I did all the things the support messages told me to do, including sending a message to support that only received a reply that they were too busy to reply.
I finally find this thread on my SIXTH search through the forums for something workable and I at least have gotten the "run as administrator" workaround to start the game patching. Thank you to the people who posted that workaround.
Bottom line, I'm getting a horrible first impression of this game. Getting people through the door is the first critical step in creating a customer. Failing at that and, if what I've seen in all those threads I did read is correct, allowing these problems in simply starting the game the first time to persist for so long shows a glaring problem.
I'm eager to try this game because I grew up on Star Trek and I have friends playing here. I'm willing to move forward. I hope that the company wakes up and smells the coffee here on solving an important problem. They need to move the entire game forward.