Strengthening The Military Industrial Complex

On Monday, The Daily Update posted an article about the purchase of a used icebreaker.

The article reports:

Russia has 40 icebreakers, and China is bolstering its fleet to fulfill President Xi Jinping’s hopes of becoming a “polar great power.” With only two ships – the heavy Polar Star and the medium Healy, both of which are nearly half a century old and 10 years past their prime – the US is playing catch up. The States are building more ships but need something in the interim, so the Coast Guard is on the verge of acquiring a vessel from private energy company Edison Chouest Offshore for roughly $125 to $150 million:  

The Coast Guard needs colossal icebreakers because they’re the only way to approach foreign crafts in frozen waters, conduct search-and-rescue operations or launch pollution-control efforts. The Department of Defense also said there are plenty of opportunities for establishing commercial fishing and oil campaigns in the Arctic.
Last month, the White House released a 10-year strategic plan to strengthen its homeland defense and deter Russian and Chinese activity in the region. Vladimir Putin’s war with Ukraine has also inflamed tensions, making “government-to-government cooperation with Russia in the Arctic virtually impossible,” the report says.

The article notes the following:

From 2011 to 2020, the number of small and large businesses receiving DoD contracts plummeted 43% and 7.3%, respectively. As opposed to having a wide pool to shop from, the US military now begrudgingly relies on a few “Walmarts of war” as University of California Professor Daniel Wirls put it. Don’t expect any blue light specials on Javelin anti-tank missiles. 

The government has created a monopoly of a few companies that are supplying weapons and other goods to the Department of Defense. This is not a good situation. Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex, and the Biden administration is strengthening that same military-industrial complex. Unfortunately, that is the same military-industrial complex that profits from endless wars that never seem to be over or won.

We Need To Protect The Veterans Administration

On Thursday, The Epoch Times reported the following:

GOP lawmakers attempted to block the Biden administration from diverting Veterans Affairs (VA) resources to address the border crisis.

A coalition of Republican senators introduced legislation (pdf) on April 26 to prioritize the needs of the nation’s veterans over illegal immigrants. The new bill would secure the VA funds from providing “emergency assistance at the southern border of the United States resulting from the repeal of certain public health orders, and for other purposes.”

It comes as the administration is preparing an interagency response to an expected surge at the southern border as it plans to end a Trump-era immigration policy, known as Title 42, in late May.

Since being invoked in March 2020, the public health order has quickly expelled a majority of asylum seekers at the border, in a bid to minimize non-essential travel and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at U.S. borders. Its termination was announced on April 1 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas confirmed that his department is planning to reallocate resources, doctors, and nurses from the VA system.

The article concludes:

Last week, Boozman (Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.), lead Republican appropriator for VA funding and a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee) sent a joint letter to President Joe Biden, demanding not to divert VA health-care personnel away from helping American veterans and prioritize illegal immigrants, calling it a misuse of the Fourth Mission—the primary medical backup to the Department of Defense during times of national emergencies.

The Fourth Mission isn’t “a tool to clean up the mess from a foreseeable and avoidable crisis, especially while the VA is already experiencing record-high turnover rates and issues of workforce resiliency amongst its health care employees,” senators warned.

The VA is also experiencing a 15-year high turnover rate with its nursing staff and increased vacancies for a wide variety of health care professionals, Boozman notes.

This makes my blood boil. We owe everything to our veterans and nothing to illegal aliens. In 2019, there were 6,261 Veteran suicide deaths. How many of those deaths could have been prevented by better care through the Veterans Administration? The thankless attitude of the Biden administration toward our military is a disgrace.

The Corruption Only Gets Worse

We all know about Hunter Biden’s laptop and the scandal surrounding the reporting of the laptop and its contents. Many of us have suspicions about the amazing prices people are paying for Hunter Biden’s artwork. But there is a new Hunter Biden scandal being exposed by The U.K. Daily Mail.

In an exclusive report, The U.K. Daily Mail reports:

  • The Russian government held a press conference Thursday claiming that Hunter Biden helped finance a US military ‘bioweapons’ research program in Ukraine
  • However the allegations were branded a brazen propaganda ploy to justify president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and sow discord in the US
  • But emails and correspondence obtained by DailyMail.com from Hunter’s abandoned laptop show the claims may well be true
  • The emails show Hunter helped secure millions of dollars of funding for Metabiota, a Department of Defense contractor specializing in research on pandemic-causing diseases
  • He also introduced Metabiota to an allegedly corrupt Ukrainian gas firm, Burisma, for a ‘science project’ involving high biosecurity level labs in Ukraine 
  • The president’s son and his colleagues invested $500,000 in Metabiota through their firm Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners 
  • They raised several million dollars of funding for the company from investment giants including Goldman Sachs 

The article also notes:

But emails from Hunter’s abandoned laptop show he helped secure millions of dollars of funding for Metabiota, a Department of Defense contractor specializing in research on pandemic-causing diseases that could be used as bioweapons.

The article includes screenshots of various emails to Hunter Biden regarding the business deals involved.

The article concludes:

In another sign of the deep ties between Metabiota and the Department of Defense, Hunter’s RSTP business partner Rob Walker said he would ‘have a friend reach out to DoD on the down low’, in order to prove the company’s bona fides to top prospective investors Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley in October 2014.

RSTP was a subsidiary of Rosemont Capital, an investment company founded by Hunter and former Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson Chris Heinz in 2009.

Metabiota also has close ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), suspected to be the source of the COVID-19 outbreak.

WIV was a hotspot for controversial ‘gain of function’ research that can create super-strength viruses.

Chinese scientists performed gain of function research on coronaviruses at the WIV, working alongside a US-backed organization EcoHealth Alliance that has since drawn intense scrutiny over its coronavirus research since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers from the Wuhan institute, Metabiota and EcoHealth Alliance published a study together in 2014 on infectious diseases from bats in China, which notes that tests were performed at the WIV.

Shi Zhengli, the WIV Director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases who became dubbed the ‘bat lady’ for her central role in bat coronavirus research at the lab, was a contributor to the paper.

Metabiota has been an official partner of EcoHealth Alliance since 2014, according to its website.

I wonder when the American media will cover this story.

Another Voice In The Current Scandal

The Red State Observer reported yesterday that former acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, who was in charge of the Pentagon during the time General Milley made his calls to Chine, has stated that he never authorized those calls.

The article reports:

In a statement to Fox News, Miller said that the United States Armed Forces, from its inception, has “operated under the inviolable principle of civilian control of the military.”

“The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the highest-ranking military officer whose sole role is providing military-specific advice to the president, and by law is prohibited from exercising executive authority to command forces,” Miller said. “The chain of command runs from the President to the Secretary of Defense, not through the Chairman.”

…The book (“Peril,” co-written by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa) claims Milley contacted Li after he had reviewed intelligence that suggested Chinese officials believed the United States was planning an attack on China amid military exercises in the South China Sea. The authors of the book also claim Milley contacted Li a second time to reassure him that the U. S. would not make any type of advances or attack China in any form, as Milley promised, “We are 100% steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”

But Fox News spoke with multiple individuals who were in the room during the two phone calls Milley had with Li. The calls, in October, were coordinated with then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s office.

“They were not secret,” a U. S. official told Fox News about the calls, which took place over video teleconference.

The article continues:

Fox News has learned there were about 15 people present for the calls. Sources told Fox News that there were multiple notetakers present, and said the calls were both conducted with full knowledge of then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper and then-acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller – something Miller denied.

“If the reporting in Woodward’s book is accurate, it represents a disgraceful and unprecedented act of insubordination by the Nation’s top military officer,” Miller said, adding that if the story of Milley’s “histrionic outbursts and unsanctioned, anti-Constitutional involvement in foreign policy prove true, he must resign immediately or be fired by the Secretary of Defense to guarantee the sanctity of the officer corps.”

“Pursuit of partisan politics and individual self-interests are a violation of an officer’s sacred duty and have no place in the United States military,” Miller said, adding that “a lesser ranking officer accused of such behavior would immediately be relieved of duty pending a thorough and independent investigation.”

“As secretary of defense, I did not and would not ever authorize such conduct,” Miller said.

I should note here that sources in the Defense Department (and our military) are not always reliable.

The article notes:

And former chief of staff for the Department of Defense Kash Patel told Fox News that “the law governing the Joint Chiefs of Staff specifically forbids the chairman from exercising any operational command authority.”

“Congress put this in the statute because the U. S. military is to be led by a civilian, the commander-in-chief,” Patel continued. “Furthermore, by law, the national command authority goes from the president to the secretary of Defense to include anything relating troop deployments, operations in theaters of war, and nuclear command.”

Patel added that if the calls with China are true, Milley “has violated the law regarding operational authority.”

Stay tuned.

A Friend Of Mine Who Previously Worked For The Government Sent Me This

If you ever wondered why our government always seems to spend more than it takes in, this might explain a few things:

Once an Agency within the Intelligence Community started a research program to learn some techniques for processing.  There are three types of research programs a) 6-1:  essentially do research no one has done before and invent new technology b) 6-2: take research from 6-1 or other 6-2 projects and apply it but do it in a manner so that it doesn’t live on – this means don’t build in a lot of the infrastructure required to sustain it for 10 or more years – achieve the learning objective and that is it and c) 6-3: take research from 6-1, 6-2, or other 6-3, or some combination and build a system expected to go operational and be sustained in use for a period of time. 

This Agency chose to do a 6-2 research program.  It was interesting and they learned a lot.  At the time I and my technical director were putting together an architecture for an area that served both the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.  We were directed to include this project in the architecture.  We spent time looking at it and traveling to see it and traveling to talk to people who worked on it.  Our input was we already have an operational system that does everything this does and more – it is not needed.  It got to be really hotly contested but I and my technical director would not budge.  One day the general called me into his office and said I had to include in the architecture – the Senate was insisting on it.  (side note:  an architecture is a documentation of what and why something is happening – it consists of inputs, outputs, constraints, and mechanisms where the mechanisms are how things are done and by whom).  So the next day I brought my drawings to him with the effort in the drawings.  He looked at me and got red and said “I said to include it”.  I replied “I did, see that box over here?”  He said “the box isn’t connected to anything – where are the inputs, outputs, constraints”?  I said, “Well sir, the Senate hasn’t told me that yet and I am unable to figure it out – perhaps you could ask them for this information and I’ll include it.”  Fortunately for me – the general I worked for was a great man – he roared with laughter  He rolled everything up and left.  I got chewed out for sending him into the lion’s den and that what I did was wrong.  The general came back to the office a few days later.  Said I opened a can of worms.  Turns out two contractor’s got fired from their companies and it was found that they were making this into a money deal for the companies – the companies got off with a verbal slap and firing the two contractors – who permanently lost clearances with the US intelligence community.  I smiled.  The BG said “well, done”.  The other people who yelled at me are still wondering to this day what happened.  We saved the government about $100M with that little stunt.  This is yet another reason I never made senior.

She should have been promoted on the spot!

Countering Fake News

Unfortunately many in the media have decided to use the coronavirus pandemic to bash President Trump rather than to help deal with the problems created by the crisis. That has caused some government agencies to periodically make statements calling attention to the false reporting that is going on. Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about one such event.

The article reports:

The Department of Defense issued a rare denial to an anonymously sourced media report claiming that military intelligence allegedly warned about the CCP virus pandemic as early as November 2019.

ABC News cited anonymous officials on April 8 to claim that the National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI) released a report in November 2019 that detailed concerns about a potential outbreak. The NCMI issued a statement in response to the article saying the report doesn’t exist.

“As a matter of practice, the National Center for Medical Intelligence does not comment publicly on specific intelligence matters. However, in the interest of transparency during this current public health crisis, we can confirm that media reporting about the existence/release of a National Center for Medical Intelligence Coronavirus-related product/assessment in November of 2019 is not correct. No such NCMI product exists,” Shane Day, director of the NCMI, said in a statement.

The article also notes:

Trump banned travel to China on Jan. 31, ten days after the United States confirmed its first case of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

Sam Faddis, a former CIA operations officer, told The Epoch Times that the idea that the highest levels of the U.S. government were repeatedly warned about a pandemic and “collectively” ignored it is “ridiculous.”

I wonder how many people who saw the initial charge saw the response from the Intelligence Community that it was false. Somehow I don’t think the mainstream media made that a major story. Therein lies the problem. The segment of our population that relies on the mainstream media has been fed a bunch of lies about how President Trump has handled this crisis. This makes them less likely to listen to him in the crisis. That seriously undermines our government and creates divisions which make it harder for Americans to work together. The mainstream media is largely responsible for knowingly tearing at the fabric of our society. It is truly a shame that they cannot be trusted to report events honestly.

 

About That Money In Politics Thing…

The Washington Free Beacon is reporting today that The Open Society Policy Center (OSPC), an advocacy group funded by billionaire George Soros, has now pushed more than $70 million into lobbying efforts since Donald Trump took office.

The article reports:

Soros’s policy group, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that focuses on domestic and international advocacy, pushed $72 million into lobbying since January 2017. The amount that OSPC has put toward advocacy efforts over the last two-and-a-half years is a drastic uptick over what the group had spent in the prior 14 years combined.

From 2002 to 2016, OSPC reported spending a total of $56.65 million, which averages out to $4 million per year with most of this money going toward efforts over a four-year period from 2012 to 2016. Since Trump was sworn into office, the group has averaged $25 million per year in lobbying-related expenditures.

Soros’s group has both in-house lobbyists and provides grants to other liberal organizations for their own lobbying activities. The group reported spending $15.89 million throughout the third quarter, its filings show. The money in part went to its own lobbyists pushing issues on Capitol Hill in relation to the 2020 Senate Department of Defense Appropriations Act, National Defense Authorization Act and State and Foreign Operations Appropriations, and issues pertaining to the Arms Export Control Act and War Powers Act. OSPC lobbied both the House of Representatives and Senate over the last three months.

OSPC has now spent $24.41 million this year, an amount that is in line with its record from last year. Throughout 2018, the group dropped $31.5 million into lobbying and was among the top three lobbyist spenders ahead of the likes of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Alphabet Inc., Boeing, Comcast, and Amazon, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Its 2018 advocacy money was increased by $15.3 million over the $16.2 million the group had spent in 2017, its previous record year.

So what is this about? George Soros is a globalist. His goal is a one-world government with him as one of the major power brokers. The biggest obstacle to that goal is a free America led by President Trump. George Soros has been successful in the past in collapsing the economy and creating chaos in various countries. Some countries have outlawed George Soros and his business interests from being in their countries. Unfortunately George Soros is an American citizen, so it might be difficult to do that in America. At any rate, George Soros does not wish good things for America and needs to be watched carefully.

Sometimes It’s Hard To Figure Out Who Your Friends Actually Are

There has been a civil war going on in Libya since 2014. When Muammar Gaddafi was killed in 2011, there was a revolution for less than a year, and a government was established. A new government was elected in 2014, but there were controversies surrounding that election. There has been a civil war in Libya ever since.

On June 28th, The New York Times reported the following:

Libyan government fighters discovered a cache of powerful American missiles, usually sold only to close American allies, at a captured rebel base in the mountains south of Tripoli this week.

The article notes that America supports the current government of Libya. Gen. Khalifa Hifter and his forces are waging a military campaign to overthrow the current government and take over Libya. So where did the American weapons, to be used against a government America supports, come from?

The article notes:

Markings on the missiles’ shipping containers indicate that they were originally sold to the United Arab Emirates, an important American partner, in 2008.

If the Emirates transferred the weapons to General Hifter, it would likely violate the sales agreement with the United States as well as a United Nations arms embargo.

Both the State Department and Defense Department are investigating how the weapons wound up in Libya.

The article continues:

“We take all allegations of misuse of U.S. origin defense articles very seriously,” a State Department official said in a statement. “We are aware of these reports and are seeking additional information. We expect all recipients of U.S. origin defense equipment to abide by their end-use obligations.”

The United States supports United Nations-led efforts to broker a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis, the official added.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Defense declined to comment further on the matter.

The United Arab Emirates ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, declined to answer questions about the provenance of the missiles.

Finally, the article notes some interesting contradictions in those who support of the current regime and the rebels:

When General Hifter started his assault on Tripoli on April 4, in the face of much international opposition, the Emiratis continued to support him. They supplied a Russian-made surface-to-air missile system, Chinese-made Wing Loong combat drones and Emirati drones, said a senior Western official with knowledge of the arms trade.

Jordan, another American ally to side with General Hifter, sent a Jordanian-made anti-tank system known as Nashshab, the official said.

Turkey, a regional rival of the United Arab Emirates, intervened on the other side of the fight, sending combat drones and armored vehicles to help the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli.

The United States supports the Tripoli government, which it helped install. However, President Trump appeared to endorse General Hifter and his military drive after the two men spoke by telephone in April, hailing his “significant role in fighting terrorism.”

Other American officials later rowed back that position by stressing American support for the United Nations-led political process.

The foreign interventions, which flout a United Nations embargo on all arms sales to Libya, highlight how the conflict set off by the ouster of Libya’s longtime dictator, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, in 2011 has partly devolved into a proxy conflict between rival regional powers.

I would just like to note that civil wars are nasty, and it is foolish for outsiders to get involved in them. It really doesn’t sound as if the current government in Libya is the one we should be supporting.

If President Trump Did Nothing Else, This Makes Him A Great President

For years national security experts have been warning of the dangers of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. A nuclear warhead exploded at a precise altitude in the middle of America could totally disable our electric grid. Car engines with electronic fuel injection would no longer run (older cars could simply replace their spark plugs and a few other parts and carry on). One well-placed EMP attack could instantly bring Americans back to the early 19th Century. The phenomena of EMP was discovered in the 1940’s and 1950’s during the nuclear testing the United States did on Bikini Atoll. When an atomic bomb was set off on the Atoll, it scrambled all of the traffic lights in Hawaii. That was an early example of the impact of an EMP.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about a recent Presidential Executive Order.

The article reports:

In the first step of its kind, President Trump has signed an executive order calling for a government wide war on EMP, the types of electromagnetic pulses that can wipe out every computer, electric grid, and jet.

In joining the voices of those warning of EMP attacks, Trump called on his government to quickly generate a plan to detect EMP, protect critical infrastructure like water and electric sources, and also to recover if a hit lands.

This is part of the Executive Order:

(b) The Secretary of Defense shall:

(i) in cooperation with the heads of relevant agencies and with United States allies, international partners, and private-sector entities as appropriate, improve and develop the ability to rapidly characterize, attribute, and provide warning of EMPs, including effects on space systems of interest to the United States;
***

(iii) conduct R&D and testing to understand the effects of EMPs on Department of Defense systems and infrastructure, improve capabilities to model and simulate the environments and effects of EMPs, and develop technologies to protect Department of Defense systems and infrastructure from the effects of EMPs to ensure the successful execution of Department of Defense missions;
***
(vi) incorporate attacks that include EMPs as a factor in defense planning scenarios; and

(vii) defend the Nation from adversarial EMPs originating outside of the United States through defense and deterrence, consistent with the mission and national security policy of the Department of Defense.

In 2014 Natural News reported:

Meanwhile Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., has been working to raise concern about the issue (EMP attack) for years. He said during the first panel testimony that “catastrophic civilian casualties” could occur unless Congress acts.

…Franks has introduced H.R. 3410, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, which would enable the Department of Homeland Security to adopt measures necessary to protect the power grid.

Dr. Michael J. Frankel, a senior scientist at Pennsylvania State University, said Franks’ bill is a “necessary first step” for the defense of the electric grid, WFB reported. Currently, the measure has 19 co-sponsors.

Dr. Peter Pry, a member of the Congressional EMP Commission and executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, said during testimony that the issue is urgent because an EMP event could wide out nine-tenths of the nation’s population.

“Natural EMP from a geomagnetic super-storm, like the1859 Carrington Event or 1921 Railroad Storm, and nuclear EMP attack from terrorists or rogue states, as practiced by North Korea during the nuclear crisis of 2013, are both existential threats that could kill 9 of 10 Americans through starvation, disease, and societal collapse,” he said.

That was almost five years ago. It seems as if an Executive Order may be the only way to protect Americans–Congress does not seem capable of the job.

The Coast Guard Will Get Paid

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported the following:

Concerned about U.S. Coast Guard forces losing a paycheck in the partial government shutdown, President Trump personally urged his team to find a solution that would allow the administration to make this week’s $75 million payroll, according to officials.

Trump stepped in on Wednesday, calling on top lawyers and staffers to determine if the Coast Guard could make payroll despite being included in the shutdown that has impacted about 25 percent of the government, including the Department of Homeland Security, which houses the Coast Guard.

Military personnel under the Department of Defense are not included in the shutdown, because their appropriations were approved earlier in Congress.

Officials said that Trump was keen to find a “way we can fix this” as news media stories about the Coast Guardsmen’s plight started to pile up.

At his urging, the Office of Management and Budget, DHS and the Coast Guard determined that the rules governing pay to Coast Guard forces requires it be made through the end of the year. To make it, the lawyers said that unused funding could be tapped for pay. The service had a bit more than the needed $75 million left over from its past continuing resolution appropriation, enough to make this month’s last payroll check.

“The president is trying to make the shutdown as painless as possible for workers, and this case proved it,” said an official.

Remember that only 1/4 of the government is shut down because President Trump had the forethought to get the rest of the budget passed previously. The Democrats (who in the past voted for a fence (a.k.a. wall) have changed their minds and shut down the government because President Trump wants a wall. At least President Trump is attempting to make the shutdown as painless as possible while Representative Nancy Pelosi (who should be in Washington negotiating) vacations in Hawaii.

Sanity Occasionally Happens In Government

On Monday, The Daily Caller Reported that the Department of Defense has cut its ties with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Previously the SPLC was regarded as a source when identifying hate groups. Unfortunately, the SPLC has degenerated into a liberal mouthpiece citing any conservative group that supports traditional values as a hate group.

The article reports:

Brian J. Field, assistant U.S. attorney from the Civil Division, stated that the Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity removed any and all references to the SPLC in training materials used by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), in an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation from the Department of Justice.

The DEOMI is a DOD school founded to fight segregation and inequality that teaches courses in racial, gender and religious equality, among other subject areas like equal opportunity and pluralism. The courses are available to DOD civilians and service members.

The article concludes:

The Pentagon’s decision to terminate its relationship with the SPLC comes at a time when the group has under major fire from conservative organizations, particularly in the form of lawsuits. D. James Kennedy Ministries, a Christian ministry from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., recently sued the SPLC after being labeled a hate group. The SPLC has also faced criticism from liberals. In late August, anti-Muslim extremism activist and feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali argued in The New York Times that “the S.P.L.C. is an organization that has lost its way, smearing people who are fighting for liberty and turning a blind eye to an ideology and political movement that has much in common with Nazism.”

For Ali, corporations and donors in Hollywood “need to find more trustworthy and deserving partners to work with than the SPLC.”

Notably, the Pentagon is not the only federal agency to drop the SPLC.

In February, The Daily Caller News Foundation published an exclusive piece indicating that the FBI, which formerly used the SPLC as a “hate crimes resource,” has also been distancing itself from the group.

It would be nice to have an unbiased source to keep track of hate groups, but I am not convinced that is possible. We have had the obvious hate groups with us for a long time–white supremacists, black panthers, and others. It is time simply to marginalize these groups and begin to unite as a country. Hopefully this is possible.