Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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February 17, 2014 at 7:37am

Monday Morning Joe: Navy wins, threats of climate change, "True Detective" answers ...

Walk around Olympia's Capitol Lake then sip espresso at neighboring Traditions Cafe.


The U.S. Navy would get the largest chunk of the additional $36 billion the White House is considering giving to the Pentagon for fiscal 2016.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of stonewalling in peace talks and called on Russia to push its ally to negotiate with opposition leaders.

Amid concerns that the current policy in Syria is failing, U.S. officials are developing new options to bring about an end to the three-year civil war,

Secretary of State John Kerry drove home a hard line on the threats of climate change Sunday, saying they rank as high as terrorism threats.

The Pentagon and the U.S. Congress have begun the tedious effort of reviewing decades of antiquated, cumbersome defense acquisition policies to speed up the defense procurement process and get more bang for the buck.

North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un should face international justice for ordering systematic torture and mass killings.

Group shines a light on victim backlash in military sex assaults.

The Obama administration is making contingency plans to use air bases in Central Asia to conduct drone missile attacks in northwest Pakistan.

There's an invasion of drone flights far beyond the policing ability of the Federal Aviation Administration.

What do you do with a bomb shelter when you're no longer getting Blitzed by the Nazis?

45 things you might not know about the presidents.

What is human nature?

True Detective: The answer is there. Have you figured it out?

It's impossible for anyone to see the new season of Game of Thrones ... unless you're the president.

Preview the new season of Orange is the New Black, which returns June 6.

Michael Keaton says he has talked to Tim Burton about a possible Beetlejuice sequel. If Winona's in, I'm in.

Finally: Back to the Future, Firefly and Goonies action figures

And then there's this ...

February 14, 2014 at 9:58am

Military crowdsourcing site Endless Crowds launches

Endless Crowds is a fundraising platform exclusively for active/veteran military, firefighters, first responders and their causes.

There is great power in numbers - especially when it comes to getting needed funds to programs, businesses and individuals. Enter crowdsourcing, a fairly new phenomenon that harnesses the power of many to accomplish tasks and fundraising large and small. Popular crowdsourcing sites range from fundraising site Kickstarter to mini-job site TaskRabbit.

And now there's a new kid on the block called Endless Crowds, launched just this week, designed specifically for active duty military, veterans and first responders. The site allows participants to pool resources, ideas and raise funds, but strives to go beyond what many think of as a crowdsourcing site.

Founded by Roger Mensah, Endless Crowds is designed to serve a variety of projects, including community service programs, entrepreneurial and personal projects. Mensah began working on the site soon after President Obama's 2013 State of the Union address. Obama told the nation that 34,000 troops would be coming home and Mensah realized this meant many of these returning troops would face employment challenges.

To help vets who want to forge ahead on their own paths to self-employment or starting a business, for first-responder companies who cannot meet their needs through available funding, for military community programs who need a boost - Endless Crowds is there to help. Mensah believes that the discipline, leadership and teamwork qualities taught and engrained into military and first responders are inherently intertwined with a site such as Endless Crowds, which amplifies and empowers such qualities.

 "I believe those that protect us deserve the very best from the community at large, and their challenges are better solved together, rather than alone. Endless Crowds aims to harness the instilled qualities of teamwork, discipline and leadership found in our military and first responders to find a new way to get things done," said Mensah via a recent press release.

While fundraising is one aspect of the platform, Endless Crowds serves a higher purpose as well. Where other sourcing sites usually gather funds and nothing more, Endless Crowds will offer support and guidance to participants beyond the fundraising push. The site brings together resources and tools available to participants and aims to offer a personalized experience, which most other crowdsourcing platforms do not.

Beyond military members, Endless Crowds will also serve first responders, who often end up on the short end of the stick with public funding and can't afford needed equipment or programs from D.A.R.E to National Fire Prevention Week.

Some of the projects already listed on the site include Our Home Transitional, a program that hopes to help single homeless female veterans by raising funds to help for job training, education, health care and home placement assistance. Another project, Police Unity Tour, which is a four-day bicycle ride from New Jersey to D.C. to raise awareness of officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty and to raise funds for the The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

To start a project or fundraiser, or find one to support, go to endlesscrowds.com. To see which programs are already listed on the site, go to Explore and you can peruse by Community, Entrepreneurial and Personal/Creative projects.

February 4, 2014 at 7:45am

Tuesday Morning Joe: Kickback scandal rocks Army National Guard, vet tuition rates, secret Taliban talks, happy birthday Facebook...

Seahawks spirit is still alive at Rain City Cafe in downtown Tacoma.


More than 800 soldiers are under criminal investigation for gaming a National Guard program that paid hundreds of millions in bonuses to soldiers who persuaded friends to sign up during the darkest years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been holding secret talks with Taliban officials in an effort to bridge peace with his government,


January 28, 2014 at 7:36am

Tuesday Morning Joe: Major cybersecurity issues, Super Bowl air security, Instagram presidential selfies...

Start your day the sweet way with the new Chocolate Chai Tea Latte at the Starbucks at 56th Street and South Tacoma Way.


DoD test report warns of major cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Last night, the Pentagon confirmed the ship assigned to destroy Syria's chemical weapons had left Virginia and was headed to the Italian port of Gioia Tauro.

An upcoming Anglo-French summit could breathe fresh life into a bilateral defense relationship seen as faded, with industry waiting to hear if there is progress on an anti-ship missile and a future combat drone for the two nations.


January 21, 2014 at 7:24am

Tuesday Morning Joe: Robots could replace Army soldiers, military moving company busted, can growler...

The cool thing about the Starbucks on Steilacoom Boulevard in Lakewood is the baristas' heads glow.

The Army is considering the feasibility of shrinking the size of the brigade combat team from about 4,000 soldiers to 3,000 over the coming years, and replacing the lost soldiers with robots and unmanned platforms.

The United Nations revoked an invitation to Iran to attend a crucial peace conference on Syria in Switzerland, culminating a day of chaotic international diplomacy that included loud U.S. objection to Iran's participation and a threat by the Syrian opposition to boycott the talks.


January 9, 2014 at 7:40am

Thursday Morning Joe: Helicopter crash update, helicopters to Iraq, weather, heart-stopping skywalks ...

Cavanaugh's Coffee House (3928 N Cheyenne St., Tacoma) has a friendly vibe, thanks to owner Kelli Haskins. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner


Two crew members are dead and a third remains missing after the Wednesday-morning crash of a Norfolk, Va.-base MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia Beach. Officials are unable to say what caused the crash.

Senate Foreign Relations Commmittee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is considering supporting the transfer of AH-64 Apache helicopters to Iraq.

House and Senate Defense appropriators have been closely holding a secret, at the core of which lies the fate of hundreds of Pentagon programs facing billions of dollars in reductions from fiscal 2014 plans.

Congress ordered the NASA to finish a $350 million facility even though the agency doesn't need it.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he was impressed with what he saw yesterday at an Air Force base on the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert.

Germany announced today it will help destroy Syria's chemical weapons stockpile.

Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, the commander of the Third Air Force in Europe, whose handling of sexual-assault cases drew withering criticism from advocacy groups and some lawmakers retired under pressure Wednesday.

Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Jim Miller had his last day at the Pentagon yesterday.

Tidbits from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' book kept coming yesterday, and the White House scrambled to respond to them.

Looking for work? The Transportation Security administration is hiring, and they might just want YOU! Check the video to see if you meet their qualifications.

Ten historic live musical performances you can watch on Youtube.

Fifteen heart-stopping skywalks that will turn your legs to jelly.

American Horror Story -Coven' Episode 10 Recap: "The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks"

The Black Lips toured the Middle East and shared the best details of their unexpected tour.

Thank you for starting your day with Morning Joe. Please send your latest defense news and any tips or feedback to editor@northwestmilitary.com and follow on Twitter at @JBLMnewspapers.

And we leave you with a lovely beach scene captured this week at Lake Michigan. ...

January 7, 2014 at 7:22am

Tuesday Morning Joe: Angry Republicans, trouble in Iraq, weather, Siri hates "Her" ...

The Starbucks in Tacoma's Proctor District has recently been remodeled.


Republicans slammed the White House yesterday over the resurgence of al Qaeda in Iraq, calling on the administration to do more to help the Iraqis push back against the affiliate groups.

The top enlisted sailor aboard the USS Germantown has been temporarily relieved in the wake of allegations of sexual assault made by a crewmember.

The Defense Department announced the rotational deployment of the U.S. Army's 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st U.S. Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas to Camps Hovey and Stanley, Republic of Korea, will go down Feb. 1.?This combined arms battalion, comprised of approximately 800 soldiers and its own wheeled and tracked vehicles, will deploy to conduct operations in support of U.S. Forces Korea and Eighth Army.

The fight to control Iraq's biggest province, Anbar, has intensified, with air attacks by the military killing dozens of people and the army preparing an assault on a city controlled by al-Qaeda linked fighters.

Civil war lingers in Iraq and al Qaeda's comeback in Anbar province raises new questions about whether the U.S. should have left troops there.

The images of al-Qaeda militants surging back into cities that were secured at an enormous sacrifice has chilled Americans who fought in Iraq.

Former Army Spc. Chance Darby was reunited at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl with the Advanced Combat Helmet that saved his life in Afghanistan, he said the headgear had successfully stopped an enemy rifle bullet, but left him with two big headaches.

The Army's rapid fielding of network systems to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan led to vastly improved communications capabilities on the battlefield - but also increased network complexity.

U.S. Army conducting joint study to improve bone health in military personnel.

What was learned from the five-part Beyonce documentary.

Albert Camus: Hot.

Star Wars-styles 3D hologram phone on the market in five years, it could.

Rolling Stone hosts the new Bruce Springsteen album for streaming.

See Nirvana dedicate a song to River Phoenix in this rare concert footage.

Siri dissess the movie Her.

Smellcome to Manhood ...

About this blog

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

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