Windows on the World of Raymond Plank
Founder, Apache Corp

Vol. 2013 No. 3

Everything is Related to Everything Else


So we speak of many things; the sequence predicated on my perspective after a protracted and pleasant interlude free of T.V.  That interlude ended with the Saturday, August 31st opening of college football which holds more personal appeal than professional. 


The game I chose to watch was Rice versus the Texas Aggies opening at Texas A&M, where I spent several weeks training in aviation cadets and liked the spirit on campus.  Both A&M and Rice had been moving up the ladder in the recent past, and with weak defensive play, A&M had done well to finish the first half in the lead.  Johnny Manziel in punishment for having signed autographs with attendant possible compensation had a shot fired across his bow which benched him for the first half of the seasons’ opener.  When he took over after Rice’s first series of downs in the second half, even the weak A&M defense seemed to be inspired to hold Rice until Johnny came on the field, the crowd, team, and announcers practically went ballistic.  Manziel led off with his ground running game carrying the ball several times, and then scored three consecutive passing touchdowns at which point he erupted and shouted criticism of a referee and was benched for the balance of the game for unsportsmanlike conduct. 


Every sportscaster I observed sided with the unsportsmanlike call with the assumption that the coach would have a heart-to-heart talk with the genius three decades younger than the president and his secretary of state calling for Syrian intervention due to the use of chemical warfare on his own people.  In post game interviews of the coach, he didn’t indicate that Manziel took a trip to the woodshed but rather seemed to suggest that he understood Manziel and his youth.


With respect for an able coach, perhaps he recognized genius adequate to win the Heisman Trophy and defeat favored Alabama in its only loss in 2012 that this young man, were he not seriously injured, had a motivating career ahead of him – one which I hope would continue to empower students in the same way that I hope my memoir “A Small Difference” may enable others to lead fuller, more productive, and happier lives in behalf of others – a purpose of the memoir in the first place.


Competitive contact sports at the college level have made an outstanding contribution to lives on campus; the physical facilities going beyond a new stadium which would double the seating capacity of A&M and which has made a significant contribution to women competing through sports activities.  Universities still have a problem when members of the public chose not to support the Olympic Games which draws and empowers youth closer together throughout the world.  Enter youthful empowerment, lifetime learning, and corollary improvement of human behavior.


I am distraught that 45% of youth entering college drop out underestimating their own capacity to make, as my father put it, “a very small difference in behalf of others.” 


Between the game breaks I had sadly noted the extent of paid advertising of U.S. weaponry in each branch of the military, and the direct corollary with subliminal influence on the American state of mind of war being an accepted practice throughout history.  So why not splatter Syria.


The last declared war in which the U.S. participated was WWII, while we’ve taken part in some forty to fifty undeclared wars from North Korea to Viet Nam, two in Iraq, and one continuing in Afghanistan and around the globe.


Syria: thus far I’ve neither heard nor read reference to “nation building” at which we’ve witnessed no sterling successes, with a slight doffing of the cap toward the Marshall Plan at work following WWII in Germany.


That which turns me on would be an action by the House and Senate which required declaration of war by the U.S. before the presidents sequentially including Carter, William Jefferson Clinton, and our incumbent president would exercise the U.S. troops stationed over one hundred countries, including England, South Korea, Okinawa, and Panama, where we still do not have the equivalent of an Alaskan highway lacking ground transportation to Panama Canal, to Latin and South America.


Declaration of war would clearly demonstrate the support of the people of the United States versus the use of policing actions absent the sanction of the American people.


To be continued…


Raymond Plank

September 4, 2013