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Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 11:12 AM
Number of posts: 60,364

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Top General's Unbelievably Idiotic Comment About Rape in the Middle of Military Rape Epidemic


A Pentagon report revealed that sexual assault had jumped 35% in just 2 years. The military continues being clueless.

Top General's Unbelievably Idiotic Comment About Rape in the Middle of Military Rape Epidemic
By Katie Halper
May 8, 2013 |

This has not been a great PR week for the military. On Sunday a serviceman was arrested for sexual assault. And in what sounds like an Onion headline, the sexual assaulter really was the chief of the Air Force's sexual assault prevention unit. Tuesday, a Pentagon report revealed that sexual assault had jumped from 19,000 cases in 2010 to 26,000 in 2012. That's an increase of 35%! Another highlight of Tuesday was testimony from the Air Force's top commander, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Welsh managed to trivialize sexual assault both by emphasizing how common it was in society outside of the military and comparing it to consensual sexual interactions. Welsh noted that 20% of women report they had been sexually assaulted,

“before they came into the military…. So they come in from a society where this occurs…. Some of it is the hookup mentality of junior high even and high school students now, which my children can tell you about from watching their friends and being frustrated by it.”

Sexual assault in the military is systemic and rampant, not an isolated incident. In fact, a woman serving in Iraq or Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow service member than to be killed in the line of fire. Since 2006, more than 95,000 service members have been sexually assaulted in the U.S. military. More than 86% of service members do not report their assault. Less than five percent of all sexual assaults are prosecuted, and less than a third of those cases result in imprisonment. There are an estimated 13,000 homeless female veterans in the U.S. and 40% of them reported experiencing sexual assault. An Air force brochure on sexual assault advises women how to respond to rape: “It may be advisable to submit [rather] than resist,” As Spencer Ackerman writes, "it does not offer instruction to servicemembers on not committing sexual assault. Prevention is treated as the responsibility of potential victims."

Instead of shifting the blame and responsibility onto victims, attributing the epidemic to the prevalence of sexual assault outside the military, or to so-called "hook up" mentality, the military needs to take responsibility and enact policy changes.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun May 12, 2013, 07:34 AM (1 replies)

Rand Paul Wants to Loosen Laws on Offshore Tax Evasion


Rand Paul Wants to Loosen Laws on Offshore Tax Evasion
—By Erika Eichelberger
| Thu May. 9, 2013 7:45 AM PDT

Late Tuesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced a bill that would repeal part of a law aimed at fighting offshore tax evasion.

The law, called the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, was passed in 2010 and is supposed to go into effect on January 1, 2014. It requires foreign financial institutions to report information about Americans with accounts worth more than $50,000 to the IRS. Firms that don't comply will be fined.

Tax policy watch dogs say the FATCA is essential to rooting out tax cheats. "The increased bilateral exchange of taxpayer information that...(is) crucial to cleaning up the worldwide shadow financial system," Heather Lowe, director of government affairs for the advocacy organization Global Financial Integrity told Accounting Today earlier this month. "F)oreign financial institutions should not harbor the illicit assets of U.S. tax evaders."

But Paul's bill to weaken the law was immediately hailed as "heroic" by the biggest independent financial advisory firm in the world. In an email press release from the deVere group, chief executive Nigel Green said, "Senator Paul’s heroic stance against this toxic, economy-damaging tax act is a landmark moment in the mission to have it repealed. He has taken a courageous stand against FATCA, (a law that) will impose unnecessary costs and burdens on foreign financial institutions."
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat May 11, 2013, 07:43 AM (7 replies)

Tax Authorities Move on Leaked Offshore Documents


British tax authorities are working with U.S. and Australian tax offices to identify individuals possibly concealing assets offshore.

Tax Authorities Move on Leaked Offshore Documents
By Gerard Ryle and Marina Walker Guevara
May 9, 2013, 1:45 pm

The U.S., British and Australian authorities are working with a gigantic cache of leaked data that may be the beginnings of one of the largest tax investigations in history.

The secret records are believed to include those obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that lay bare the individuals behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands, Singapore and other offshore hideaways.

The hoard of documents obtained by ICIJ represents the biggest stockpile of inside information about the offshore system ever gathered by a media organization.


The total size of the ICIJ files, measured in gigabytes, is more than 160 times larger than the leak of U.S. State Department documents by Wikileaks in 2010.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat May 11, 2013, 07:22 AM (3 replies)

Wait, We Outsource Military Supply Contracts To CHINA?


Wait, We Outsource Military Supply Contracts To CHINA?
by Dave Johnson | May 10, 2013 - 8:28am

We give away our jobs and factories and industries to China. Some geniuses apparently thought that meant we should also let our military security be contracted out to China as well.

A new report from the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), Remaking American Security, Authored by Brig. Gen. Adams (US Army, Retired) looks at supply chain weaknesses and chokepoints, to see how vulnerable our security is to disruption by China and other “potentially unreliable” foreign suppliers.

Yes, we farm out critical defense supply contracts to that China, the country that has been hacking into our computers.


Here is just one example from the report: “The United States is completely dependent on a single Chinese company for the chemical needed to produce the solid rocket fuel used to propel HELLFIRE missiles.”

unhappycamper comment: The United States has been building Hellfire missiles since 1974 --> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellfire_missile
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat May 11, 2013, 06:55 AM (3 replies)

Army Radios: Contractors Lobby Congress Against Competition


Army Radios: Contractors Lobby Congress Against Competition
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on May 09, 2013 at 2:41 PM

As the Army prepares to choose the new builder of its handheld digital radios, the incumbent contractors are tryiing to convince Congress to keep other companies out. The incumbents are General Dynamics, which publicly apologized to the Army over its half of the program last year, and Rockwell Collins. The Army’s own chief of acquisitions, Lt. Gen. William Phillips, told the Senate Armed Services Committee just yesterday that “the industry partners that were not a part of the program of record” — i.e. the troubled JTRS (Joint Tactical Radio System) program, which had contracted Rockwell and GD — provided “radios that were cheaper, better capability and met almost all of our requirements in most cases”. The service, he said, was committed to “full and open competition.”

We saw a similar play already last year, albeit slightly later in the legislative process, when Reps. Dave Loesback and Trent Frank offered an amendment – later withdrawn – that would have required competitors to meet stringent conditions that effectively ruled out radio-builder Harris and other outsiders, thereby protecting General Dynamics. This time it is co-incumbent Rockwell Collins, which splits the current contract with GD, that’s leading the charge.

General Dynamics is no shrinking violet, circulating its own briefing on Capitol Hill saying the “radios have built-in competition (already)” between it and Rockwell Collins, who have “the only radios that have met the joint services’ requirements, having successfully competed rigorous testing exercises.” Within those rather strict limits, GD endorses “full and open competition.” The original requirements were drafted in 2004.

But Rockwell Collins’s approach is far less subtle. “‘Full & Open’ re-compete strategy is less effective than ‘Dual Sourcing’” – i.e. the current split between Rockwell and GD — read slides the company is circulating all over Capitol Hill. “‘Winner Takes All’ (WTA) strategy impacts Industrial Base…. Losing vendors may exit the Army ground networking market…. Reduces competition for the radio system the Army wants.”
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri May 10, 2013, 09:34 AM (0 replies)

GCV And Beyond: How The Army Is Gettin’ Heavy After Afghanistan


GCV And Beyond: How The Army Is Gettin’ Heavy After Afghanistan
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on March 11, 2013 at 2:30 PM

America’s Army has developed a bit of a split personality of late. On the one hand, the top brass has very publicly embraced the administration’s January 2012 strategic guidance that emphasizes “innovative, low-cost, and small-footprint approaches” and “building partner capacity” in lieu of large ground force deployments. Leaders from Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno on down talk up the Army’s capabilities in cyberspace, missile defense, seaborne operations, and small advisor teams.

At the same time, the service’s biggest new weapons program remains the controversial Ground Combat Vehicle, an estimated $34 billion program to build what could be 70-ton-plus behemoths optimized for all-out land war. “Low-cost” and “small-footprint” it ain’t. (“Innovative” it may be; read on). And GCV is just the tip of the armored iceberg.


The problem, of course, is the bottom line. Talk is cheap; tanks aren’t. Cybersecurity, small special ops teams, and relationship-building fit well into a declining budget; new armored vehicles do not. And both the Army’s budget and its manpower are declining more steeply than any other service’s. To make things worse, of course, there’s the Army’s atrocious acquisition record over the past 15 years, killing 22 major programs after spending billions on them, including the infamous Future Combat System, from which GCV evolved.

So while the Army wants to beef up its combat brigades and reconnaissance formations, it has to do so as much as possible by repurposing the troops and equipment it already has, buying as little new gear as possible. “We’re trying to do this as zero-sum… using existing force structure,” Maj. Gen. Arthur Bartell, ARCIC’s chief of staff, told Breaking Defense in a sidebar conversation at the AUSA winter conference. “It’s a Rubik’s Cube.”

unhappycamper comment: The Army also needs to figure out what to do with all those million dollar MRAPS sitting in Afghanistan.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri May 10, 2013, 09:30 AM (0 replies)

The Single Most Expensive Piece Of Military Equipment Ever Has Reached A Massive Milestone


The Single Most Expensive Piece Of Military Equipment Ever Has Reached A Massive Milestone
Robert Johnson | Apr. 18, 2013, 12:02 PM

The lead ship in a new class of carriers, the USS Gerald R. Ford, is the most expensive piece of military equipment ever created. And it now has a perfectly-laid flight deck that could one day see 6th generation fighters screeching across its surface.

The Ford will run about $11.5 billion, with three ships costing about $40.2 billion.

Even given these generous estimates, the Navy figures that the USS Gerald R. Ford could cost as much as $1.1 billion more than planned, making it far and away the service's most expensive warship.

Bloomberg reported the Ford's rising costs in August, when planners understood their worst-case assessment would put the carrier at about 21 percent over its target cost (via Hampton Roads).

unhappycamper comment: "The Ford will run about $11.5 billion, with three ships costing about $40.2 billion."

This camper bets that the USS Gerald R Ford will consume the better part of $40.2 billion dollars. Psst - the price of this one went over $13 billion within the last week.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri May 10, 2013, 09:06 AM (5 replies)

USS Ford final hull piece installed


The final hull piece of the ($40 billion dollar) USS Gerald R. Ford is installed in Newport News, Virginia.

USS Ford final hull piece installed
Updated: Thursday, 09 May 2013, 3:50 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 09 May 2013, 3:50 PM EDT

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WOOD) - The final piece of the USS Gerald R. Ford's hull has been installed.

The piece was lifted in to place Wednesday by a 1,050-metric ton crane in Newport News, Virginia, according to the US Navy. It is the forward end of one of the aircraft carrier's catapults.

Construction of the hull took three years, the Navy said. The carrier stretches 1,092 feet long, according to the Associated Press.

The nuclear-powered USS Gerald R. Ford will be the first aircraft carrier of its class, according to the AP. It will be the nation's 11th in service once it is delivered to the Navy in 2015. It will replace the USS Enterprise, which is on its last scheduled deployment.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri May 10, 2013, 09:00 AM (1 replies)

The Real Secret Behind the Stealth Fighter


The Real Secret Behind the Stealth Fighter
Brian Slattery
May 9, 2013 at 5:30 pm


The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has greatly emphasized the “joint” part of its name. The program is taking advantage of cost sharing, allies’ trust and relationships, and enhanced communication with other military platforms to integrate it in a new and unique way. The U.S. and its allies should continue their commitment to the program to ensure that it matures responsibly and successfully.


The real secret behind the F-35? Good propaganda.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri May 10, 2013, 08:49 AM (0 replies)

F-35 project to ‘earn Turkey $12 billion’


Turkey is one of nine countries that are part of a consortium to build the F-35.

F-35 project to ‘earn Turkey $12 billion’
ISTANBUL - Reuters

Turkey, a member of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, will gain at least $12 billion by the end of the F-35 project in 2039, a senior executive of the U.S. aerospace industries company Lockheed Martin has said at the 11th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) being held from May 7 to 10 in Istanbul.

“We planned to build 3,100 jets by 2039 in the framework of the (F-35) project. It means a business worth around $12 billion for Turkey,” Steve O’Bryan, the Vice President of F-35 Business Development at Lockheed Martin, said on May 8.

Turkey is one of nine countries that are part of a U.S.-led consortium to build the F-35 fighter. The others are Britain, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Norway and Denmark. O’Bryan stated that if Turkey was not one of nine provider countries of the F-35 project, they could not have achieved it.

“Turkey obtained a contract worth $300 million from this project even though it has not made any jet orders. However, this amount will increase to $1 billion when jet orders start to be delivered,” he said.

unhappycamper comment: Lockheed Martin wants to spread the pain by outsourcing work on the F-35. By the way, Canada said NO to an F-35 purchase.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri May 10, 2013, 08:43 AM (0 replies)
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