The Week That Was Featured Murder, Mail, Muslim Brotherhood

I’ve been busy since my last weekly recap.  Among the topics covered were a murder mystery, a mail system malfunction and a Muslim Brotherhood infiltration.

The United States Marine Corps Color Guard, Silent Drill Platoon and Ceremonial Marchers executes movements on the parade deck during the first Marine Barracks Washington evening parade of the season May 1, 2009. Host for the event was Col. Andrew Smith, Marine Barracks Washington Commanding Officer, and Guest of Honor, the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Conway and wife Annette. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Richard A. Bliss/Released)

The United States Marine Corps Color Guard, Silent Drill Platoon and Ceremonial Marchers executes movements on the parade deck during the first Marine Barracks Washington evening parade of the season May 1, 2009. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Richard A. Bliss)

On Saturday, Feb. 22, I gave readers a frightening look inside Barack Obama’s head, courtesy of guest writer Paul. R. Hollrah.  Fair warning:  Words like “ego” and “incognito” appear in this piece along with a story about some top-flight Marines.  Read it here.

On Monday, I shared a counterintelligence expert’s opinion about a report by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about the D.C. Navy Yard shootings five months earlier.  In short, the expert said a business-as-usual approach is harmful to national security.  Read about it here.

On Tuesday, I published my opinion about the hard-to-miss similarities between the sexual assault prosecutions of Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair and Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, the man whose wrongful conviction is chronicled in my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August.  Read about it here.

On Thursday, I revealed photograph evidence proving the U.S. Postal Service is doomed to fail.  I challenge you to reach any other conclusion after considering the photos in this piece.

On Saturday, I offered two important stories that had crossed my radar.

Click on image above to read the six-part series, What Really Happened to Jarret Clark?

Click on image above to read the six-part series, What Really Happened to Jarret Clark?

In the first article, I shared good news more than four years after publishing a six-part investigative series, What Really Happened to Jarret Clark?  An arrest has finally been made in the 2006 murder of the 18-year-old resident of Broken Arrow, Okla.  Read about it here.

In the second article, I explained why, as the man who wrote the book on “insider threats,” I was not surprised by retired Army Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin’s claim that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the highest levels of our government — including the Pentagon!  Read this article here.

When I wasn’t busy writing the pieces above, I had my nose to the grindstone, banging out my first realistic-fiction novel.  FYI:  I’m on the homestretch now, and hope to finish this thing and get it on sale by SUMMER 2014.  Hope you’ll add it to your reading list after you read my first two nonfiction novels ON SALE NOW.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Postal Service Loses $8.5 Billion

The U.S. Postal Service’s just-released 2009 Annual Report contains some hard-to-swallow numbers about the agency’s efficiency, effectiveness and long-term viability.  Most disturbing among them is the number reflecting net losses during fiscal year 2010:  $8.5 billion.

The USPS only lost $3.8 billion the previous year despite, according to a Nov. 16, 2009, news release, implementing cost-cutting efforts that resulted in $6 billion in cost savings and a $4 billion reduction in required payments for retiree health benefits.

Makes one wonder how well government-run health care (a.k.a., “ObamaCare”) will work — or not work as the case will likely be.

Postal Service Changes Raise Cash, Fight Hunger

The U.S. Postal Service expects to save more than $100 million annually through a series of cost-cutting steps, but a handful of other steps reportedly being taken by the agency during its economic crisis will raise both cash and eyebrows.

Eighty district offices will be closed, according to a recent news release.  In addition, more than 1,400 mail processing supervisor and management positions at nearly 400 facilities around the country are being eliminated and nearly 150,000 employees nationwide are being given the opportunity to take an early retirement.

According to an unidentified agency source, however, the agency is taking three other steps as follows:

  • The Postal Service will soon begin replacing its familiar red, white and blue outdoor mail receptacles with new coin-operated mailboxes.  In addition to paying for stamps, Postal Service customers will be required to deposit 25 cents into a slot in order to deposit a letter at a mailing location other than their home mailbox. So as not to confuse customers who wait until the last day to mail their tax returns, this program will not begin until April 16 and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2009.
  • In order to lower printing and production costs and boost affinity program revenues, the Postal Service will no longer offer self-adhesive stamps or stamps pretreated with nasty-tasting moisture-activated adhesives.  Instead, customers will be able to choose from a variety of “Flavor-Lick” and “Fresh-Scent Spray” adhesives that capitalize upon unique marketing arrangements with several name-brand companies.  To date, the list of companies said to be partnering with the Postal Service on the “Flavor-Lick” initiative includes — but is not limited to — Coca-Cola®, Listerine® and Red Bull®.  A partial list of the companies said to be participating in the Fresh-Scent Spray” initiative includes — but is not limited to — Dolce&Gabbana®, Glade® and Yankee Candle®.
  • In an effort to help reduce world hunger, the Postal Service plans to phase out traditional wood-based paper envelopes.  In place of them, the agency will offer only envelopes made of rice paper after July 1.  Furthermore, the Postal Service has notified envelope manufacturers and customers alike that the agency will no longer deliver envelopes not made of rice paper after Dec. 31, 2009.

If the measures above are successful, many government watchdog agencies expect the Postal Service to implement several other ideas, many of which were reportedly submitted by third graders.

‘Help Stamp Out Hunger’ Tomorrow

Most people can agree that, on at least one day each year, members of the National Association of Letter Carriers in more than 10,000 communities across America do something right — that is, they join forces to help stamp out hunger by sponsoring the NALC National Food Drive.

The effort this year takes place tomorrow, and I encourage BMW readers like you to do all you can to support this effort during a time when skyrocketing food and fuel prices are impacting more families than usual.

To learn more about the drive and find out how you can help, click here or click on one of the widget links above.