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Provision Weekly Update 16-23 Aug 20



Clips on media/communication, national security, politics sports, and pop culture worth knowing about in the days ahead.

At Provision Advisors, we prepare your team for the challenges, and 'what-ifs' you never thought you'd encounter--specializing in strategic communication planning, crisis communication, and media coaching for senior-level leaders and communicators. We look forward to hearing from you.

--Bashon Mann, Chris Servello, John Schofield

For more information on how we can help your team email us or click here.


Provision Participation

3Cs Coaching Minute--Building Buy-in

Buy-in is central to being effective as an advisor or in leading up and down your organization. You need your audience or team to be aligned behind leadership and in concert with their efforts to achieve a desired end state. Trusting your teammates and wanting to follow guidance and direction doesn't happen by accident…whether on the bridge of warship, in the huddle as the quarterback calls what could be the game winning play or in the boardroom providing advice to a CEO who is managing a crisis. As most realize, assigned positions and roles will only get you so far. In order to meet the mission, to win or to see a crisis through successfully, impact players must have the faith and confidence of their teammates.



Season 1: Pod 17--No Fans in the Stands?

On this episode we are joined by Bill Wagner of the Annapolis Capital to discuss the latest on Navy’s decision to play the Labor Weekend opener against BYU without fans. Will the Brigade be able to attend? That is currently TBD.

In this segment we talk with special guests—-Matt Munnelly and Bill Givens.

Munnelly is in his 22nd year at Navy, where he serves as the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Ticket Operations and Summer Sports Camp Programs. Givens serves as the Associate Athletic Director for Operations & Championships. Givens is also the sport administrator of the wrestling and track & field programs.

We also chat with @UnsatMIDN, a popular figure on Twitter…a current USNA Mid and rabid Navy Sports fan about the adjustments Mids have had to make in the Hall…and what the morale is like as they approach a semester with no liberty and possibly no attendance at football games.


Top Clips


The Democrats Who Rose to the Moment

A nation’s soldiers in a time of crisis.


By David Brooks, NYT

Some people speak from their depths, and some speak from their shallows. Some speak to make a name in some political game they’re playing. But others speak from wells of a moral conviction. Their words are not applause lines; they endure.



The Democrats Miss the Meaning

Their convention was marked by a sense of grievance, but voters need to know what they’ll do.


By Peggy Noonan, WSJ

To be fair in critiquing certain public events you have to be like a judge in the Olympics and factor in degree of difficulty. No one had ever done a Zoom convention before, so no one knew how to do it. Should there be a host each night? Should it be an earnest actress? Does that make us look shallow? Do we want to look shallow?



Joe’s Fearsome Weapon Against Trump: Simple Decency

Biden takes on Donnie Darkness and promises to bring us into the light.


By Maureen Dowd, NYT

Whenever I called my mom to tell her something bad had happened, she said, “I know.”

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously put it, “To be Irish is to know that, in the end, the world will break your heart.”

Joe Biden has had his heart broken again and again and again.

And yet somehow — against all odds, in one of the most remarkable resurrections in political history — Biden stood with a full heart before an empty hall to accept his party’s nomination.



How Biden could still lose


By Mike Murphy, for the Washington Post

After three hard years of fuming over President Trump, it has been a reassuring summer for Democrats. The Biden campaign had a strong convention, capped by a best-of-career speech by Joe Biden. Party fundraising is surging, and the polls look excellent. But a good campaign is a paranoid campaign, especially 70 days before an election.So even though I think Biden is likely to win, I’m spending my time worrying about how he could lose.



Why I, an Anti-Trump Republican, Didn’t Sign the Anti-Trump Letter


By Peter Feaver for Foreign Policy

In 2016, I signed two high-profile public letters, in which senior national security professionals from various Republican administrations declared their opposition to a Donald Trump presidency (see here and here). I also organized a third anti-Trump letter signed by the country’s leading specialists in civil-military relations. I do not regret signing those letters. Trump’s destructive performance in office has entirely validated the concerns they raised.



Explainer: How the Coronavirus Changed U.S. Political Conventions, Perhaps Forever

By Reuters

The U.S. political convention, a presidential campaign ritual dating to the 1830s, is being reinvented on the fly after being short-circuited by the coronavirus pandemic - much like the campaign itself.

The End of American Illusion

Trump and the World as It Is


By Nadia Schadlow, for Foreign Affairs Since the end of the Cold War, most U.S. policymakers have been beguiled by a set of illusions about the world order. On critical issues, they have seen the world as they wish it were and not how it really is. President Donald Trump, who is not a product of the American foreign policy community, does not labor under these illusions. Trump has been a disrupter, and his policies, informed by his heterodox perspective, have set in motion a series of long-overdue corrections. Many of these necessary adjustments have been misrepresented or misunderstood in today’s vitriolic, partisan debates. But the changes Trump has initiated will help ensure that the international order remains favorable to U.S. interests and values and to those of other free and open societies. 


Long-Haulers Are Redefining COVID-19

Without understanding the lingering illness that some patients experience, we can’t understand the pandemic.

By Ed Yong, The Atlantic

Lauren Nichols has been sick with COVID-19 since March 10, shortly before Tom Hanks announced his diagnosis and the NBA temporarily canceled its season. She has lived through one month of hand tremors, three of fever, and four of night sweats. When we spoke on day 150, she was on her fifth month of gastrointestinal problems and severe morning nausea. She still has extreme fatigue, bulging veins, excessive bruising, an erratic heartbeat, short-term memory loss, gynecological problems, sensitivity to light and sounds, and brain fog.

Giving Up on God

The Global Decline of Religion


By Ronald F. Inglehart, for Foreign Affairs In the early years of the twenty-first century, religion seemed to be on the rise. The collapse of both communism and the Soviet Union had left an ideological vacuum that was being filled by Orthodox Christianity in Russia and other post-Soviet states. The election in the United States of President George W. Bush, an evangelical Christian who made no secret of his piety, suggested that evangelical Christianity was rising as a political force in the country. And the 9/11 attacks directed international attention to the power of political Islam in the Muslim world. 


The Navy Needs More Ships — and Vision, Too

By Brent Sadler, Defense One

From shipyards to sea, the Navy needs to show more passionate leadership articulating what its future must be, and why. In 2016, the Navy determined that it would need a fleet of 355 battle force ships to execute its mission. Getting to this number of ships is strategically imperative. So, too, is being able to train people to operate, maintain and build them. Since that 2016 assessment, the Navy has grown little, but its challenges have dramatically increased. If the fleet is ever going to reach the necessary size, the service will have to embrace new approaches and unmanned platforms. It will also require a vision driven by passionate leadership.



The Mythology of Karen


By Helen Lewis, The Atlantic

What does it mean to call a woman a “Karen”? The origins of any meme are hard to pin down, and this one has spread with the same intensity as the coronavirus, and often in parallel with it. Karens are “the police women of all human behavior.” Karens don’t believe in vaccines. Karens have short hair. Karens are selfish. Confusingly, Karens are both the kind of petty enforcers who patrol other people’s failures at social distancing, and the kind of entitled women who refuse to wear a mask because it’s a “muzzle.”



The Navy’s Perpetual Racism Problem and How To Fix It


By LCDR Reuben Keith Green, USN (ret.) - Center for International Maritime Security

The Navy has always had the same three problems when it comes to diversity and inclusion. The first is that there is racism in the ranks. This is America, so that is to be expected. The second is a failure of leadership. No less an individual than the current Secretary of the Navy has pointed out to Congress and the press that failure of leadership in the Navy is a problem today. The third is an unwillingness to face head-on the first two problems. To do so would require some deep introspection, radical change, and likely adverse publicity as the dirty laundry gets aired, which every organization hates.



Military veterans say racism in the ranks often isn't camouflaged: "It hurt me dearly"

By CBS News

The national conversation about race includes the U.S. military. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has effectively banned the Confederate battle flag from bases and installations. But that's only part of the issue. In a 2019 survey by the Military Times and Syracuse University, more than half of people of color serving in uniform said they had personally witnessed White nationalism or racism in the military. According to the Defense Department, around 17 percent of U.S. troops identify themselves as Black.

Cultural Innovation


By Douglas Holt, for The Harvard Business Review

Building the next billion-dollar innovation is an irresistible goal. To get a leg up, many companies now emulate the innovation model perfected in the tech sector. Procter & Gamble, for example, pursues what it calls constructive disruption. The company has designed its innovation process like a start-up’s, with a venture lab that pulls in tech entrepreneurs and a lean probe-and-learn prototyping process.



America’s Crumbling Strategy Needs (Literally) Machiavellian Answers

The Italian philosopher saw the power of technology and change.


By Zachary Tyson Brown, for Foreign Policy

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) has been called the father of modern political philosophy. If Americans remember him at all, though, it is more likely as the Father of Lies: the political schemer with an eponymous adjective thanks to The Prince, his manual of amoral advice to rulers. That’s unfortunate because Machiavelli is uncannily relevant today—and not because his maxims make easy fodder for books about office politics. His writings go far beyond the book he became infamous for and speak to us directly about the sorts of problems we confront today.



China is turning American movies into propaganda. Enough is enough.


By Sonny Bunch, for the Washington Post

Every six months or so, Americans get a reminder of just how much influence China exerts over our popular culture. Taiwan’s flag gets removed from Tom Cruise’s jacket in “Top Gun: Maverick.” Marvel performs its own sinister illusion to make a Tibetan character from “Doctor Strange” disappear. Michael Bay plays buddy-buddy with the Communist Party in “Transformers: Age of Extinction.



Google Has a Plan to Disrupt the College Degree

Google's new certificate program takes only six months to complete, and will be a fraction of the cost of college.

By Justin Bariso, Inc.com

Google recently made a huge announcement that could change the future of work and higher education: It's launching a selection of professional courses that teach candidates how to perform in-demand jobs. These courses, which the company is calling Google Career Certificates, teach foundational skills that can help job-seekers immediately find employment. However, instead of taking years to finish like a traditional university degree, these courses are designed to be completed in about six months. "College degrees are out of reach for many Americans, and you shouldn't need a college diploma to have economic security," writes Kent Walker, senior vice president of global affairs at Google. "We need new, accessible job-training solutions--from enhanced vocational programs to online education--to help America recover and rebuild."


Slack Has Made Remote Office Communication Easier. It Can Also Be Less Civil.

Chat applications have become a major way employees stay connected, but some see an uptick in agitation and bullying


By Chip Cutter and Aaron Tilley, WSJ

Soon after employees at the online invitation site Evite began working from home in March, the company sent staffers guidelines for navigating remote-office life. Among them: Don’t let problems fester on Slack.



Why staying ‘on’ constantly hurts the effectiveness of remote communication

Let go of the idea that workers must always be on and available, which can take a toll on your team’s morale and mental health.


By Nadia Tatlow, for Fast Company

Throughout the pandemic, technology has been integral to the operation of teams, and to their ability to maintain (and improve) interoffice communications. However, this growing reliance on digital solutions has also illuminated gaps in how we could be using technology more effectively in our new remote environment


Thom Brennaman pulled from Fox's NFL games for using anti-gay slur on air during Reds contest

By ESPN Staff Report

Fox Sports says Thom Brennaman will not be part of its NFL broadcasting team this season after he used an anti-gay slur on air Wednesday night during a Cincinnati Reds broadcast. "FOX Sports is extremely disappointed with Thom Brennaman's remarks during Wednesday's Cincinnati Reds telecast," Fox said in a statement Thursday. "The language used was abhorrent, unacceptable, and not representative of the values of FOX Sports."

Fall Annapolis Boat Shows canceled because of safety concerns amid coronavirus pandemic

By Brooks Dubose, Capital Gazette

The city of Annapolis has canceled the two fall boat shows because of safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, a city spokesperson said. Mayor Gavin Buckley, City Manager David Jarrell, Anne Arundel Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman and Alderwoman Elly Tierney made the decision, all of them agreeing that safely holding a large event during the pandemic was not feasible, said city spokesperson Mitchelle Stephenson. Annapolis Boat Shows President Paul Jacobs said he wasn’t involved in the decision to cancel his shows. “I don’t really have a comment about this at this time because the city made the decision. They made it without my knowledge,” Jacobs said. “They just were unable to resolve this health versus economy issue. They couldn’t get their heads around that.”


And Finally...




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