Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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August 16, 2014 at 8:23am

Saturday Morning Joe: Yazidi massacre, Puget Sound VA report, Army robotics, greatest military strategists ...

Headquarters Company, 178th Infantry, engage a target at the coffee pot training area on Forward Operating Base Patriot, Fort Bragg, NC. Original photo by Sgt. James Sims


Islamic State insurgents "massacred" some 80 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority in a village in the country's north.

Airstrikes pounded the area around Iraq's largest dam today in an effort to drive out militants who captured it earlier this month, as reports emerged of the massacre of some 80 members of the Yazidi religious minority by Islamic extremists.

An attack in the very early hours of Friday morning on two Pakistani air bases was thwarted largely due to improved security measures that show the military has learned lessons from previous attacks.

The head of Russia's defense ministry told U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that no Russian troops were involved with hundreds of trucks meant to deliver humanitarian supplies into eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists fought skirmishes near the Russian border today but there was no sign of the conflict widening after Kiev said it partially destroyed an armored column that had crossed the border from Russia.

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) told President Obama he should send more defensive weapons to Ukraine and share intelligence.

Israel lauds new capabilities in Gaza: Cities fully networked air-land-sea force

The Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza accused Israel on Friday of a cross-border shooting in violation of a truce that has largely held since getting off to a shaky start on Thursday.

Despite its growing operations in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, America's pivot to Asia still seems to be led by the Department of Defense and military.

Buffeted by international instability, the president stresses that there are limits to American power, and that the chief executive is not omnipotent.

No systemic misconduct at Puget Sound VA, local director says.

Even the Army's crowd control rulebook says Ferguson police tactics are dumb.

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee intends to review a Pentagon program that transfers surplus military equipment to police agencies, following the use of controversial police tactics in Ferguson, Mo.

Iowa Senate nominee Joni Ernst (R), a member of the Army National Guard, says she was sexually harassed while on duty and if elected will work across the aisle to make sure others avoid the same fate.

The four-star chief of U.S. Transportation Command has ordered survey teams into the field to verify the location of every service member's vehicle that is in transit in an effort to restore confidence in the government's shipping process for privately-owned vehicles.

The Army is working with industry partners to develop a standard architecture which will enable us to incorporate future (robotics) capabilities rapidly, keeping pace with dramatic commercial improvements.

The Army is focused on being a good steward of resources to enhance energy security and protect the mission.

Army gets the most service switchers.

The five greatest military strategists of all time.

A lot of people turn their noses up at trailer parks. That's unfair, and David Waldorf's photo essay about the Brookside Trailer Park in Sonoma, California show us that there's beauty everywhere, trailer parks included.

Just a little UFO story to brighten your Saturday morning (though must of you probably already know this one).

This fall, IKEA is launching the new catalogue with a Time Travel Experiment where IKEA customers are given the chance to experience their future.

Ryan Adams' video for Gimme Something Good incluces Elvira, of all people. What beautiful, dark magic they make.

Rich Aucoin's video for Yelling in Sleep is awesome, from Joel MacKenzie's cool animation to Aucoin's killer, jump-outta-your-seat sonic skills.

Arcade Fire is pulling out all the stops on tour, covering everything from the Back to the Future and Beverly Hills Cop themes to Neil Young, Jane's Addiction and Dead Kennedys, including an awesome take on Loverboy's Working for the Weekend.

This is why we don't like to go shopping ...

LINK: Original photo by Sgt. James Sims

August 15, 2014 at 7:34am

Friday Morning Joe: Russia crossed border, Pentagon's mysterious slush fund, Asia still on, Army intel contest, 1,000 robots ...

The 545th Military Police Company refresh their skills with employing practice coffee pots in various scenarios at multiple simulated targets before throwing them live at Kraft Hand Grenade Range on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Original photo


Israel secured supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon last month without the approval of the White House or the State Department.

Op-ed: Time to rein in the Pentagon's mysterious slush fund.

Late Thursday night armored vehicles and military trucks from Russia crossed the border into Ukraine near Donetsk.

U.S. President Barack Obama declared Thursday that U.S. airstrikes had broken the siege of an Iraqi mountain sheltering civilian refugees and that troops conducting reconnaissance there would be withdrawn.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he has agreed to leave office and clear the way for his designated successor to take over.

The Obama administration's Iraq policy seems premised on the idea that the terrorist Islamic State is so toxic that it will be self-limiting and ultimately self-defeating. But that's not the view of senior U.S. intelligence officials.

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said that troops would continue to monitor and assess  "human suffering" throughout the country, even as he acknowledged that the situation of thousands of members of an Iraqi religious sect who had been marooned on a mountaintop in Iraq is much better than first thought.

The United States will supply Lebanon's army with additional munitions and ordnance in a bid to bolster the force after clashes with jihadists, the US ambassador to Beirut said Thursday.

The Defense Department's spokesman on Thursday said military leaders remain committed to carrying out President Obama's pivot to Asia, despite ongoing unrest in other parts of the world.

In just the past year, the Pentagon sprinkled $500 million worth of military equipment to local law enforcement.

Groups on the left and right are uniting behind calls to end what they say is the rise of a "militarized" police force in the United States.

The most senior U.S. military officer to visit Vietnam for decades held talks with Communist Party officials in Hanoi on Thursday, in the latest boost to ties between the former wartime foes.

The U.S. Army plans to hold a competition in fiscal 2016 to develop the next phase of its controversial battlefield intelligence system.

Deaf and hearing impaired people say a bill opening up the Air Force to them is a call they do hear.

The Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III has issued a call to all Airmen, to help create the 2015 CSAF Professional Reading Program.

Consumer agency: "Fee scam" cheated troops of $5 on financing contracts.

A plush-disguised camera lets drivers keep an eye on back-seat infants.

Here's a clever way to rid your home of unsightly cables: just hide them in plain sight.

A thousand tiny robots swarming into shapes like intelligent insects.

Here's the winning game board from the National Scrabble Championship.

Tom Hanks' new app turns mobile devices into typewriters.

Enjoy a prog-rock playlist curated by the Flaming Lips.

Finally: Fourteen Things You Don't Know About Back to the Future.

Of course someone has made an eight-bit version of the Twin Peaks intro. ...

LINK: Original photo by Justin Connaher

August 14, 2014 at 7:36am

Thursday Morning Joe: Hellfire hold, ISIS grows, Bergdahl movie, David Lynch direct Duran Duran ...

The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Battalion Landing Team, Alpha Company 1/4, throw coffee pots during a live fire and movement coffee pot training exercise at Arta Range, Djibouti. Original photo by Staff Sgt. Staci Miller


An Israeli request for a transfer of Hellfire missiles from the United States was put on hold after the White House and State Department learned they were kept in the dark concerning ammunition transfers to Israel in July.

The Pentagon announced Wednesday it had landed a team of less than 20 troops on Mt. Sinjar in northern Iraq to assess the situation for thousands of Yazidis, an Iraqi minority group that fled there after being targeted by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria fighters. 

The governor of Iraq's Sunni heartland Anbar Province said he has asked for and secured U.S. support in the battle against Islamic State militants because opponents of the group may not have the stamina for a long fight.

The Obama administration is grappling with how to bridge the gap between its increasingly dire assessment of the threat posed by the Islamic State group and the limited, defensive air campaign it has so far undertaken.

Hundreds of hardline extremists in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, have begun to openly pledge allegiance to ISIS.

Artillery shells hit close to the center of Ukraine's separatist-held city of Donetsk for the first time today, killing at least one person, as a large Russian aid convoy rumbled toward the border.

As the key battle looms, a report from Ukraine's front lines.

Six former platoon mates of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who spent nearly five years as a Taliban captive in Afghanistan, are shopping proposals for a book and movie that is sharply critical of him.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter test fleet will be able to fly six hours between engine inspections for weapon test and refueling missions, as restrictions on the fifth-generation fighter continue to ease.

Army solider Paul Ieti performed One Direction's "You & I" on last night's live broadcast.

Seven books that teach our troops how to win wars.

Use a remote-controlled robot to tour a closed museum.

What do you do when you log onto Twitter and find out your honey's unfollowed you? Or you try to friend her on Facebook but she never accepts? What if you're also a teen and you just got braces? You fire up this ballad and you double tap, baby.

Here's an amusing PSA about character actors.

Dreams do come true: David Lynch is going to direct a Duran Duran concert.

It's time: Metal album covers featuring sharks

Finally: The height of heroes in the Marvel universe

Robots have all ready taken over the world ...

LINK: Original photo by Staff Sgt. Staci Miller

August 13, 2014 at 8:07am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Inside ISIS, Ukrainians killed, Army buys helicopters, military dreadlocks cool, State Fair Fried Dough ice cream ...

The 554th MP Company, from Panzer Barracks, Boeblingen, Germany, practice throwing dummy coffee pots in the Panzer Local Training Area, Boeblingen. Original photo by Eric Steen


There is no groundswell from U.S. lawmakers demanding President Barack Obama seek their approval for new airstrikes in Iraq, a sharp contrast from his flirtation with strikes in Syria.

The military has sent 130 advisers to northern Iraq to plan for the evacuation of refugees under siege by Islamic militants

Nuri al-Maliki stuck to his guns and refused to accept his removal as Iraq's prime minister today, but his hold on power was tenuous as Iran's supreme leader, a long-time Maliki ally, publicly backed his replacement.

Reporter Medyan Dairieh gained unprecedented access to the terrorist group, spending three weeks embedded with militants across Iraq and Syria.

Crowdsource name?: Although the president has authorized the deployment of about 905 U.S. troops to Iraq, and the military is now conducting airstrikes and airdrops there, the operations still have no official name.

The threat of renewed war in Gaza loomed today as the clock ticked toward the end of a three-day ceasefire with no sign of a breakthrough in indirect talks in Cairo between Israel and the Palestinians.

Twelve Ukrainian nationalist fighters, battling a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine, were killed early today and an unknown number taken captive when rebels ambushed their bus.

Officials in Washington are increasingly worried that Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said that the Russian humanitarian aid convoy to Ukraine would not be allowed in, denouncing the effort as an act of Russian "cynicism." 

Endangered Democrat's new ad says he kept the venerable A-10 "Warthog" fleet flying.

The Obama administration is not likely to make major changes to the U.S. Defense Department's ballistic missile defense programs and will focus efforts over the next two years on implementing current plans.

The Pentagon needs to fundamentally change the way it buys satellites in an effort to lower costs as U.S. defense spending contracts.

Less than two weeks after announcing that it was pushing back the initial selection of the technology demonstrator phase of the Joint Multi-Role helicopter program and working to forge a closer relationship with industry, the U.S. Army awarded two development contracts for the effort on Tuesday.

The U.S. Military's ultimate fear: Are aircraft carriers too big to fail.

The Pentagon's Special Operations Command will conduct a social research program in Colombia to help shape future propaganda efforts, newly released military records show.

Dreadlocks, cornrows, twisted braids and other hairstyles popular among African American women will be more accepted across the military after a forcewide review of hairstyle policies prompted several changes.

The Army has implemented changes to how it considers, selects and slates command sergeants major and sergeants major for the privilege of serving in Command Select List positions.

Security major: Even as the U.S. Air Force Academy has reduced the number of majors it offers recently, it has instituted a new program aimed at helping the Air Force fly, fight and win in cyberspace.

Shock waves from battlefield explosions are invisible threats for U.S. Soldiers and their top-of-the-line combat helmets, but with new studies in synthetic human physiology, researchers are learning how to lessen blast wave effects on the brain.

Watching these guys do their job makes our stomach clench.

"YMCA" music-less video makes the Village People look even more ridiculous.

This video essay highlights some of Robin Williams' most notable roles.

More politicians could certainly learn from The Dude.

Baskin-Robbins has some unusual flavors in stores this summer - like "State Fair Fried Dough"!

Welcome to Whip Wednesday ...

LINK: Original photo by Eric Steen

August 12, 2014 at 7:31am

Tuesday Morning Joe: Kurds turn tide, officially watching China, G-day Marines, Homeland returns ...

2nd of the 315th Battalion, 72nd Field Artillery Brigade, throw coffee pots during the 72nd FA Bde. Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year competition at Army Support Activity-Dix. Original photo by Ryan Morton


U.S. airstrikes helped, but Kurds from Syria turned tide against Islamic State.

Secretary of State John Kerry said today the United States doesn't plan to send additional troops to Iraq, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The United States has begun urgently shipping weapons to the Iraqi Kurdish forces battling an advance by extremist Islamic State militants.

The United States hopes the newly-designated Prime Minister of Iraq can form a cabinet quickly and build a united front against ISIS rebels, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday.

A Pentagon official said ISIS would be able to "sustain its attacks" on Iraqi forces.

Obama will be on shaky legal ground if he continues to attack ISIS, experts say.

U.S. Army parachute riggers at two bases in the Central Command area of operations are assembling pallets of food and water for humanitarian air drops in the vicinity of Sinjar, Iraq.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is confronting conflicting pressures at home and abroad over his government's prosecution of Operation Protective Edge, now in its 35th day.

A Russian convoy carrying humanitarian aid set off for eastern Ukraine, setting the stage for a confrontation with Kiev, which said it would not allow the vehicles to cross onto its territory. 

A tense standoff between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists will be over within a week - and will decide whether "all-out war" begins in Eastern Europe, says a U.S. senator.

More research is needed on the health of the children and grandchildren of troops exposed to environmental pollution and chemicals while they served in the military, several U.S. senators say.

Congress added language to the 2015 defense budget requiring the Pentagon to assess and confront Chinese military expansion.

Despite delays, new U.S. Navy sub headed for on-time delivery.

The United States and Australia are expected to sign an agreement today that will pave the way for 2,500 U.S Marines to rotate through the continent.

Army Vice Chief: Never forget where we put our soldiers.

A 32-year-old active Navy SEAL is hoping to earn a spot on Northwestern University's football team.

Robin Williams, an improvisational genius, forever present in the moment.

After roles in blockbusters such as Iron Man, Fahim Fazil decided to work as a translator for the U.S. Marines in Helmand Province.

These flying machines created by Daniel Agdag make us think of those designed by Leonardo Da Vinci in the 15th century.

Every single Alfred Hitchcock cameo in one video.

So it seems we can now pay a restaurant bill with our phones ...

The Daily Show launched a behind-the-scenes podcast.

Homeland will return Oct. 5 with a two-hour premiere.

Finally: 25 lessons learned from Pee-wee's Big Adventure.

Time to exercise your face ...

LINK: Original photo by Ryan Morton

August 11, 2014 at 7:35am

Monday Morning Joe: US arms Kurds, Israeli and Palestinian talks, new Army PT uniform, Spin profiles Olympia band ...

343rd Training Squadron Basic Officer Course trainees throw coffee pots under the instruction of Tech. Sgt. Jeffren Reyes, 343 TRS Basic Officer Course instructor, on Joint Base San Antonio-Camp Bullis. Original photo by Airman 1st Class Krystal Ardrey


The U.S. government began directly arming Kurdish forces in Iraq who are battling the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, according to The Associated Press.  

The Pentagon is releasing images from a U.S. military airdrop of food and water on Saturday in northern Iraq, where thousands of Iraqi citizens are threatened by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Iraq's president appointed a new prime minister today, further complicating the country's intense power struggle amid a dire humanitarian crisis and a militant threat strong enough to draw U.S. air power back to the fray.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was battling to keep his job, as some parliamentary allies sought a replacement and the United States warned him not to obstruct efforts to form a new government. 

Navy officials said the move to position key platforms in strategically vital areas is designed for precisely this reason.

Islamic militants' growing influence in Iraq and Syria is a threat to Americans, lawmakers from both political parties agreed Sunday even as they sharply split on what role the United States should play in trying to crush them.

United States warplanes and drones pummeled Islamic State militants near Arbil in a fresh wave of airstrikes Sunday, destroying armed trucks and a mortar position, the US military confirmed.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed indirect talks mediated by Egypt today on ending a month-old Gaza war, Egypt's state news agency said, after a new 72-hour truce appeared to be holding.

The United States will monitor the South China Sea to see whether "de-escalatory steps" are being taken, a U.S. State Department official said today, a day after China repelled U.S. pressure to rein in actions in the disputed waters.

The Air Force Technical Applications Center has a welcome addition to its treaty monitoring capabilities - the Cobra King radar system aboard the USNS Howard O. Lorenzen.

A new Army Physical Fitness Uniform will become available service-wide, beginning in October next year.

The yo-yo world champ's skills are mesmerizing.

Morrissey has reportedly been dropped from his record label.

Will Elisabeth Moss co-star on True Detective?

Spin profiles up-and-coming Olympia band Naomi Punk.

Here's a list of 50 must-read books by female writers.

Hear Arcade Fire cover the Beverly Hills Cop theme.

This is good news ...

LINK: Original photo by Airman 1st Class Krystal Ardrey

August 9, 2014 at 7:26am

Saturday Morning Joe: Iraq campaign, funding war missions, U.S. warns Russia, awesome windowless jet ...

Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, demonstrate proper throwing techniques of coffee pots aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C. Original photo by Cpl. James Clark


U.S. military aircraft dropped humanitarian aid to Iraqis under threat from hardline militants in northern Iraq for the second straight night.

Islamic State insurgents who seized Iraq's biggest dam in an offensive that has caused international consternation have brought in engineers for repairs, witnesses said today, as nervous Kurds stocked up on arms to defend their enclave nearby.

The U.S. campaign against a militant group that has taken control of huge chunks of Iraq has begun. Despite the near-total withdrawal of U.S. ground troops from the country in the past five years, the Pentagon has many options for more airstrikes - and many options on deployment, given the air dominance US forces will have.

The president's expansion of the U.S. military mission in Iraq is conjuring up two dirty little words for anti-war Democrats: Mission creep

Interviews with administration officials suggest President Obama was forced by the rapid deterioration of security in Iraq to abandon his reluctance to use military force.

As U.S. warplanes launched airstrikes against Islamic extremists in northern Iraq, CNN reported the fighters were in possession of U.S.-made M1 Abrams tanks.

Why Obama's campaign in Iraq could require 15,000 troops.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says ISIS "campaign of terror shows all the warning signs of genocide."

Israel launched more than 20 aerial attacks in Gaza, killing five Palestinians, and militants fired rockets at Israel as the conflict entered a second month, defying international efforts to negotiate an agreement for an extended ceasefire

The $5 billion counterterrorism fund that the White House requested in the Pentagon and State Departments' 2015 budget proposal would likely fund missions like the ones the U.S. military has been conducting in Iraq over the past several months.

The United States is warning Russia that any further intervention in Ukraine would be viewed as "an invasion of Ukraine."

U.S. Sen. John McCain said it's time for the United States to ease the ban on selling lethal arms to Vietnam, saying it has progressed on human rights.

America needs to reboot its thinking about the next great battlefield.

Veterans Affairs Department officials will open their scheduling books to outside reviewers in an effort to get an independent assessment of how to fix medical center wait time problems.

Starting yesterday, some military installations will be able to run FBI background checks on anyone trying to pass through the gates.

Awesome windowless jet makes its fuselage transparent using displays.

A look at the sub that took James Cameron to the bottom of the sea.

Olympia-based trio Television Man just released its new album (also called Television Man) and is currently on tour.

The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail comedy show seems made for short attention spans - but the talent is impressive.

Dana Buoy's cover of Everywhere: The Fleetwood Mac hit gets a blissful and experimental makeover from the artist and Akron/Family drummer. Stream his new EP on purevolume.com.

Of course there's an entire documentary about Star Wars toys. Check it out next time you're feeling nostalgic; stream a 13-minute preview on plasticgalaxymovie.com.

Dreaming Like Mad With Dion McGregor: we can only hope for dreams as colorful as this man's.

The least exciting massive explosion ever.

LINK: Original photo by Cpl. James Clark

August 8, 2014 at 7:23am

Friday Morning Joe: US airstrikes in Iraq, Israel airstrikes in Gaza, hacking the military, Theory of Everything ...

Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron throw coffee pots during Exercise Dragon Fire 2014 at Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, Japan. Original photo by Cpl. Antonio Rubio


President Barack Obama authorized air strikes on Iraq to protect Christians and prevent "genocide" of tens of thousands of members of an ancient sect sheltering on a desert mountaintop from Islamic State fighters threatening to exterminate them.

British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed President Obama's authorization of targeted airstrikes in Iraq, but his office ruled out similar action

Obama's Iraq plan has a killer flaw - and airstrikes alone may not save it.

Ukrainian army units broke out of the blockade today and rejoined government forces, but 15 soldiers and border guards were killed in the operation.

The head of NATO on Thursday called on Russia to withdraw the estimated 20,000 troops massed along the Ukrainian border, amid fears that Moscow may invade its neighbor.

Israel launched air strikes across the Gaza Strip today in response to Palestinian rockets fired after Egyptian-mediated talks failed to extend a 72-hour truce in the month-long war.

What does Hamas do now? In its war with Israel, the Palestinian group has accomplished none of its aims. Not one.

Hackers show how to break into military communications.

Senate blocks F-22 cut, little else for U.S. Air Force reprogramming.

Vet Wait-Time Crisis: Shinseki led by setting goals that looked impossible, but that he knew could inspire better performance and bigger budgets.

Panamax 2014, an annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored multinational exercise focused on ensuring the defense of the Panama Canal, kicks off today at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

The Air Force will increase nuclear force manning at Air Force Global Strike Command missile and bomber wings beginning this fall.

Facebook's app strategy is bad news for anyone who uses apps.

A man in Portsmouth, England was arrested for allegedly pretending to be a ghost in a cemetery as people nearby attempted to mourn a loved-one.

See the trailer for the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything.

DC Entertainment will release nine superhero movies through 2020.

Have you seen the Wu-Tang Clan episode of The Daily Show?

Twenty-five years after Seinfeld, where have the Elaines gone?

Finally:  The Simpsons' Springfield out of Legos.

Your prayers have been answered. Ten hours of the A Team theme song.

LINK: Original photo by Cpl. Antonio Rubio

August 7, 2014 at 7:36am

Thursday Morning Joe: ISIS captures, Khmer Rouge in prison, Al Qaeda's how-to manual, new Terminator movie ...

1st Platoon Delta Company with The Basic School throw coffee pots during the Squad Weapons Munitions Field Firing Exercise. Original photo by Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos


The deadly insider attack that killed an Army major general and wounded more than a dozen other troops has led to questions about the way ahead in Afghanistan and the strength of the partnership between coalition and Afghan troops.

Sunni militants from the Islamic State group today seized Iraq's largest dam, placing them in control of enormous power and water resources and access to the river that runs through the heart of Baghdad.

Militants from the so-called Islamic State have taken over the largest Christian town in Iraq, Qaraqosh, and sent tens of thousands fleeing as a result.

Russia's "provocative actions" in neighboring Ukraine are prompting NATO to re-examine its relevance.

Decades after terrorizing Cambodia in the 1970s, the two most senior surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge were found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison today.

U.S. lawmakers continue reacting skeptically to the Obama administration's quiet U.S. military and intelligence pivot to Africa, this time holding up millions to counter violent extremists there.

Veterans are expected to have an easier time getting government-paid health care from local doctors under a bill that President Obama is set to sign into law today. The $16.3 billion measure also allows the Veterans Affairs Department to hire thousands of doctors, nurses and other health professionals at the VA's nearly 1,000 hospitals and outpatient clinics nationwide.

Deputy Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson: Wait times can be fixed in two years.

A primer on why the U.S. military puts Israel and the Palestinian territories in European Command.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl this morning again faced more questioning, which so far has not been confrontational. Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl began interviewing Bergdahl at Fort Sam Houston in Texas yesterday. That session lasted from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dahl has been tasked with looking into the nature of Bergdahl's 2009 disappearance from his Army base in Afghanistan. 

Captured letters reveal Al Qaeda's how-to manual.

The White House proposed a plan two months ago for the Pentagon to train and equip vetted Syrian rebel forces in that nation's civil war. But, since then, there's been lots of talk and not much action

The U.S. Army is seeking "one-way" tracers that can only be seen from the vantage point of a shooter.

The Navy's latest 30-year shipbuilding plan calling for a fleet size of more than 300 ships and submarines is at risk because of budget cuts.

The Navy and NASA wrapped up the second round of practice recoveries of the Orion spacecraft, which is designed to bring humans to the moon, asteroids and, eventually, to Mars.

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center recently rolled out the first comprehensive two-year integrated priorities list to strategically order funding of sustainment, restoration, modernization, environmental and demolition projects across the Air Force portfolio.

Marine vet paddles away two tours in Afghanistan on the Mississippi River.

The Army National Guard is ending its sponsorship of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Indy Racing League driver Graham Rahal.

This animation video explains everything you need to know about Earth.

What?: Rick Springfield and Meryl Streep? There's a pairing we never expected to see.

There's no need to freak out about an Annie Hall sequel.

Time has a fascinating graphic that illustrates Hollywood's movie calendar.

This cool feature compares cartoon characters in the first and last episodes of their series.

Really? A fifth Terminator movie?

Yes please: R2-D2 kitchen timer.

Finally: All the sounds in the Matrix replaced with 8-bit sounds.

How to stop a baby from crying

LINK: Original photo by Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos

August 6, 2014 at 7:33am

Wednesday Morning Joe: US generals killed in combat, US troops in Ukraine, bad guy database doubled, Western girls to Jihad, top movie fight scenes ...

Bridge Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group throw a training coffee pot at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Original photo by Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie


U.S. officials prepared to fly the body of a two-star general slain in an Afghan "insider attack" back home, as a similar attack saw an Afghan police officer drug and shoot dead seven of his colleagues, authorities said.

Who assassinated Maj. Gen. Harold Greene?

History of U.S. generals killed in combat.

The Obama administration needs to boost its military support to Iraq's Kurdish minority, which has suffered a string of setbacks in the last several days battling a Sunni militant group, according to key members of Congress.

Russia has amassed around 20,000 combat-ready troops on Ukraine's eastern border and could use the pretext of a humanitarian or peace-keeping mission to invade.

The U.S. sent a small team of troops to Ukraine to aid in recovery operations for the victims of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

A Senate committee is holding up a plan to shift $100 million to an Air Force space-launch program, telling the service to devise a plan for a new liquid rocket engine.

A government database of known or suspected terrorists doubled in size in recent years, The Associated Press has learned. The growth is the result of intelligence agencies submitting names more often after a near-miss attack in 2009.

Paul Wolfowitz, a former senior George W. Bush official and one of the chief Iraq War architects, said the U.S. "won" the war in Iraq.

The ISIS online campaign luring Western girls to Jihad.

Leading experts in military combat-vehicle research, engineering and design gathered to discuss a single goal: reducing the weight of the Army's tanks and infantry fighting vehicles by 40 percent in the coming decades.

It's a banner year for the Air Force with the Department of Energy recently announcing that service won a lion's share of 2014 Federal Energy Management Program awards.

Court: Leaders not liable for subordinates' bad decisions.

Three current Blue Angels pilots are among the commissioned officers who circulated pornographic messages and photographs among themselves and to other members of the elite flight team, according to copies of phone texts that were part of a recent Navy investigation.

Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, commonly known as CID, are once again warning internet users worldwide about cyber criminals involved in an online crime that CID has dubbed "the Romance Scam."

Abandoned Soviet forced labor camp oddly turns into one of the most enjoyable beaches ever.

Are these the best movie fight scenes ever? You will watch all 11:20 minutes of this.

Ooh, it's an oral history of The Wonder Years.

Glamour has a video feature about The Daily Show's Jessica Williams and Samantha Bee.

What?: "chillax" and "vlog" have been added to the Scrabble dictionary.

Finally: Peter Dinklage, a mullet and a bazooka.

Did Louie C.K. shrink?

LINK: Original photo by Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December