Americans Playing the Jack-ass Abroad: The Secret Service Sex Scandal

Does the Secret Service have a corporate culture which condones the bad behavior of agents serving abroad? Was the wink and the nod that it was o.k. to "do it", but "don't get caught"?

Heavy public drinking with witness-reported intoxication was the story which spilled out of Cartagena., Prostitutes signing into agent's hotel rooms using their real names was the secondary story. A brawl which erupted over fee-for-service caused the American embassy to spring into action. Dynamite can be destructive in small packages. It seems there was a lack of fear of punitive retribution for disgusting behavior. The media soon snatched up the story of Animal House in Cartagena. But the incident which involved multiple Secret Service agents and their supervisory staff gives the perception of a cultural allowance. Things on such scale can only occur when there is lack of strong internal levers which apply adamantine standards of practice. We will await the gut evisceration. It will be delivered by the fired agents who mount their court case. Their defense will be cultural allowances, hence, they will implicate their brethren and the mission climate of prior operations. At least, that is how I imagine it will play out.

Was the POTUS put at risk? Colombia is a Tier 1 nation for human trafficking of women and children. As a major source for women and underage girls subjected to sex trafficking, it can be assumed that narco-traffickers and criminal elements maintain control of a majority of the market within the Cartagena hub. I continue to believe the POTUS was placed at risk by reckless endangerment. It seems anomalous to consider that an individual considered so strategically important to be guarded by arms-toting agents by day, can then become so strategically unimportant for the same agents to live in a world of drunken stupor and prostitution by night. Does that seem anomalous to anyone else, or is it just me?

There are those who have placed the significance of the events which devolved in Cartagena as "two on a scale of ten". There are those who in cavalier fashion have dismissed the disgusting behavior of these men as "frat-like" behavior. Does the Secret Service hire nineteen year old college boys? Pass the beer bong!

Others have entered the twisted universe of moral equivalencies whilst speaking of morally bankrupt Congressmen, or perhaps, the behavior of Navy sailors who chug into port after six months at sea. Moral equivalencies merely acknowledge the beast in man, but such things do little to tame the beast.

America has her fair share of the good, the bad and the ugly. But what does it mean to be an American serving abroad as the public face of the government of the United States of America? Should those who take an oath, who wear a uniform, and those who are elected and appointed to serve, hold to a higher standard? Or does being an American count for so little? If ethical behavior does not matter, we really have nothing to offer the world. They can make it without us. Perhaps it is time we look in the mirror and also acknowledge the truth. We are powerful, yet destitute, arrogant and debased within the very seat of our government and her appendages.

"The Secret History of the CIA" by Joseph J. Trento introduces the reader to a world similar to the glimpse we had of Secret Service agents in Cartagena. Nothing is new under the sun. Power and corruption go hand in hand. There is a unique sub-class in all governments. It is the class of the untouchables - those who are (both) the law and above the law. Being above the law was on full display in Cartagena.

There is good news. Gone are the days when the leakage of such news can be managed by embassy staff. Gone are the days when a media blackout can keep citizens in the dark. Gone are the days when a reporter can lose his press card for bringing such activities to light. We are a community of digital gods. A lap-dancing prostitute in a bar off a dusty road in Africa can be the latest media star. She has a story to tell. The world awaits any news which damages the image of America abroad. A news drone moving across the landscape can be as simple as a cell phone image uploaded to YouTube and sent to a U.S. newspaper. America receives the latest in digital black eyes. The stories can no longer be contained. Corrupt corporate business practices and Americans behaving badly abroad must become a thing of the past for all of the right reasons. But there is one main reason: What does it mean to be an American serving abroad?

Revisiting the EPA Crucifixion Policy

"It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They'd go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they'd find the first five guys they saw, and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.You make examples out of people who are not complying with the law."

Al Armendariz, EPA Region VI administrator

A senior official with the EPA made the aforementioned remarks two years ago. Although his target was oil and gas producers, EPA policy now comes to light. In a reversal of fortunes scenario from the popular T-Mobile commercial "Who is in your 5?", Al Armendariz wants Americans to understand the gritty truth:

The EPA will pick and crucify the five. Golgotha may have been the place of the skull in the days of Jesus Christ. The EPA has their own little dirty policy hill.

Case Scenario:

John has just finished two grueling weeks cleaning his deceased grandfather's home. He is exhausted. Stuffing several cans of varnish and paint into a trash bag he tosses it on the curb and heads to the lake with the small boat which is part of his inheritance. While on the lake he places an unusual water creature in a bucket. He has no idea it is on the endangered species list. He just keeps it for the fascination factor.

The EPA centurions are in town. They are digging in his trash. They are on the dock. Crucifixion policy in hand.

The cocky YouTube remarks from a man who owes his livelihood to my tax dollars caused me to pick up a text which I hold in high esteem. Proverbs 31:26 speaks of the "law of kindness". (King James Bible, Cambridge Edition) Policy which seeks out five handy culprits, and seeks to crucify and make an example of American citizens, does not seem in the best interest of the state.

Law and policy must be carefully crafted. Law minus an element of kindness cannot fulfill the requirement for justice. And policy which is cruel and as crudely stated by a senior EPA official show that malice and bias have entered the corridors of power. The White House is distancing themselves from the remarks. But is this the direction we wish for America? Do we want law which is cruel and lacking compassion? Will we support laws which are steamrollers instead of scales of balance?

Policy measures must increase confidence in government, not destroy it. Law must be administered by individuals with threads of compassion within their character. Al Armendariz enters the room like a double-striped skunk. Does he represent the federal culture from a steamroller agency? You decide.

Executive Armendariz has provided a tremendous gift to lawyers seeking to defend their clients against the EPA. They can merely turn to the jury with simple supplication:

"Is my client a societal monster? Or is he merely part of the Turkish five?"

Gay Militancy and the Destruction of Marriage

These are the news topics which have greeted me in less than a week:

"Transgender's Beauty Pageant"

"A DC comics character will soon be gay"

"Lesbian couple charged with staging hate crime"

"Same-sex wedding for the X-Men"

Homosexuality is a societal ill. We are embracing immorality and it will take us down. It will take our children, in the end. And that is the issue which frightens me the most. What we condone, our children will embrace.

When homosexuality is normalized the safety net provided by the traditional family is destroyed. We have little idea what awaits us around the corner.

Why are we hesitant to declare that we have been made in the image of our Creator; a God who made us with compatible genders for the purpose of sustaining our familial generations? Why are we hesitant to note the gender fragmentation of men and women who enter a lifestyle which is contrary to the natural order which exists among both men and beasts?

Tolerance is the enemy of wisdom. Tolerance is the abdication of discernment. There are certain behaviors which should be shunned and certain life-styles which must never be condoned. We don't hate people. We hate the manner in which the gay lifestyle destroys civilization and family. As for me, it is inconceivable that we applaud immorality. What does this speak to our generations?

Call it not courage. Not the word "courage" as used by Ellen Degeneres when applauding the Commander-in-Chief for his support of gay marriage. Courage speaks with conviction, not political expediency. Courage is married to morality. Immorality is the venue of fools.

Call it not courage. Call it immorality, when a covenant between a man and a woman is reduced to sexual encounters between two same-sex individuals.

Call it not a "generational issue" as spouted by one former military officer. From the beginning of time, marriage has been recognized as a union blessed by the Creator. The three major religions (Jews, Christians and Muslims) have embraced the concept of heterosexual marriage. These religions have also condemned homosexuality as an abnormal sexual preference.

Should you care to be courageous, remember to keep your chin up when homosexuality is normalized and gays can be legally married. Keep your chin up when your fourteen year old son is seduced by an eighteen year old man. After all, it is now so freakin' normal. Square your shoulders when your seventeen year old daughter runs away with her lesbian soccer coach. You stood in silence. You made your choice.

As for me, the line cannot be moved nor the fence post reset. Societal health is too important to me. And openly embraced normalization of homosexuality within the American community is a societal ill which will destroy the fabric of our country. Where are the tears for our nation? Where are the Americans willing to take a stand and deny gay militants the right to redefine the marriage covenant?

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl

It has been nearly three years since a United States Army soldier went missing from his post in Afghanistan. His status officially moved from missing to captured when the Taliban released the first video of their newly acquired war trophy. Did we make missteps at the beginning point of Sergeant Bergdahl's captivity with regard to negotiating his release? I am not privy to the details.

But the negotiation for the release of prisoners is a complex process which falls under the rules of engagment for jihad, which is a right of Allah over man; hence stronger jurisprudential underpinnings.

Sufficient for introduction, is Qur'an 47:4a which reads as follows:

"Therefore, when you meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; at length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter, (is the time) for either generosity or ransom: until the war lays down its burdens...."

Generosity, and release of our soldier is not the realistic choice because the war has not laid down her burdens. We are left with the second choice, which appears to involve both money (booty) and a prisoner exchange. This manner of negotiation has precedence within the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad, who ransomed some of his men after the Battle of Badr, and on another occasion exchanged two of his own prisoners for one of his men.

The choices regarding prisoners are essentially four: death by a sharpened knife across the carotid arteries, captivity, ransom, or in rare cases, act of grace. But an act of grace is not currently applicable due to an abrogation of Qur'anic text which moved from allowances to release prisoners during time of war, to no allowances for mercy toward those in a captive status until the Muslims had subdued or regained the land. This abrogation of text came after the release of one POW came back to haunt the Muslims. The man returned as a combatant.

The demands placed (both monetary and prisoner exchange) for Sergeant Bergdahl are excessive, but the mechanics of negotiation remains dependent on how the Talib view the Afghanistan as an emirate of jihad. Stronger rules come into play when it is the rights of Allah over man as opposed to the rights of man over his fellow man. They will play by their rule book. Please also note, that treaties are only allowed from what is perceived as a position of strength.

Obamacare: An Inverse Ziggurat Model of Governance

It all comes down to tactical poetics. It is how we present our case.

The linguistic battle for increased federal dominance comes to Americans with a seductive call. The "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" has a soothing sound. But the political cadence is one of socialism. The case before the SCOTUS seeking to dismantle "Obamacare" is the latest legal battle being fought against an ideology which seeks to harm the common good.

We the people, in vast numbers, want to stop the advance of Marxist ideology which seeks to dismantle the scaffolding of our Republic. Marxism is an unworkable governance model. This ideological model remains front and center, with the current administration and our POTUS.

Were our traditional and founding governance cast as architectural model, our Founding Fathers surely envisioned a zigurrat. The word is derived from "ziqqurratu" which means to build on a raised area, a rising edifice. These ancient structures, which can be found from the Mesopotamian valley, to Qatar to Thanksgiving Square in Dallas, resemble terraced pyramids of successively receding levels. The Spiral Mosque in Doha, is architecturally beautiful and representative of the zigurrat, should you care to see a visual representation.

Our government was fashioned to be infused with the passion of the people - governance by mutual consent. For this to work properly, the widest base of power belongs to the community, city and state. The healthiest of policies are those which are generated and sustained by local and regional initiatives. The federal branch should not dominate local governance nor business practices and the social mores of the individual states.

Our Republic now resembles the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, an architectural design of Frank Lloyd Wright. The power to govern is consolidated at the top. And that power is most clearly seen in the passage of Obamacare. It is a healthcare measure which is laden with pitfalls for the average American. But it provides a bulwark of promise for expanding the reach and hardening the grip of the federal branch into the lives of American citizens. The law as it stands, also provides an escape hatch for the political elite. They are not bound by the draconian dictates of the law. These "generous" men and women who voted for Obamacare are not penalized for neglecting to buy into this slithering mass of healthcare chaos. You and I will be penalized. But the elite political left? They are modern day Romanovs, with diamonds sewn into their petticoats.

These Romanovesque comrades, consider it their right to exercise expansive power and authority against "We the People". The SCOTUS must strike down Obamacare for all of the right reasons. It is an inverse ziggurat. It will overshadow our livelihood and personal choices in a manner which was never envisioned by the signatories of the Constitution of the United States of America.