer (but it was introduced nearly 10 years ago, in the wake of Sandy Hook).
All of this is to say that there are pragmatic, immediate legislative actions being taken up by our Congress or SHOULD be taken up - and it’s a good time to call your elected representatives to voice your support for this legislation and have it on the record.
And if you’re not following @emilyinyourphone (whose daily political debriefs, actions you can take, and answers to all the questions are a must-read for me every day), PLEASE START. She makes active citizenship so accessible, which it needs to be if we’re going to fight for the legislation we need and deserve.