Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."

JOURNEY TO AN UNKNOWN DESTINATION: In the Company of Great Americans

Beside Birddog at Vung Tau Apr 67

If you wonder why I haven’t posted anything on this blog recently, it’s because I’ve been writing my memoir for the past several months. It will still be a while before it’s published, because I’m having several people review the manuscript before I submit it to the Department of Defense for security review. Like everyone else in government who had a Top Secret security clearance, I signed a non disclosure agreement that requires me to submit any book that deals with what I did in government for review before I can publish it. Since many of you who know me or worked with me over the years are in the book, I want to keep you up to date as we move forward. To whet your interest, here’s the synopsis.

Synopsis

Life is a journey to an unknown destination, best traveled in the company of Great Americans. Ed Ross’ life is just such a story. This incredible no-holds-barred, first-person memoir reveals the good the bad and the evil of a 43-year career in the military and government, with stories of triumph, tragedy, murder, espionage, suicide, defection, terrorism, bureaucratic politics, sacrifice for love of country and associations with great Americans. It begins with a small child running free on the streets of Swissvale, Pennsylvania. Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1965, he becomes a highly decorated artillery observer with the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam, where he comes face to face with the reality of death. Recruited by U.S. Army Military Intelligence, he becomes a clandestine case officer and returns to Vietnam as a covert intelligence operative, running sensitive, deep-cover operations against the Viet Cong. Following his second tour in Vietnam he serves as the chief counter-intelligence/counter-espionage in the 500th Military Intelligence Group, Hawaii, responsible for the Asia-Pacific Theater of operations. Studying Chinese at the Defense Language Institute in Anacostia, Maryland, and the American Embassy School for Chinese Language and Area Studies in Taichung, Taiwan, becoming fluent and literate in Chinese, he receives his master’s degree at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and is assigned as a senior China analyst in the Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C., where he writes Defense and National Intelligence Estimates on China and Taiwan that help change the course of history. As a U.S. military attaché in the People’s Republic of China, he opens the door to U.S.-China defense relations. Medically retired from the U.S. Army in 1984 with life threatening end-stage renal disease, he receives a kidney transplant the following year and goes on to a 23-year career in Washington, D.C., as the Special Assistant for China in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he is the architect of U.S. arms sales to China and oversees sensitive U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. As Acting Deputy Assistant of Defense for POW/MOIA Affairs, he creates the Defense Prisoner of war Missing in Action Office and leads the Department of Defense through the intense scrutiny of the American people, the media and the Congress of the controversy over accounting for MIAs in Southeast Asia. As Principal Director for Operations in the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, he led at the nexus where grand strategy and amorphous bureaucracy converged to train and equip friends and allies around the world. A novelist and a columnist, he is a prolific writer.

Check back for updates.

Filed under: Books, China-Taiwan, Movies-TV, National Security, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UPDATE: “THE TRANSPLANTS” SEQUEL

chinese _chess

If you regularly follow this blog, you know I’m working on the sequel to “The Transplants,” my sci-fi, action adventure novel available at Amazon.com and all major eBook distributors. I had originally planned on having the sequel “The Transplants: Errant Dragons,” available for sale on line this month. However, I made a vow to myself that I wouldn’t publish the book unless it was better than the original, which took me almost three years to conceive, organize and write. About half way through I didn’t think I was headed in that direction, and I have gone back and am doing a major rewrite.

Think about it. How many sequels (books or movies) can you think of that were better than the original? Among the most successful movie sequels (James Bond, Star Trek and Star Wars) not every sequel made the grade. What made one better than another was the story, characters and the quality of the script. Add to that something new and original. The exception to that rule is probably the Jason Bourne trilogy. In all three books and movies the CIA is out to kill him and he is out to find out who he is and get to the source of the problem. It works because all three episodes are part of one big action-packed story.

In “The Transplants,” Rion and Sena arrive on earth from the planet Auria, pass themselves off as humans and cross two continents looking for each other while evading and escaping the U.S., Russian and Chinese governments. What’s different about “The Transplants: Errant Dragons” is that the tables are turned. These governments aren’t so much chasing them as they are after the Chinese government that abducted their children in a failed attempt to abduct them. And after ten years on Earth, the couple have become human psychologically and emotionally. On Auria, God, religion and faith were alien concepts to them. On earth they accept them, while not becoming overly religious.

If you have read “The Transplants,” I welcome your suggestions and recommendations on what you would like to see in the sequel. If you haven’t read it yet, you’ll find links to where you can purchase it at http://ewross.com/transplants.htm. For updates and blogs on a variety of topics you can subscribe to Ed’s Blog at the link to the right in the center column beneath the picture of Washington, D.C.

All the best, Ed

Filed under: Books, Uncategorized, , , , ,

WHY I WROTE “THE TRANSPLANTS”

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Numerous reviews of “The Transplants” and comments made to me individually by people who have read the book say the same thing. “I don’t read scifi books, but when I read “The Transplants” because someone recommended it to me the story and characters seized my attention and I couldn’t put the book down.”

I think that’s because the scifi aspects of the novel are only there as a vehicle to delve into deeper questions about the values and beliefs we live by, not to create a futuristic, space-traveling world of fantasy and yet undeveloped technology. Creating two characters, Rion and Sena, from another planet who come to earth and who look and behave much like us, sets up the dichotomy between the English-speaking world’s Judo-Christian heritage and something entirely different and uninfluenced by it.

Would space aliens that look like us share our human values. Would they believe in God? Would they share our code of moral ethics? Would they love each other as we love others?

I wrote “The Transplants” because I wanted to explore these questions while entertaining readers and motivating them to think about what they believe in and how they might react if they encountered Rion and Sena. Perhaps the passage from “The Transplants” that best exemplifies what I mean is Rion’s exchange with Father Harris, who doesn’t know who Rion really is.

“Thank you.” said Rion, as Ed handed him a bottle of beer. They both sat there quietly at first looking up at the sky. “Do you believe that intelligent life exists on these other planets?” Rion asked.

Ed thought on the question for before answering. “You know, I’m torn on that question.”

“Why is that?”

“I know there are probably billions of planets out there that could support life. Odds are there has to be intelligent life on other planets. On the other hand, the priest in me wants to believe that Earth is something special, and that God sent his only son to lead us to salvation. If intelligent life, like us, does exist out there it would have a profound impact on Christianity and Catholicism, not to mention how man views himself. Fortunately, it’s not likely we will ever know the answer to that question. The distances between the stars are simply far too great to find out for certain. Earth stations have been searching the stars for decades for communications signals from outer space, but we’ve never received one.”

“None of this means that life doesn’t exist out there.”

“That’s right, and that’s why we will never stop looking and listening.”

Rion continued. “Do you think it’s possible that if there is life on another planet, it could look just like us?”

“I doubt it. I believe in evolution. It’s not likely that the evolutionary process that’s taken place here on Earth would be replicated that closely somewhere else.”

“Let’s say that it was and that someone from that planet arrived here on Earth and you were the first person to meet him, what would you ask that person?”

“I’d ask him if he believes in God,” Ed responded seriously.

“And what if he didn’t?”

“I’d tell him never to play poker.”

Rion chuckled, Ed’s answer surprised him. “What does that have to do with it?”

“People who don’t believe in God are bad gamblers.”

“How’s that?”

“Think of it this way. If you don’t believe in God and he doesn’t exist, you lose. No heaven, no afterlife. If you don’t believe in God and he does exist, you lose. You may have an afterlife, but it may not be a desirable one. If you believe in God and he doesn’t exist, you lose, no heaven no afterlife. But if you do believe in God, and follow his commandments, of course, and he does exist you win, you have eternal life. Why put your chips on any other bet?”

“That’s awfully simplistic.”

“True, but it alone won’t lead you to God. What happened before the big bang? If man can conceive of perfection how can perfection not exist? Look at the world and Universe around us. Evolutionists say all this just happened randomly. Random leads to chaos. Evolution isn’t chaos; it’s a work of beauty. It’s not just survival of the fittest, its survival of the beautiful and the search for perfection.”

“That’s a lot to think about, Ed.”

“I’ve been thinking about all my adult life. It’s one of the reasons I became a priest.”

“I just don’t know how you reconcile all the things you’ve just said and that you say when you’re standing in front of that altar in church with science.”

“You don’t. Science tells us how. Religion tells us why.”

Rion thought about that while looking up at the stars as he finished his beer.

Filed under: Books, , , , , , , , , ,

GET A FREE COPY OF “THE TRANSPLANTS”

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Starting today for the next 21 days I’m offering fre copies of “The Transplants” in exchange for your review at StoryCartel.com. Check it out.

Of the potentially billions of planets in the Universe that could support intelligent life like that on Earth, is it not reasonable to assume that at least one of them contains life that very much resembles humans? If so, would they share our beliefs in God, religion and human love?

“The Transplants” is a science fiction novel about Rion and Sena, two refugees from just such a planet who travel across the galaxy to Earth to save their species from extinction. Arriving on Earth, they are separated at sea in a hurricane. He washes up on the coast of Georgia. An Australian billionaire on his yacht rescues her and takes her to Australia. Pursued by an obsessed NASA scientist, an FBI agent and multiple foreign intelligence services, they must find each other, survive, evade and escape capture. It’s a science fiction story, an action adventure story, a love story and the eternal story of intelligent life’s relationship with the Universe. 

Filed under: Books, , , , , , , , , , ,

THE TRANSPLANTS A NOVEL BY ED ROSS

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THE TRANSPLANTS

“The Transplants is selling briskly on Amazon.com. Thanks to everyone who’s purchased a copy. For those who haven’t yet; remember, you don’t need a Kindle device to read the Kindle edition. Just download the free Kindle app from “The a Transplants” book page on Amazon.com. Also e-books make great gifts, especially for people far away like troops serving overseas. All you need is an email address.

For those of you who don’t generally read SciFi books, “The Transplants” isn’t your normal SciFi novel. No aliens with superpowers, no little green men; just a story about two people from another planet who look just like us in search of a planet where they can save their species and live anonomyous lives. On the run from the U.S. government that wants to lock them away and study them and from foreign governments that want to do the same, they survive, evade and escape across two continents before a final confrontation with their pursuers, It’s a SciFi story by definition, but it’s much more. It’s a love story, an action adventure story, and a Washington, D.C. bureaucratic politics story.

Try it you’ll like it. If you don’t, I’ll provide verified purchasers their money back.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QEMK7FQ

Watch the trailer/teaseer at https://www.youtube.com/user/EWRossdotcom

Filed under: Books, , , , , , , , , ,

THE TRANSPLANTS TRAILER

THE TRANSPLANTS AVAILABLE AT http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QEMK7FQ

 

Filed under: Books, Movies-TV, , , , , ,

IRAQ – Déjà vu

arlington_national_cemetery

It sickens my heart as a Vietnam War combat veteran to watch Iraq fall apart like South Vietnam did. We may not have to watch American helicopters evacuating the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad as the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terrorist army takes over the city, but again we are watching the disintegration of a government and the loss of territory U.S. warriors fought and died for. Were their sacrifices in vain as some now say they were?  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Military, National Security, Terrorism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE AT THE VA

 

va

How many veterans that lingered on secret waiting lists at Veterans Affairs hospitals gave their lives so hospital administrators could receive bonuses and promotions? (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

 

Filed under: Healthcare, Military, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HAVE WE HIT BOTTOM YET?

wrong_way

During the nearly five and a half years of the Obama presidency, America has been moving in the wrong direction. The U.S. economy continues to struggle through the longest and slowest recovery from recession since World War II. From Benghazi to Ukraine, U.S. foreign policy has collapsed. U.S. world leadership has receded to a low not seen since the 1930s. Have we hit bottom yet?  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UKRAINE: APPROACHING CRITICAL MASS?

Ukraine

Critical mass in nuclear science is the smallest amount of fissile material needed for a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Critical mass in international politics is the smallest amount of aggression needed to start a war. Despite what President Obama and other Western leaders say and do, the situation in Ukraine may be fast approaching that point.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: National Security, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WINNING THE POLITICAL PROPAGANDA WAR

political-spin1

If Republicans continue to lose presidential elections it won’t be only because they failed to garner a sufficient percentage of the growing Hispanic, Asian and African-American vote; it will be because they continue to lose the propaganda war.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RESTRUCTURING THE MILITARY

defense-spending

Like most conservatives, President Obama’s proposed reductions of the U.S. armed forces disturb me. Since after World War I, every time we have reduced our military strength after a war, we’ve regretted it. Nevertheless, it’s time to rethink the mission, size and composition of the U.S. military, preparing for the next war, not a repeat of the last one. It all comes down to the correct assumptions.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Military, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

GLOBAL WARMING; A POLITICAL WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION

Kerry-Warns-Climate-Change-Is-weapon

Speaking in Indonesia last week, Secretary of State John Kerry, said that global warming is “perhaps even the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” Sec. Kerry may or may not be right about the destruction global warming may ultimately cause; but he’s absolutely right about one thin. Global warming is a weapon. It’s a political weapon of mass destruction.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

 

Filed under: Climate Change, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

COMMUNISM, SOCIALISM AND SHORT MEMORIES

communism

We might forgive NBC Sports for glossing over the evils of Soviet communism during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, if it weren’t for all those young men and women, born since the fall of Soviet Union, that have no memories of the Cold War or the “evil empire.” Given the U.S. education system these days, I doubt they learned much about it in school.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: China-Taiwan, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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  • CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE AT THE VA May 18, 2014
    ow many veterans that lingered on secret waiting lists at Veterans Affairs hospitals gave their lives so hospital administrators could receive bonuses and promotions?
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    If Republicans continue to lose presidential elections it won't be only because they failed to garner a sufficient percentage of the growing Hispanic, Asian and African-American vote; it will be because they continue to lose the political propaganda war.
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    We might forgive NBC Sports for glossing over the evils of Soviet communism during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, if it weren't for all those young men and women, born since the fall of Soviet Union, that have no memories of the Cold War or the "evil empire." Given the U.S. education system these days, I doubt they learned much about it […]
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