Category Archives: government

Contractor scams $20.5M from the Pentagon

We used to joke about this sort of thing in the navy.

We could wrap a box in tin foil, fill it with parts, put some blinking LEDs, and wires sticking out here and there and sell it to the DOD for thousands of dollars.  Then when they realize it doesn’t work, offer to “upgrade” it for another hundred grand.  We figured you could probably get away with it for a few upgrades before something better came along, or they decided it was no longer needed.

“It is a troubling case because the fraud took place during a time of war,” said Kevin McDonald

I suppose in the end we could view this as a case against both federal administration and private enterprise?
What are we left with then?

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What Guarentees Citizenship?

Thomas Friedman’s Op-Ed piece in yesterdays New York Times got a few people heated up. His observation at a recent PhD graduation noted that it wasn’t until the middle of the alphabet when announcing graduate names that an American was called.
While immigration continues to be a heated topic in our country, Friedman went as far as to say “I think any foreign student who gets a Ph.D. in our country — in any subject — should be offered citizenship.”

I absolutely agree with this. Foreign students who study here earning advanced degrees probably deserve citizenship more than most armchair, stay at home patriots in this country do. Global standing and economic stability should not be a birth right but something that is earned through hard work. Students willing to achieve advance degrees should be rewarded for their efforts. Because people are so afraid of anything dealing with immigration or foreigners they are not surprisingly up in arms about his statement.

The problem worth our efforts is not immigration. The real problem is our public school system that is unable to compete in a world market. There are too many people from my generation who expect everything to be handed to them, that they some how deserve “The American Dream” for the least amount of effort. When they see people from other countries taking it from them they get scared. Their sense of apathy suddenly awakened.

No Longer on the Fence

It seems more and more as these past few months have passed, that I have evidently made the right decision.

And old coworker sent me this…

…I know some where in that huge brain of your you wished you would have gone to AIC school and to another ship (the LINCOLN). The carrier life is some much different then the small boy standard. You have some much freedom and you never have to stand port/strd. The watch we stand is RED CROWN. if you don’t remember what that is I can explain later…

It never seizes to amaze me that you can practically live with someone, that you can work with someone, that you can know someone for almost three years and that they may never comprehend who you really are. Maybe that’s my fault though.

We went to base last week to sign a form. I took an extended lunch only to arrive on base and not be granted access, which is something I sort of expected. The pass and decal station did not have the information in their system that was faxed from my point of contact three days earlier. While I find it easier to be courteous and patient in social and professional matters like this most people with mid level authority in the military do not, and people with mid level authority make up the bulk of the service. With attitude I was told “I’m not going to let you on base because your point of contact put down tomorrow as your access date.”
“Well I’ll call her because I don’t have an appointment, I’m just supposed to come in sometime today.”
“Well I’m not going to let you on today”
So after a phone call and some time spent driving around in familiar neighborhoods we made our way back to the main gate where I was granted access. Once on base the first half of the paper work went smoothly, while the second half at another building kicked off in much a military fashion.
“Are you on leave or something?” I was asked with a snotty attitude. I knew the source of this was the sign on the door: ALL MILITARY PERSONNEL WILL BE IN UNIFORM AT ALL TIME WHILE CONDUCTING BUSINESS ON NAVSTA EVERETT. “No,” I replied “I’m not in the military any more.” With that I finished my paper work, returning to work two and a half hours after I had left, only a mere hour and a half than I anticipated.

It’s a wonder that we win wars and have risen to the world power that we have become when the gears and widgets making up the machine cannot efficiently perform their job

My experience on base was not an isolated incident, but a great microcosm of my seven years off military service.

Recalling Troops After Their End of Service

Word around the scuttlebutt is always hearsay at best.
Yesterday, a guy in the academy with me who got out of the navy around the same time I did asked me if I had received my letter yet.

The average enlistment for people in the military service is four years. After that you are put into a status known as inactive ready reserve for an additional four, for a total of eight years of service. The IRR are the people who would be called up along with active reservists before a draft.
Currently reservist make up a large portion, if not the larger portion of those deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. IRR members are being called up and rumors of a draft still echo throughout the nation.

On Friday this guy received a letter from the department of defense asking him to volunteer for a year of Individual Augmentation to Afghanistan to pull security duty for one year. He also told me about a guy from his unit who was reactivated three months after his end of obligated service date, sent to Iraq for a minimum of one year for IA security duty.

Luckily my IRR will only remain in effect until November this year, and yesterday I received no letter from the DOD. But despite this many feel that the war we have all become familiar with is merely the beginning of more to come. They feel that there are still many areas in the regions on the dart board that we have yet to hit.