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Sandy Shanks

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I am the author of two novels, "The Bode Testament" and "Impeachment." I am also a columnist who keeps a wary eye on other columnists and the failures of the MSM (mainstream media).

I was born in Minnesota, and, to this day, I love the Vikings and the Twins. I am currently retired and reside with my wife of 45 years in Southern California. I am a former educator and a Marine officer [ret.].

I am a self-described amateur historian, the love of the topic going back to my sophomore days in high school. I am probably the only high schooler in the U.S. to read the 1600-page "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." I also consider myself somewhat of a specialist on the Middle East. The vast bulk of my articles concern the topic.

Not unlike many I was devastated by the attacks on 9/11. So devastated, in fact, that I was determined to fight back, following in the fine tradition of the Marine Corps. But how? What could a 58-year old retired Marine officer do in terms of fighting back. The answer was quite simple. Using the writing skills I learned while writing two books, I chose as my weapon what can euphemistically be called the pen, actually a word processor.

I was determined to become a columnist to offer my sage advice while recalling recent history that I know for a fact that Americans had long since forgotten. I am here to remind them.

Fortunately, achieving the goal of becoming a columnist did not take too long. I became a columnist for a Midwest newspaper in Nov. 2001. As an added bonus, all of my articles were placed on the Internet. I have been a columnist ever since, meaning for nine years.

OpEdNews Member for 717 week(s) and 6 day(s)

83 Articles, 0 Quick Links, 114 Comments, 0 Diaries, 0 Polls

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(6 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 9, 2011
The Growing Powers of the Executive Branch This article is intended to put the fear of God in every American. The Framers of our Constitution had one overriding concern, that this new country would replace a despised English king with a new American one simply with a new title " President.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, May 28, 2011
The National Debt and the Mystifying Conundrum Currently, for every dollar our federal government spends it must borrow 40 cents. Much like any household, business, or corporation this is unsustainable, even for the U.S. If this continues for much longer, our great country as we know it will disappear, and the Grand Experiment for liberty and justice for all that has lasted so long will end and be relegated to the dustbin of history.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, May 1, 2011
It Is Time to Leave Pardon me; it is way past time to leave. There comes a point where enough is enough. While Congress and the President are debating endlessly over raising the debt limit on our huge national debt, they are ignoring two elephants in the Oval Office, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, April 24, 2011
Writer Misrepresented the War Powers Resolution on OEN He stated, "The War Powers Resolution, enacted in the late stages of the Vietnam War over a veto by President Richard Nixon, requires the commander-in-chief to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action that he or she determines is necessary in the face of "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.'" That is not true.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, April 11, 2011
Just a Reminder So, it is with wonder why the MSN and Americans are fixated with the turmoil in the Mideast. Perhaps, events in Iraq and Afghanistan have become boring. However, the fact remains that American troops are not dying in Libya, Syria, Bahrain, or Yemen. They are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. One can compare this to two elephants in a living room that Americans and their press choose to ignore.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I Am Coming Out of the Closet This is the confession of a wayward moderate conservative, a man who has lost his way. A man who is no longer represented by the GOP today. The Republican Party today is Draconian, throwing the middle class, the elderly, and the defenseless to the wolves, meaning corporate elites.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Iraq: The War Americans Forgot Breaking news, we are at war in Iraq. To be perfectly honest, I do not think Americans have forgotten this war. There is some vague memory of how 50,000 American troops are still stuck in this hostile environment of IED's and suicide bombers that still kill. Unfortunately, concerned Americans are not being informed of events there by the MSN or our political and military leadership. We are being left completely in the dark.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, January 20, 2011
Afghanistan -" The Real Foreign Policy, Not the Public One I have been such a fool. I believed the rhetoric of two Presidents, Bush and Obama, as to why we are fighting in Afghanistan. It is quite apparent that the reasons given by these two Presidents are disingenuous, but they were strictly for public consumption, in other words, us dumb folk. They in no way convey to the American people official foreign policy for the region.
(10 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, December 25, 2010
Decision Points: The Review The danger is, because he is a former President, the average American reader who cannot remember history made last week will absorb his musings without question. Truly, that is a great danger.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, November 12, 2010
Why? Like many, I have been carefully following the war in Afghanistan since its inception in Oct. 2001. Unlike many, I have devoted countless hours of research on this lengthy war. Unlike many, I have written a myriad of articles on the subject over the years. It can be reasonably argued that I know a great deal about this war. But there is one thing I do not know. In Heaven's name, why are we fighting it?
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, November 1, 2010
The Federal Government's Building Boom ... In Afghanistan For quite some time now I have been writing a series of articles on Afghanistan; each article prompted by some new development or developments. There is one prevailing theme in all these articles. We seem to be going from bad to worse. Put a different way, the U.S. was closer to victory in Nov. and Dec. 2001 than we are today, over nine years later. That should give every reader a moment of pause.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, October 21, 2010
New Insights Into An Old War Earlier this month the U.S. entered the tenth year of the war in Afghanistan. Does anyone still care? Will the war be even a minor election issue, or not. From this perch it looks like not. For those who still do care this article is designed to provide new insights into the war. As the reader is accustomed, they are not welcome insights. Good news is far beyond our reach.
(8 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, October 4, 2010
The Effectiveness of the Democratic Party ... Or Lack Thereof I am at a loss in trying to understand the Democratic Party, while being a self-described conservative independent. One might say I saw the light while supporting the Democratic candidate for the Presidency in 2004 and 2008, but that would be an unwarranted assumption. A better description would be a confused voter, not unlike millions in the last two Presidential elections.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, September 11, 2010
Turn the Page The war in Iraq is over, well, maybe. On Aug. 31st our President did not exactly say that. He said, "the Iraq war was nearing an end," whatever that is supposed to mean. Well, he did say all combat troops have left Iraq. No, that is not right. Combat brigades merely changed their names to Advise and Assist brigades.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, August 26, 2010
The War in Iraq and Other Pesky Issues The Marines have a joke. Actually, they have a tremendous sense of humor because this elite force can afford to joke about itself. In this case, I am referring to the phrase, "Withdrawal is an advance to the rear." But it is only a joke. It appears, however, that our President is taking the notion seriously.
(11 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The Trilogy of Despair as Bin Laden Dances in His Cave Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, in no particular order of importance, are an obvious threat to both our national security and our economy, and most Americans, thanks to the MSM, remain oblivious. With a half-hearted attack on Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires, followed by an invasion of Iraq President Bush fulfilled Osama bin Laden's wildest dreams. Osama is dancing in his cave.
(10 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, August 1, 2010
Expanded Presidential "War" Power: a Time-Bomb Threatening Our Democracy After expanding presidential powers through laws and Homeland Security directives such as The Military Commissions Act, Defense Authorization Acts passed in 2006 and 2007, the US was left with ticking time bombs. With Obama clinging to these expanded powers and US courts unable to rule as they lay latent, the country is left with the potential for explosive harm to the idea of American democracy.
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, July 10, 2010
What Exactly Is COIN? Since Defense Department figures show that COIN is costing American taxpayers approximately $5B/month in Iraq and Afghanistan, it behooves Americans to have intimate knowledge of what COIN is. Well, first of all, it is a misnomer. Second, it is an unproven strategic theory. And three, so far its use as an American strategic principle has proven to be a dismal failure in three wars, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, June 26, 2010
The Afghan War, Ninth Year: It Is Not Good Given the rich history of the United States in combat, beginning with the Revolutionary War and extending to the present, it should be a given that after 8 1/2 years of war in Afghanistan one should be able assume that there is some progress. Such is not the case. On the contrary our efforts have become counter-productive.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, May 22, 2010
Warning: The MSN Is Not Completely Forthcoming I know this will come as a shock to those who rely entirely on the Mainstream News media (MSN) for their news fix in the evening, but the media has a tendency to omit a few things. To those who fit into this category, I have some breaking news. We are at war.

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