Unpredictable events in history

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One of the latest unexpected events: Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma surprised everyone because it kept shifting course. For instance, it did not reach the east coast as predicted by the meteorologists despite being predicted to a few days earlier. The fact that the Florida peninsula is narrow and has a narrow width added to the doubt about the hurricane's path and where it would make landfall in Florida. Compared to previous hurricanes, the federal government responded better; however, as early as September 11th, more money and relief for volunteers and workers could have been put aside.

The Las Vegas shooting on the 1st of October 2017 is another unpredictable event.

The Las Vegas Shooting

Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old man, shot people at a music festival killing 59 and injuring hundreds (Bui, Zapotosky, Barret, & Beman, 2017). Paddock did not have a criminal history and had no affiliations with any terror group, and as a result, law enforcement agencies were at a loss why he would rain bullets from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort and eventually kill himself. O'Neill & Ortega (2017) point out that this is a huge mystery because there is no sufficient explanation for Paddock's violent act. Even his past background does not reveal any warnings signs. I believe that Mandalay Bay hotel staff could have been more attentive and detect that Paddock had a stash of firearms, but the government could have done little to stop a lone shooter.

Another unpredictable event was the Orlando workplace shooting where John Neumann, an army veteran, shot and killed five employees and finally killed himself. Neumann did not have any links to terrorist groups, and also, he did not have a concealed stash of weapons. The police label him a disgruntled ex-employee. However, he had a criminal industry of possession of minor drugs and had faced accusations of beating an employee three years earlier. Therefore, the law enforcement agencies were not vigilant enough to detect a possible outcome.

Predictable events

The financial crisis of 2007 was a predictable event but bankers, investors, politicians, and regulators ignored and were blind to the warning signs. Two government institutions: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provided mortgage lending to unqualified borrowers. Also, the unsustainable increase in house prices up (housing bubble) to the year 2007 should have raised alarms in most of the banks. The banks and the mortgage institutions should have carried out a comprehensive analysis of the borrowers to ensure that only the qualified people get loans. Also, the regulators should have enacted legislation to control the debt to capital ratios of banks as well as their innovative practices that led to complex securities sold to unsuspecting investors.

Also, reports indicate that the administrations ignored warning signs before September 11th, 2001 attacks. According to Eichenwald (2012), the CIA on June 22nd, 2001 informed President Bush that a strike by Al Qaeda was imminent, but the threats were ignored by the administration. There were intelligence reports that the attacks would happen but the White House failed to take action. Zelikow, Kojm, & Marcus (2004, p.277) in "The 9/11 Commission Report" point out that the administration failed to work on these leads and they did not become national priorities; they did not imagine the gravity of the attacks. The leaders should have promptly acted on the intelligence data they received and put in place a functional intelligence community that would share rather than hide crucial information from each other.


Bui, L., Zapotosky, M., Barret, D., & Berman, M. (2017). At least 59 killed in Las Vegas shooting rampage, more than 500 others injured. Washington Post. Retrieved 8 October 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/10/02/police-shut-down-part-of-las-vegas-strip-due-to-shooting/?utm_term=.9898ef4be098

Eichenwald, K. (2017). Opinion | The Bush White House Was Deaf to 9/11 Warnings. Nytimes.com. Retrieved 9 October 2017, from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/opinion/the-bush-white-house-was-deaf-to-9-11-warnings.html

O'Neil, A., & Ortega, B. (2017). The mystery of Stephen Paddock: Why?. CNN. Retrieved 8 October 2017, from http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/06/us/unknowable-stephen-paddock-and-the-mystery-motive/index.html

Zelikow, P., Jenkins, B. D., & May, E. R. (2004). The 9/11 commission report. Nat. Comm. on Terrorist Attacks Upon the US

July 07, 2023

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