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Seems like going to be an early Spring can not wait for the warm air.

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Had A Great Holiday.

Christmas was good here got to talk to my Family and Friends.

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The Seasons

It is starting to change here in Tennessee. Colder in the evenings and the days are starting to cool down from the hotter days.

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Pentagon under fire over war contracts

The Pentagon has wasted more than $30 billion on contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan due to shoddy management and a lack of competition, an independent inquiry said.

In its final report to Congress due to be released Wednesday, the bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting warns that waste and fraud have undermined American diplomacy, fomented corruption in host countries and tarnished the US image abroad.

“Tens of billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted through poor planning, vague and shifting requirements, inadequate competition, substandard contract management and oversight, lax accountability, weak inter-agency coordination, and subpar performance or outright misconduct by some contractors and federal employees,” the co-chairs of the panel, Christopher Shays and Michael Thibault, wrote in the Washington Post.

“Both government and contractors need to do better,” said the commentary published Monday.

The report comes amid mounting pressure in Washington to scale back defense spending and waning public support for the Afghan mission after nearly a decade of war.

The US military increasingly has turned to private companies since the September 11, 2001 attacks, with the contractor workforce at times surpassing 260,000 people — a roughly one-to-one ratio with troops deployed.

But the commission found that the United States went to war in Afghanistan in 2001 and in Iraq in 2003 without sufficiently preparing to handle the “enormous scale and numbers of contracts.”

As a result, “America is over-relying on contractors,” they said.

The commission chiefs also warned that another $30 billion or more could be wasted if the Iraqi or Afghan “governments are unable or unwilling to sustain US-funded projects after our involvement ends.”

The Pentagon said previous inquiries had pointed out problems with contracting and the department had enacted a number of reforms as a result.

“We are well aware of some of the deficiencies over the years in how we’ve worked contracts,” spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan told reporters.

“We have worked hard over those years to try to correct those deficiencies when we’ve come across them,” said Lapan.

The department will review the report to look for any additional measures to prevent waste, he added.

Among the examples cited by the commission was a $40 million prison built in Iraq that the Baghdad government “did not want and that was never finished,” Shays and Thibault wrote.

In Afghanistan, the United States spent $300 million on a power plant in Kabul that the Afghan government cannot afford to sustain and lacks the technical experts to run, the panel found.

Another report out Monday found the Pentagon has almost tripled funding for no-bid contracts since the attacks of September 11, 2001, from $50 billion in 2001 to $140 billion in 2010.

The lack of competition in contracting has resulted in waste, lower quality services and fraud, according to the investigative report by the non-profit Center for Public Integrity.

In one case, a Tucson-based company, Applied Energetics, won over $50 million in funding for a futuristic “lightning weapon” that is supposed to detonate roadside bombs, even though it had failed some tests.

In August, the Marine Corps canceled the latest $3 million proposed contract after a commander in Afghanistan decided the weapon would not provide what his unit needed.

The Defense Department often justifies no-bid contracts by saying there is only one legitimate supplier of certain goods, that there is “an unusual and compelling urgency” or that holding a competition would undermine national security, the report said.

During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama vowed to rein in contracting and after his election, he issued a memorandum calling for more competition. But the report found that Pentagon no-bid contracts have continued to increase.

The Pentagon said no-bid contracts were sometimes necessary to rush sophisticated equipment to troops in combat.

“There have been many instances because of wartime needs where a long, lengthy competitive bid contract process does not serve the needs of the warfighters,” Lapan said.

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The bulletproof dog

Thanks to extensive training — and customized body armor that can cost upward of $30,000 — this canine is bulletproof, can hear through concrete and can record high-def video of missions, even in the dead of night.


If you see this dog coming for you, run. Thanks to his extensive training — and customized body armor that can cost upward of $30,000 — he’s bulletproof, can hear through concrete and can record high-def video of missions, even in the dead of night.

Since the moment it was revealed that the “nation’s most courageous dog” (Update: named “Cairo”) served alongside the 80 Navy SEALs who took out Osama bin Laden, America’s fascination with war dogs has hit a fevered pitch. And while the heart-tugging photos of these four-legged heroes are worth a look, so is the high-tech gear that helps them do their job.

Last year, the military spent $86,000 on four tactical vests to outfit Navy SEAL dogs. The SEALs hired Winnipeg, Canada-based contractor K9 Storm to gear up their canine partners, which it has used in battle since World War I. K9 Storm’s flagship product is the $20,000-$30,000 Intruder, an upgradeable version of their doggie armor. The tactical body armor is wired with a collapsible video arm, two-way audio and other attachable gadgets.

“Various special ops units use the vest, including those in current headlines,” says Mike Herstik, a consultant with International K-9, who has trained dogs from Israeli bomb-sniffing units to the Navy SEALS. “It is much more than just body armor.”

The big idea behind the armor add-ons boils down to a simple one: the key to any healthy relationship is communication. Each dog is assigned one human handler. To operate efficiently in a tactical situation, they need to be connected.

So how much high-tech connectivity does a dog get for $30,000 anyway?

Using a high-def camera mounted on the dog’s back, handlers can see what the dog sees, using handheld monitors. Jim Slater, who co-founded K9 Storm with his wife, Glori, says footage is stable because the entire module is sewn into the vest. With unpredictable light conditions, like middle-of-the-night missions, the camera adjusts automatically to night vision. The lens is protected by impact-resistant shielding. And since we’re talking about SEALs notorious for amphibious assaults, the system is waterproof. In Abbottabad, the patented load-bearing harness would have enabled a Navy SEAL handler to rappel from the helicopter with his dog strapped to his body. Once in the compound, the dog could run ahead to scout as the handler issued commands through an integrated microphone and speaker in the armor. The proprietary speaker system enables handlers to relay commands at low levels to the dog. “Handlers need to see and hear how their dog is responding,” said Slater. “In a tactical situation, every second counts.” The encrypted signal from dog to handler penetrates fortified barriers like concrete, steel-fortified ships and tunnels. That translates to standard operating ranges up to four football fields.

The armor itself protects against shots from 9mm and .45 magnum handguns. Slater is a veteran police dog trainer and built the first vest after a prison riot. He realized he wore full riot gear, while his K9 partner, Olaf, was basically naked. So he started making vests. The weave technology catches bullets or ice picks like a mitt wrapping around a baseball; knives and sharpened screw drivers wielded by prisoners require tighter weaves.

Keeping the armor strong, but light, is a priority. “Every gram counts for our clients. So we prefer advanced fibers and innovative textiles,” said Slater. “The entire communication module is 20 ounces.” The average armor weighs between three to seven pounds, depending on the size of the dog and the level of protection.

They’ve even gone stealth. A silent hardware system prevents any metal to metal contact —you won’t hear any jangling or see any reflective give-aways. K9 took the average 150-gram V-ring and developed a 5-gram version made of a Kevlar, poly-propylene, and nylon fiber blend. “It’s actually stronger, rated to 2,500 pounds. Completely silent, and ultralight,” said Slater.

Of course, these systems don’t come cheap — and it’s the dogs themselves that are the real investment. The Navy’s first Master Military Working Dog Trainer (a trainer of other dog trainers), Luis Reyes emailed from Afghanistan: “There are many products that help MWDs (military work dogs) and many are ‘cool’ but not necessary. No amount of money can replace the life of a canine that saves the precious lives of our troops in harm’s way.”

Although new tech is the buzz, what put K9 Storm on the map is dedication to customization. Its mainstay dog armor is the more-affordable $2,000-$3,000 base model. Each vest they make is custom sized for the dog. “The fit has to be perfect or it will flop around,” said Slater. That hinders mobility, or worse, can cause injury.

Clients can measure dogs themselves, or Slater will fly out for dog fittings. They’ve done 15-pound West Highland Terriers — which look like playful white puffballs but were bred to scare badgers out of holes, and are helpful in drug raids with confined spaces like air ducts. On the other end are St. Bernards, which push 240 pounds.

K9’s client list spans 15 countries, from China to Switzerland. Buyers include SWAT teams, police and corrections agencies, security firms, search-and-rescue units and border patrols. Slater and 12 employees spent years developing a proprietary computer-assisted design program to translate measurements into accurate patterns, which are hand sewn. However, it’s as much a tech company as it is an armor manufacturer.

The next phase of development includes plans for remote-delivery systems and enhanced accessory functionality. They describe a system that would help dogs transport medical supplies, walkie-talkies or water into constricted areas like rubble. They’re also planning new appendages such as air-level quality meters for mines.

No word on mounting mini heat-seeking missiles just yet. So, for now, bad guys will only have to tussle with highly trained fangs exerting 700 pounds of pressure per square inch.

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Authorities have arrested.

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. — Authorities have arrested

another suspect in the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl in a Riverside County,

Calif., park bathroom.County sheriff’s Cpl. Courtney Donowho (DON’-uh-yoo) says 19-year-old

Michael Sykes of Moreno Valley was arrested Monday morning but she has no other

details.Sykes is the eighth person arrested in connection with the March 10 attack on the girl at Victoriano Park in Moreno Valley.

Six boys, all over 14, were arrested shortly after the rape. Their names have not been released because they are minors but authorities have said they

are gang members.An older girl who knew the victim also was arrested. Authorities have

said they believe she lured the girl into the bathroom so the boys could attack her.

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Police said one officer stopped the pedestrian

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jeffersontown police arrested a man Sunday after they said he was making threats at a traffic stop. The incident started when police said they approached a pedestrian who was near a stopped car. Police said the pedestrian walked away as officers approached the car. Police said one officer stopped the pedestrian while another officer stopped the car. According to an arrest citation, the pedestrian admitted to be paying drug money to the driver of the car. Police said they found marijuana in the car, and the driver, 22-year-old Lienell Henderson, became very belligerent. Police said Henderson said he wanted to run, and that he would break out the windows of the police car. According to police, Henderson also told officers that they would pay for locking him up and towing his car and that the officers would be stupid for taking their cars home because he could find out where they live.

Henderson was charged with possession of marijuana and first-degree terroristic threatening.

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Officers Find Pot In Inmate’s Anus, Police Say – Local News – Louisville, KY – msnbc.com

Not this is kinda Crazy Stuff

Officers Find Pot In Inmate’s Anus, Police Say


A Louisville man is facing multiple charges after police said he tried to smuggle marijuana into Metro Corrections in his buttocks.

According to arrest records, Terry Bouggess, 18, was loitering near Saddlebrook and Rockford Lane Friday evening.

Police said they saw Bouggess put something in his mouth and try to swallow it.

Officers Find Pot In Inmate’s Anus, Police Say – Local News – Louisville, KY – msnbc.com

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