The 2018 Summer Solstice edition of The Status Quo: An Electronic Newsletteris dedicated to those who decided to end their lives rather than live in the sick society we call America 2018. Since the Status Quo always knew that its life, digital as it may be, was to end today, it often contemplated how desperate one must be to embrace death over life. Over the past 18 years, the Status Quo has witnessed its maker feel the pain of suicide and death by other means. It watched as its maker dealt with the pain through alcohol, drugs, food and isolation. The Status Quo saw the pain and agony felt in the wake of a suicide. It saw misery in its rawest form.
As for those who believe that America is the greatest country in the world, the Status Quo offers advice given it many years ago. It is often better to remain silent and keep the world wondering if you are ignorant than to open your mouth and leave no doubt of your ignorance. Any nation as wealthy and educated as America but still allows hundreds of thousands of rape kits to remain untested is anything but great. Any nation as informed as Americans are about mental illness but still treat serial rapists better than those who suffer from mental illness is anything but great. Any nation that permits the education of its children to be determined by the value of the home a child’s parent(s) can afford is anything but great. America is an abomination of what it should be, what so many dreamed it could be and what so many fought and died for it to be.
A Failing Government…
Since the Status Quo’s digital life is coming to an end with this edition, it feels compelled to once again place the spotlight on the two cancers destroying our Republic. These cancers, exemplified by the pedophile and the career politician, were never intended to be anything more than symbols for what is destroying America. Although America is beset with a myriad of significant problems that require a unified national response, the abandonment of personal responsibility by the American people and the abject failure of government by our elected officials represent the two failures that have brought America to its knees.
The first of these malignant tumors is the pedophile. The pedophile represents the American people’s abandonment of personal responsibility. It is not the duty of government or law enforcement to protect our children from those who wish to rape them. It is not the duty of government or law enforcement to screen or investigate those who encounter our children with the hope of stealing their youth. We, as parents, grandparents and great grandparents are responsible for their health and safety and this duty is not some custom passed down from the old country. It is God’s law and the law of nature for those agnostics who do not believe Jesus Christ saved us all. The fact that we have not executed or imprisoned for life every pedophile we know has raped one of His little ones is evidence of just how indifferent we are to our collective future. We all know that a single pedophile can destroy countless young lives, yet we are shocked to read of the pedophile priest, teacher, doctor, coach or uncle who ravished hundreds of innocent children. Instead we blame government for not deterring or detecting their carnal desires. How pathetic. How American.
The second malignant tumor to which the Status Quo has dedicated countless editions of this Newsletter is the career politician. Like the pedophile, the Status Quo never asserted that if we eliminate all the career politicians in office our Republic would might live up to the promises contained in the Declaration of Independence. On the contrary, the Status Quo has asserted that until the American people unite under the banner of the child, America will never see the day when the rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution are secured for all our citizens whether they be children, immigrants, poor or uneducated. We must remove money from the political equation or the future of our children will be dark indeed.
The career politician does not serve those who elected him. On the contrary, the career politician serves those who donate to his campaign. Since he must be re-elected every two years, as is the case with the members of the House, they must dedicate most of their time to raising money. The Special Interests know this and have over the past 50 plus years used this constitutional flaw to replace the American people with the top 2% as the focus of their service. As for the career politicians in the Senate, they represent the very worst of American politics. The Founding Fathers saw the Senate as the senior lawmaking body and gave each Senator a 6-year term of office. They saw these elected officials as men who had made something of their life and wanted to serve in Senate as a way of bringing their vast experiences in business, medicine, law and the military to Washington DC. It was not until the 20th century that we witnessed Senators make careers out of being in the Senate. Now we see men like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz from the right and Maria Cantwell and Debbie Stabenow from the left make the Senate a career. They brought noting to the U.S Senate save a career in politics. If you think they will ever allow the swamp to be drained, you are only fooling yourself. Every effort must be made to remove them from office. They are living, breathing examples of all that is wrong with Washington DC.
When the Status Quo began its campaign in 2000 to expose the career politician for what they represent, it did so by defining what a career politician is and by identifying its favorite career politicians in California, Michigan and a few other states. To those who have read this Newsletter since the beginning, you will do doubt recall the colorful descriptions of the degenerates Storm Thurmond and Ernest Hollings of South Carolina while pointing out that of the 25 longest serving U.S Senators in history only 8 were Republicans. No political party so embraces the career politician like the Democratic Party. Maybe that explains why in the face of Republican malfeasance, indifference and immoral behavior, Democrats continue to lose the battle to reshape government. As the comedian and political commentator Bill Maher recently commented on his HBO show Real Time that liberals like Ice Cube take pride in tweeting really negative messages about Donald Trump while Donald Trump continues to fill judiciary vacancies at an amazing clip. In other words, Democratic impotence in the face of Republican malfeasance.
As anti-Christian as the Republican party has become it appears the more feckless the Democratic Party becomes. All it takes for cruel and indifferent Republican career politicians to flourish, as they are, is for feckless and self-righteous Democratic career politicians to maintain the status quo. It is the maintenance of the status quo that career politicians of all political persuasions embrace because only through maintenance of the status quo will they continue to prosper while our nation continues its fall from grace. Each party knows the pendulum will swing back their way eventually. They know the lemmings, otherwise known as the clueless voter, will grow angry at the ineffectiveness of the party in power and vote the other party into power. November 2018 promises to be another example of the pendulum swinging back and the American people will rejoice at how well their democracy works. It sickens the Status Quo to the point that it relishes that today it goes to ground and will work to change the status quo from within the Deep State.
… and a Dying Nation
When the Status Quo read the article below while eating dinner on the evening of June 7, 2018, it realized that Amy Ellis Nutt had captured a snap shot of our sick and dying nation. Suicide, an all to familiar event in far too many American lives, is fast becoming a leading cause of death for children, women and the poor. It has long been a companion of the Veteran, whispering in his ear that its better to pull the trigger and end the misery than remembering pulling the trigger and starting the misery. There simply is no better indication of the health of a society than the number of its citizens who chose to end their lives.
As the Status Quo woke the following morning to begin writing this edition, it was greeted with the news that one of the Status Quo’s favorite educators/entertainers had ended his life in a hotel room in Paris, France. From the first time the Status Quo watched No Reservations and later Parts Unknown, it marveled at the places this native New Yorker visited, the people he interviewed, the meals he had eaten and of course the stories he told about those places, people and meals. In fact, the Status Quo was preparing for that Sunday’s edition of Parts Unknown by cooking the Status Quo’s favorite German meal. As always, Anthony took his audience to parts of a city, in this instance Berlin, that tourists never visit and introduced them to people that otherwise would have remained unknown save Anthony’s ability to capture people and places in a light not visible to the average journalist. To the Status Quo, Anthony was a 21st century tour guide to places it will never know let alone visit and for that the Status Quo is forever grateful. Gute arbiet Herr Bourdain. Möge deine Reise ins Unbekannte so angenehm sein wie die Reise, die du mir erlaubt hast, mit dir zu nehmen.
Suicide rates rise sharply across the United States, new report shows
By Amy Ellis Nutt (Washington Post June 7, 2018).
Suicide rates rose in all but one state between 1999 and 2016, with increases seen across age, gender, race and ethnicity, according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In more than half of all deaths in 27 states, the people had no known mental health condition when they ended their lives.
In North Dakota, the rate jumped more than 57 percent. In the most recent period studied (2014 to 2016), the rate was highest in Montana, at 29.2 per 100,000 residents, compared with the national average of 13.4 per 100,000.
Only Nevada recorded a decline — of 1 percent — for the overall period, although its rate remained higher than the national average.
Increasingly, suicide is being viewed not only as a mental health problem but a public health one. Nearly 45,000 suicides occurred in the United States in 2016 — more than twice the number of homicides — making it the 10th-leading cause of death. Among people ages 15 to 34, suicide is the second-leading cause of death. The most common method used across all groups was firearms.
“The data are disturbing,” said Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s principal deputy director. “The widespread nature of the increase, in every state but one, really suggests that this is a national problem hitting most communities.” It is hitting many places especially hard. In half of the states, suicide among people age 10 and older increased more than 30 percent.
Percent change in annual suicide rate* by state, from 1999-2001 to 2014-2016 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
“At what point is it a crisis?” asked Nadine Kaslow, a past president of the American Psychological Association. “Suicide is a public health crisis when you look at the numbers, and they keep going up. It’s up everywhere. And we know that the rates are actually higher than what’s reported. But homicides still get more attention.”
One factor in the rising rate, say mental health professionals as well as economists, sociologists and epidemiologists, is the Great Recession that hit 10 years ago. A 2017 study in the journal Social Science and Medicine showed evidence that a rise in the foreclosure rate during that concussive downturn was associated with an overall, though marginal, increase in suicide rates. The increase was higher for white males than any other race or gender group, however.
“Research for many years and across social and health science fields has demonstrated a strong relationship between economic downturns and an increase in deaths due to suicide,” Sarah Burgard an associate professor of sociology at the University of Michigan, explained in an email on Thursday.
The dramatic rise in opioid addiction also can’t be overlooked, experts say, though untangling accidental from intentional deaths by overdose can be difficult. The CDC has calculated that suicides from opioid overdoses nearly doubled between 1999 and 2014, and data from a 2014 national survey showed that individuals addicted to prescription opioids had a 40 percent to 60 percent higher risk of suicidal ideation. Habitual users of opioids were twice as likely to attempt suicide as people who did not use them.
High suicide numbers in the United States are not a new phenomenon. In 1999, then-Surgeon General David Satcher issued a report on the state of mental health in the country and called suicide “a significant public health problem.” The latest data at that time showed about 30,000 suicides a year. “We don’t have barriers between the science part of Cleveland Clinic and the clinical part. Knowledge and experience flow both ways.”
Kaslow is particularly concerned about what has emerged with suicide among women. The report’s findings came just two days after 55-year-old fashion designer Kate Spade took her own life in New York — action her husband attributed to the severe depression she had been battling. “Historically, men had higher death rates than women,” Kaslow noted. “That’s equalizing not because men are [committing suicide] less but women are doing it more. That is very, very troublesome.”
Among the stark numbers in the CDC report was the one signaling a high number of suicides among people with no diagnosed mental health condition. In the 27 states that use the National Violent Death Reporting System, 54 percent of suicides fell into this category. But Joshua Gordon, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said that statistic must be viewed in context.
“When you do a psychological autopsy and go and look carefully at medical records and talk to family members of the victims,” he said, “90 percent will have evidence of a mental health condition.” That indicates a large portion weren’t diagnosed, “which suggests to me that they’re not getting the help they need,” he said. Cultural attitudes may play a part. Those without a known mental health condition, according to the report, were more likely to be male and belong to a racial or ethnic minority. “The data supports what we know about that notion,” Gordon said. “Men and Hispanics especially are less likely to seek help.”
The problems most frequently associated with suicide, according to the study, are strained relationships; life stressors, often involving work or finances; substance use problems; physical health conditions; and recent or impending crises. The most important takeaway, mental health professionals say, is that suicide is an issue not only for the mentally ill but for anyone struggling with serious lifestyle problems.
“I think this gets back to what do we need to be teaching people — how to manage breakups, job stresses,” said Christine Moutier, medical director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “What are we doing as a nation to help people to manage these things? Because anybody can experience those stresses. Anybody.”
The rates of suicide for all states and the District of Columbia were calculated using data from the National Vital Statistics System. Information about contributing circumstances for those who died by suicide was obtained via the National Violent Death Reporting System, which is relatively new and in place in only 27 states.
“If you think of [suicide] as other leading causes of death, like AIDS and cancer, with the public health approach, mortality rates decline,” Moutier said. “We know that same approach can work with suicide.”
Post Script: Please donate to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/) and please post at your office, home or Facebook page: 1-800-273-8255. It is time we demand that our elected officials change public policy surrounding mental illness and that includes suicide. Government can make a difference but only if we, as a united people, make it so!
The July 4, 2018 edition of The Status Quo: An Electronic Newsletter is dedicated to my friend Rex A. Burgess. A loving husband, heart-broken father, caring attorney and loyal friend, Rex was more than a friend, mentor and advisor. He was my lawyer. We first met in 1980 at a small welding shop on Hoover just north of 8 Mile. We met again in 1985 during our first day of law school. Rex, a decorated Vietnam Veteran who knew the obstacles life placed before us, was the consummate professional and loyal friend. Rex made the practice of law seem noble in a profession many regard as anything but noble. With this idea in mind, I can think of no better testament to Rex than that surrounding his legal representation of two young women who suffered terribly at the hands of a degenerate once called Donnie Ray Reams.
During the years of the Missing Angels Legal Fund Inc. (fund), Rex accepted one of the many cases the Fund assisted from 2001-2006. In so doing, he demonstrated how lawyers can be caring, understanding and compassionate without placing billable hours ahead of the welfare of others. Although he suspected my focus was not on changing the law in Michigan, he never stopped believing in the nonprofit’s true value. It was Rex who showed me the true value through patience, determination and hard work. Not only was he counsel to these brave young women, but he listened to their stories of degradation with patience and understanding and encouraged them to get help. Rex wanted them to move past the pain and focus on accomplishing their goals.
At times Rex would reach into his pocket to help them through the difficult times like when they first told their parents about the real Donnie Ray. Rex did everything he could to give them a chance at overcoming the obstacles placed before them. It was the right thing to do he once said because he had been blessed with economic success that his representation of them was his way of giving back. He never stopped caring even when they blamed him for a Court of Appeals decision dismissing their claims. Rex did not take it personally. He just said “they don’t mean it. They are still working through their anger.” Rex never lost focus. Rex never got rattled. Rex never mislead a client to obtain their business and he never conducted himself in a way that might cause his reputation to come into question. He was always above reproach.
Good bye Rex. May the Walleye never stop biting and your friends never forget how lucky they were to call you a friend.
Emily’s Other Family
For many years, I looked forward to drawing the one line that separates America into two different camps. Since Americans seem to love drawing lines promoting division along economic, social, ethnic, racial, religious and political lines, I am happy to divide America down a single line – a line that transcends gender, race, religion, class, creed, sexual orientation and political persuasion. It is a clearly marked line all members of Emily’s other family know well.
After dedicating years of my life to researching and writing Walking In Your Footsteps as well as working to convince every American that the truth of the assertions contained therein represented the blue print for a true reformation of American government and society, I realize that the American people are hopelessly divided by career politicians, special interests and the media who promote division to generate ratings. It is now clear that the American voter might never realize or understand the truth regarding the cancer that is the career politician. Therefore, I wanted to set the record straight as to the one dividing line that matters. I wanted to make sure my brothers and sisters in uniform never forget that we are a family; a family that shares a single common trait: sacrifice.
I understand that military service is not appealing to most Americans. I know that many Americans find the physical demands and loss of freedom unacceptable. However, when a nation’s political leaders take their country to war everyone has a place in the effort. When a nation sends its sons and daughters to fight and die to defend the principles that country holds dearest, everyone must become part of the effort for many reasons not the least of which are shared sacrifice and recognition of the reasons for war. No one has the right to sit idle or profit from the sacrifices of others. As for the line I have longed to draw, it is not a line drawn by Congress to guarantee an election. It is not a bright line drawn by the Supreme Court as when they declared a corporation equal to that of a US citizen when it comes to pouring cash into the pockets of the career politician. Nor is it a line drawn in the sand of some Middle Eastern shithole. It is a line drawn by service.
An excellent example of where that line is drawn can be found in the examination of two American lives connected by a loose affiliation- the invasion of Iraq 2003. One is a Washington DC insider whose thirst for power knows no bounds and the other a former U.S. Army Officer who dedicated her life to making this world a better place for others. Taken from a west point alumni website, the following I suspect does not do justice to the memory of this shining star:
‘Emily Jazmin Tatum Perez. Born on February 19, 1983 in Heidelberg, Germany to Daniel, an Army non-commissioned officer, and his wife Vicki, Emily was a leader from the start.” Preceded by an impressive lineage of soldiers and service, Emily was initially unsure if the military was right for her. Her grandfather, Bill Gunter, served with the 24th Combat Infantry Regiment (Buffalo Soldiers), her great uncle, Eugene Harrison (USMC) was killed in action in World War II, Uncle Hylan Harrison (USMC) served in Vietnam, and Uncle Elmer Sargent retired as a sergeant major from the Army and served in Desert Storm. Still, as Emily pulled onto the hallowed grounds of West Point for a summer leadership conference, she was sure to tell her father, “Dad, I’m just doing this so I will have something to add to my resume.” However, by the end of the week, Emily’s thought process had completely transformed; she was captivated and committed to serving. The Corps of Cadets, she said, reminded her of a family and she was awestruck by the feeling of intense camaraderie.
Like so many before and after her, she had found her other family; her Army family. First Lieutenant Perez was killed in action on 25 November 2005 at a Forward Operating Base near Al Kifl, Iraq. She was 3 months shy of her 23rdbirthday. In other words, Emily is forever entrenched on Rex and my side of the line.
The American who stands on the other side of the line from Emily is quite possibly the polar opposite of Emily. A Republican who happily let others do the fighting for him but used all his power and influence to guide our military into operations based upon a lie, Richard Cheney, born 30 January 1941, utilized the deferment process on several occasions to avoid uniform service but was never prouder than the day the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. I wish I could quote similar praise for Richard from those who served with him but I was unable. It seems people only serve Richard. He does not serve anyone save of course the Neo-cons when he saw them as a means to an end. How depressing it must be for Richard to know that he carries with him the blame for the betrayal of President George W. Bush’s Presidency. As I have commented many times before, the greatest problem President George W. Bush faced was not 9-11 or Hurricane Katrina. His most persistent problem was having to deal with so many of his father’s friends.
As I look across America on her 242rd birthday, I watch as career politicians like Representative Waters and Senator Schumer demand foreign children be housed, clothed, feed, entertained, educated and kept safe while tens of thousands of homeless Veterans, many suffering from the effects of their service, are cast aside like yesterday’s paper. I read that the same bleeding-heart liberals who promote the welfare of Latin America’s citizens over those who served our country are now demanding those entering the US illegally receive better care than that provided Veterans and the mentally ill. Have they no concept of how $21 trillion of debt and trillion dollar deficits restrict what government can do? Likewise, as I look across this land of the free, home of the depraved, I watch as career politicians like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, two men who are making politics a career, shy away from confronting malfeasance and corruption while paying lip service to the needs of our Veterans. Career politicians all heap praise upon those who serve but when it comes time to properly fund the Veterans Administration they offer only excuses why it’s not their fault so many hurting Veterans are sleeping in the street. Maybe its the fault of the Veterans for serving those who only care about themselves. Maybe it is time we all entrench on Emily’s side of the line?
Told You So
It is only fitting that I remind the reader of the insight the Status Quo brought to the American people free over the past 18 years. With sources deep within the Deep State and across Europe, the Status Quo reported stories before they were news worthy. As a fitting tribute to the work of those who made the Status Quo a reality, I offer an example of just how prescient the Status Quo was in addressing news the rest of the world press had yet to print. An Unholy Alliance details the depth of Israeli and Saudi intelligence agencies cooperation and how detrimental that alliance is to American interests. The New York Times would write years after release of An Unholy Alliance a series of articles detailing the “recent” cooperation of Israel and Saudi Arabia’s foreign intelligence services. Shocked by the realization that two sworn enemies would join hands in an unholy alliance, many of the world’s leading newspapers expressed disbelief at the level of cooperation between the two enemies. They interrupted this event as just a part of the changing Middle East. Not the Status Quo. The Status Quo saw this unholy alliance as a threat to the American people and the US military. You can now be the judge of whose observations were sound and whose were politically and economically motivated.
An Unholy Alliance (September 2015)
Not since Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia agreed to partition Poland into two spheres of influence has there been a more unholy alliance than that of Israel and Saudi Arabia. When Hitler and Stalin agreed to extinguish the Polish State in 1939, they did so because they understood the dynamics of Realpolitik – a German word most attributed to the political philosophy of Prussian Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck. Realpolitik is a political philosophy based on practical or realistic terms rather than any moral or ethical terms. Realpolitik embraces necessity and practicality as opposed to wisdom and morality as the cornerstone of a nation’s foreign policy. Examples of Realpolitik can be found across the centuries. From the US Government’s policies toward Native and African Americans to the current Chinese policy of infanticide of its baby girls, Realpolitik has caused more human suffering than any government policy short of war. The abandonment of policies developed through reasoned thought and intelligent debate is not a sound policy decision. Realpolitik is bad policy that leads to bad decisions. It is also another reason why limited but efficient government is the answer to many problems facing humanity.
With a thorough understanding of the Iron Chancellor’s political skills and diplomatic abilities, the Status Quo can think of no better term to describe the Israeli – Saudi intelligence alliance that works to keep the Palestinian people in a Middle East version of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Jewish State well versed in the latest threat to Israel. Courtesy of two theocracies – a Jewish state controlled by right-wing Zionists and a Muslim state controlled by right wing Wahhabis, this unholy alliance embraces Realpolitik with ruthless abandonment. To those who do not understand what is happening in the Middle East because you are too busy living life in chaotic America of 2015, the Status Quo is pleased to offer a short primer on Realpolitik throughout the Gaza Strip, along the West Bank, and inside the temples and mosques of Jerusalem and Mecca.
Long before the Status Quo joined the Arab-Jewish struggle some 25 years ago, there has existed a relatively small number very influential Zionists, who form the core of Israel’s intelligence elite, who work hand-in-hand with grotesquely wealthy Saudi Princes to ensure that the Palestinian people are subjugated to a life of servitude under the Israeli occupation. To those who believe the occupation is about Israeli security, the Status Quo begs that you consider another reason for this immoral and never ending occupation. As long as the people of Palestine remain prisoners on their own land, the greater will be the cry for the liberation of the Palestinian people. As long as the Palestinian cause is preached in the Mosques of the Middle East as the reason for jihad, the heretical regime in Saudi Arabia will continue to fund any cause that supports death to Israel and freedom in Palestine.
In exchange for maintaining the “Palestinian Cause” throughout the Arab world, Mossad is provided valuable information by Saudi intelligence on existing and emerging threats to Israel in the Arab and Western world. In fact, it is no exaggeration to assert that Saudi intelligence has provided more useful intelligence to Mossad on Hamas than Mossad has obtained through electronic surveillance of the entire Gaza Strip. How in awe Bismarck must be as he strolls through the forests of Valhalla wondering how Mossad convinced the Saudi Princes they were not serving the interests of Zion?
It is sickening to know that Saudi Arabia’s holy men are paid handsomely to preach death to America. It is nauseating to know the Saudi Princes finance men who have dedicated their lives to killing Americans – brothers and sisters of the Status Quo. Still the question that confounds the Status Quo is why Mossad believes this alliance serves Israel’s best interests. The Status Quo knows why the Princes embrace immorality as a foreign policy. It’s the only policy that allows them to dismiss the guilt that comes from knowing that so many, so close live in fear and hunger while they spend $10,000.00 on a pair of shoes they plan to wear only once.
Notwithstanding Mossad’s proven capability, it confounds the Status Quo that the men and women of Israeli intelligence believe that the growing international animosity toward the government of Israel is in their best interest. Merging the hatred of anti-Semitism with the anger generated in many Europeans and Americans by the illegal and immoral policies of Israel is a dangerous possibility. It is simply an undeniable fact that many educated, intelligent and inquisitive Americans are angered by an illegal occupation that prevents the freedom of movement by checkpoint while limiting Palestinian commerce in order to foster the illegal expansion of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land. There is no substitute for a homeland Israelis have been saying my whole life. This is what is so puzzling about their denial of Palestine as a separate state. As the Status Quo once told a prominent member of Baltimore’s Jewish community, the growing anti-Israeli sentiment spreading across Europe, America and Asia is far more dangerous than the anti-Semitism of old Europe. If anti-Semitic views find common ground with those who hold anti-Israeli opinions and they do so for political gain, the end result must be worse than abiding by the land for peace deal Jews made with Arabs in 1967.
As for the people of the Kingdom, the Status Quo offers what the Saudi Health Minister, Khalid al-Falih, said about the possibility that it was not the heretical domestic polices of the Saudi Royal family that caused the tragic stampede that turned Mecca into a killing field. It seems “some pilgrims who didn’t follow the guidelines and instructions issued by the responsible authorities” might have caused the stampede. No pilgrims from Iran, Nigeria, America or Malaysia are to blame for the incredible loss of life in Mecca’s latest stampede. No outside interest killed Muslims as they prayed to Allah in the heart of Islam. What caused the crane to collapse on the Grand Mosque also caused the stampede that killed a thousand people while they fulfilled the word of God. So many loving fathers, mothers, sons and daughters lead to the slaughter by a domestic policy rooted in greed and a foreign policy that runs contrary to all that makes Muslims devoted servants of Allah.
The August 2, 2018 edition of The Status Quo: An Electric Newsletter is dedicated to the memory of Dan Pruett. A friend and co-worker since 2014, Dan was a Veteran and dedicated U.S. Army civilian who worked many years at the Sierra Army Depot before his death this summer. Dan worked in the Resource Management division – a division managed by none other than the liar and crook Robert M. Sanders. Dan knew well the character of Bob Sanders just as he knew how fraudulent accounting schemes were responsible for the surprising and suspect levels of revenue generated over the past 10 years. Despite his efforts to raise red flags, Bob was always there to dismiss his findings and belittle him. Bob Sanders is what is wrong with the US Army but at every turn senior leaders protected him until he could not be protected anymore. Isn’t that so Bob?
Thank you, Dan, for making sure I understood how their accounting scam worked. Thank you, Dan, for supporting me when the degenerates, thieves and racists at Sierra Army Depot attacked me for speaking the truth. Most of all, thank you for bringing honor and decency to the most repressive work environment in the army. Stay tuned to the September 11, 2018 edition of this Newsletter to read all about handicapped contractors brutalized for fun, a sexual assault covered-up by the predator’s supervisor and incredible as it might seem hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars wasted and no one in law enforcement seems to care and no one in a position to discipline those who wasted these taxpayer dollars will lift a finger to punish those responsible. And you wonder why sexual assaults and harassment continue unbated. The swamp is not just in Washington DC. It is found everywhere men like Don Olson are permitted to do whatever they want whenever they want to do it. Isn’t that so Rhonda?
The New World Order
On August 2, 1990, the Iraqi army invaded Kuwait claiming Kuwait was threatening Iraq’s economic existence by overproducing oil and driving down prices on the world market. An Iraqi military government under the control of Saddam Hussein was installed in Kuwait. Shortly thereafter, Iraq annexed Kuwait. Saddam reasoned that since Kuwait was historically part of Iraq, it was only logical that it be annexed. The Saudi Princes were wetting their panties in fear that Saddam was coming for their precious oil. The result of this annexation and the Saudi Princes refusal to fight was Operation Desert Shield, the massive coalition buildup in 1990-91, and of course the 100-hour war against Iraq, Operation Desert Storm in 1991. I was a brand-new Lieutenant in the US Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps that morning 28 years ago. I was serving as the Staff Duty Officer at the front desk of the Regiment’s Headquarters in Charlottesville, VA when senior army leaders began arriving en mass. Little did I know how that day would change my life and the life of our nation. Little did I realize that August 2, 1990 would accelerate the end of the existing world order.
Following the Second World War, a new world order had emerged. It was an order that found two Super Powers dominating the globe. However, this new order did not contain equal Superpowers. The world was indeed dividing fast between two Superpowers, but these superpowers were not equal. The United States accounted for approximately 60% of the world’s gross domestic product in 1945, held mastery of the Atlantic and Pacific sea-lanes and controlled the world’s financial markets unlike any nation state in history. The Soviet Union controlled only that which it took by brutal force. Indeed, a great opportunity was placed before America but unfortunately for so many innocent souls, America was confronted with an aggressive and murderous Soviet Union bent on spreading its form of Authoritarian socialism across the globe just as China is now doing with money rather than the sword.
The Cold War began in earnest in 1948/49 following America’s heroic efforts during the Berlin Airlift of 1948 and the Soviet Union’s detonation of a Hydrogen bomb (RDS-1) in 1949. As President Truman’s Administration gave way to the Administration of President Eisenhower, the US found itself confronted with the task of defending Europe and Asia against a Russian foreign policy that consisted of insurgency, revolution and murder. As American corporations sought to expand their economic interests like every nation state has done since Portugal sent its seafarers across the globe in the 15th century, these corporations were confronted with foreign governments being besieged by communist insurgencies, as was the case in southeast Asia, and growing insurgencies in Latin America where brutal dictators responded to threats to their authority with the Soviet style tactics of torture and murder. Since it was clear that the Soviet Union (and now China) wanted to seize for itself the economic benefits gained from exploiting the natural resources and labor of less developed countries, the result was a Cold War that turned hot in places like Guatemala in the 1950s and Indonesia and Vietnam in the 1960s.
When the Cold War was suspended in 1989/90, it was primarily due to the authoritarian nature of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party’s policies that crushed the spirit of those who fell under its control and doomed it to bankruptcy. The denial of a person’s right to free speech and freedom of religion are the basic tools authoritarian regimes use to remain in power. Why do you think the Soviet Union always supported regimes that began their rule by executing community leaders starting with university professors, teachers, authors, artists and those who value and support free expression and public debate? Why do you think China implements the same policies at home? Please read Josh Rogin’s timely and informative article posted today in The Washington Post. The article presents a clear picture of the world under Chinese rule.
As for the nation states that comprise this new world order, it consists of three very powerful countries that today are orbiting around the sun that is China. Russia, Turkey, Iran and their surrogates have embraced China and it’s economic and military support for different reasons, yet they are coalescing into one extremely formidable force that cannot be defeated by America alone. The motivations behind these countries reasons for embracing China are beyond the scope of this article. What is not beyond the scope of this article is the warning it holds for the world. China poses a grave threat to free speech, freedom of religion, free association and free trade and unless China is contained, and its aggressive foreign policy is checked, the result will be a war that just might end all wars and the species that wages them.
The Common Defense
As promised, this newsletter will highlight a section of Walking In Your Footsteps that is as relevant today as it was when the first edition appeared in 2000. Since a major theme of the book is the reformation of the federal government, it follows that the federal government’s role in securing our common defense be examined in detail. As such, we must begin by looking to the document that formed the legal framework for our national government. As a former Officer in the U.S. Army, I swore and oath to defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, just as every Veteran did when he entered active duty. The Preamble to that sacred document is as follows:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
These words were not intended as simply an introduction to the document that would give birth to our republic. These words were intended to educate the people to what the Founding Fathers envisioned would be a central government; one with very specific but limited powers co-existing within a union of sovereign states with very broad or general powers. What Walking In Your Footsteps did was go beyond just a detailed examination of the federal government’s failure to provide for the common defense and general welfare. A third subsection was added to Chapter 2 and was titled Space Exploration. Hopefully one day soon the ideas contained within those pages will be recognized for the truth they represent for our nation’s fall from grace is accelerating rapidly.
Much has been written lately about the creation of a “Space Force.” The Washington Post (Post) recently reported that President Trump directed that a Space Force be created within the Department of Defense. The Post further reported that this force would constitute a sixth branch of the Armed Forces of the United States. Sixth branch of the armed forces? In hearing this most confusing assertion, it dawned on me that the American media still does not understand that the United States Marine Corps is the amphibious force of the United States Navy. As for the US Coast Guard, it is not a part of the Department of Defense. It started as an entity under the direction of the Department of Treasury until it was made part of the Department of Transportation only later made part of the Department of Homeland Security. The Post went on to report that President Trump wanted the “Space Force” to be equal to that of the three branches of the US Armed Forces and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would be directed to see to its creation. It is about time that a Commander-n-Chief recognized the importance of space as a battleground in our nation’s defense. Indeed, the time has come for the American people to take control of Space. If we allow the Chinese to control space, which they will do, America will become just another nation state orbiting around the sun that is the People’s Republic of China. The following excerpt from Walking In Your Footsteps should serve as the starting point for a discussion on the formation of a new armed service closely linked to the U.S. Air Force:
“This new Department will pick up where President Kennedy’s dream left off. It will bring to America the benefits that space has to offer – from improved air travel to national security. Currently, the United States Air Force has cognizance over our Unified Space Command. However, in its fiscal year 2000 appropriations, Congress created the Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization (Space Management). Space Management, from what I have been able to ascertain, is tasked with assessing:
- Whether an independent armed service should be created alongside the Army, Navy and Air Force with the mission of exploring space
- How well current inter-agency coordination exists with respect to issues involving space
- How best to use existing assets to support America’s national security
- Whether an Assistant Secretary of Defense position should be created to address the issues surrounding space and national security
These are important issues to be sure. However, there are other issues of equal or greater importance involving the commercial use of space and how America may best profit from this use. Yes, I do mean profit. Just like the Portuguese who profited from their mastery of the sea, so too should America gain power and wealth through its mastery of space.
I believe it is at this point in the discussion that the reader must understand the distinction between “white” versus “black” space. White space is that use of space that does not relate to the intelligence gathering aspects of national security. Black space is that use of space that does involve our nation’s intelligence gathering capabilities. In other words, space is another field upon which our national security is tested. For this reason alone, we must stop relegating NASA to its current underfunded, understaffed, and underappreciated status. The status quo must end at NASA. It is a matter of life and death. Therefore, I offer as the starting point of reformation at NASA the job of improving the efficiency of the federal government in its use of both “white” and “black” space. Once these programs are funded in accordance with their importance and the “right” personnel are hired to do the job, the differences between “white” space and “black” space will be less pronounced and our ability to master space improved.
A perfect example of the relationship between the two and the potential for commercial use is the GPS tracking system currently used by millions of Americans in many facets of their lives. Twenty years ago, people laughed at the money spent by the federal government to develop this satellite guidance system. No one is laughing today. A few examples of the future use of advancements in space technology will be space-based travel (Tokyo to London in three hours) and the development of space-based radar systems that will revolutionize many different industries, including aviation. In an effort to address national security concerns, this new Department must contain a special section that works closely with the United States Air Force. For this reason, I do not believe America needs another armed service. It is only logical that the United States Air Force be the armed service responsible for securing the heavens. It was the United States Air Force that put us there in the first place.”
Although so much has occurred since July 4, 2000, one thing that has not occurred is the US mastery of Space. Each passing year brings the Chinese and Russians closer to dominating space and cyberspace at the expense of our national security. This failure of our elected officials ranks near the top of a very long list of failures. Money is what drives our elected officials’ every decision and the promotion of our common defense has suffered for it.
This week the American people lost America’s most effective warrior in the battle to stop terrorists. Michael A. Sheehan, 63, died earlier this week in Bethesda, MD from cancer. Mr.. Sheehan’s military service included distinction with the U.S. Army’s Special Forces; a unit where distinction means something different than the distinction our elected officials pass out to career politicians like so much candy. It was his service in Latin America some 30 years ago that solidified his reputation as a counter-terrorism expert and in his own words a “door kicker.”
Since that time it is no exaggeration to write that Mr. Sheehan had become America’s most effective warrior in the fight to keep Americans safe in a world growing angrier with America. It was, however, his criticism of the invasion of Iraq as the wrong approach to combating Al Qaeda that Mr. Sheehan made me realize that combating terror was a job for the CIA/NSC, diplomats, special operations like himself and the FBI. Large scale military operations like those undertaken in 2003 and the trillions of dollars wasted on security contractors and increasing an already bloated federal bureaucracy was the wrong approach to defeating terrorists. It is no coincidence that he resigned from federal service in 2003. I believe that those in charge of keeping New York City safe from another attack will agree that the federal government’s loss was the residents of New York’s gain. His vision of how America should combat terrorism grows more prescient everyday . Fortunately for the American people, his vision was passed on to future army leaders in his final years at his Alma Mater – The United States Military Academy at West Point. Let us hope it becomes policy before the Neo-con returns and we once again go to war for Israel or Saudi Arabia’s sake.
I have never thanked anyone for their service to our country because I never expected nor wanted to be thanked for my service. In the case of Mr. Sheehan, I must change that practice. Thank you, Michael. Your ideas and vision of the future have awakened a generation of US Army leaders, active, reserve and civilian, to the reality that the status quo in Washington D.C. cannot continue forever.