Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘Marine’

Fraud, Waste and Abuse… in the Pentagon. Is ANYONE surprised?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 13, 2013

Here’s the one-liner you’ll remember, albeit one with significant truth:

“There’s more pork in the Pentagon budget than a Smithfield corporate hog farm feedlot in North Carolina.”

Or, if you prefer:

“There’s more pork in the Pentagon budget than a Paula Deen Christmas recipe.”

And if the Pentagon budget were a recipe, it’d be a recipe for disaster.

The budget for the United States Department of Defense accounts for very nearly 6% of our nation’s budget. It is THE SINGLE LARGEST BUDGET ITEM in the entire budget. The amount of money sifting through the Pentagon’s hands is more than the combined defense budgets of the world’s top 15 wealthiest nations. And, it accounts for 4.7% of our nation’s economy. Late former President Dwight David Eisenhower was spot-on accurate in his Farewell Address to the nation 17 January 1961 when he warned us saying:

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

None of this is to say, of course, that any kind of spending on national defense is somehow a bad thing, for it is not. Yet Eisenhower specifically warned about even the spiritual implications of the DoD spending “Gone Wild.” However, the last time the people, the Congress, the President or anyone else – including the Comptroller General, the Office of the DoD Inspector General, or the Secretary of Defense ever said anything about being budget hawks on the use of the people’s taxes was September 10, 2001 when SecDef Donald Rumsfeld spoke to the Department of Defense, and announced that the Department of Defense “cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” Not only was that money MIA, but he added that…

“The technology revolution has transformed organizations across the private sector, but not ours, not fully, not yet. We are, as they say, tangled in our anchor chain. Our financial systems are decades old. According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. We cannot share information from floor to floor in this building because it’s stored on dozens of technological systems that are inaccessible or incompatible.

“We maintain 20 to 25 percent more base infrastructure than we need to support our forces, at an annual waste to taxpayers of some $3 billion to $4 billion. Fully half of our resources go to infrastructure and overhead, and in addition to draining resources from warfighting, these costly and outdated systems, procedures and programs stifle innovation as well. A new idea must often survive the gauntlet of some 17 levels of bureaucracy to make it from a line officer’s to my desk. I have too much respect for a line officer to believe that we need 17 layers between us.”
-Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, September 10, 2001

He discovered $2.3 Trillion in the DoD budget of taxpayer monies which had no accounting. It was “Missing In Action.” The next day, the World Trade Centers suffered terrorist attacks. We never heard anything ever again. [Read the text of his speech here: http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=430]

Here’s a video of the CBS news report.

And now, here’s a jet plane that is the veritable aircraft version of a Jack-of-all-Trades-and-Master-of-None, which our nation’s military has previously said they do not need, and already have other more durable, reliable and operable aircraft. And this is a thing that they have continuously said they want, rather than need.

Wants and needs are two entirely different things.

And not only that, but that the entire bidding process related to Defense contracts is fraught with cost overruns, late deliveries and more – all of which would NOT be, and is NOT tolerated in private enterprise. And yet, we somehow think that the sacred cow of Pentagon spending is somehow exempted from the normal rules of operation.

And now, with the budget items heating up again, it would be ludicrously preposterous to presume that the sacred cow of Pentagon slush funds slop trough is in pristine condition.

Other agencies, like American businesses and families throughout, have learned to live within their means, and make do with less.

Why can’t the Pentagon?

F-35 Marine Model Stress Testing Halted Over Cracks

By Tony Capaccio – Jan 12, 2013

Durability testing on the most complicated version of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s (LMT) F-35 was halted last month after “multiple” cracks were discovered in the fighter jet, according to the Pentagon’s testing office.

The previously undisclosed halt in high-stress ground testing involves the F-35B, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Retired Marine’s Life Told Story of Dignity of Man

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 23, 2012

The few, the proud, the father who stamps his family with a purpose

By DAVID LAUDERDALE
DLauderdale@IslandPacket.com
843-706-8115
Published Saturday, September 22, 2012

Retired Gunnery Sgt Lasalle Vaughn

Retired Gunnery Sergeant LaSalle R. Vaughn in his U.S. Marine Corps uniform at the funeral of his best friend and next-door-neighbor, retired Marine Master Sergeant Frederick Drake, in November 2010. Both were Montford Point Marines.

LaSalle R. Vaughn was a Marine gunnery sergeant whose eyes could bore into you like a nail, and whose body was still taut as new rope when he died last Sunday at 88.

But everyone talks about his cinnamon rolls. Their sweet aroma would pull children into his kitchen from all over Sergeants Drive in Port Royal.

In 1943 he joined a U.S. Marine Corps that didn’t really want the feisty half African-American, half Native American from Baton Rouge, La. But he’d seen the sharp uniform with a red stripe down blue pants, and he insisted on joining the Marines.

His vision of what it would be like changed quickly when he was sent to the segregated boot camp for African-Americans at Montford Point, outside Camp Lejeune, N.C.

He was immensely proud to have served more than two decades. He was a steward and chef to seven generals, even preparing a meal for a U.S. president. But he said paving the road to integration was hell.

The Rev. James E. Moore, pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Dale and national chaplain of the Montford Point Marine Association, said: “I am convinced that had they failed — and there were many people who felt they would fail and wanted them to fail — I would not have been the first black sergeant major of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Eastern Recruiting Region. I attribute that to what they went through and what they endured.”

Montford Point Marines were honored in June with the Congressional Gold Medal.

But it’s the corps within Vaughn’s own home — his fatherhood — that should be talked about most during his final salute.

STRONG MEN

“Lord knows we need in our society today positive examples of strong men who accept the responsibility to be the people we were created to be,” said Moore. “And when I say that, I mean first being fathers. I think fatherhood has been diminished in our society.”

LaSalle and Catherine Vaughn — who would have been married 66 years in December — had five boys and two girls.

The oldest, LaSalle II, is a retired Air Force officer who Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, End Of The Road | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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