Colorado Springs defense contractor to be acquired by California-based Parsons Corp.

Colorado Springs-based defense contractor Polaris Alpha will be acquired May 31 by California-based engineering and construction giant Parsons in a deal designed to accelerate Polaris Alpha’s growth in cybersecurity, battlefield management, small satellites and other advanced technologies. The transaction will give Parsons nearly 800 employees in Colorado, including 350 Polaris Alpha employees in Colorado Springs and 100 in the Denver area, that will be merged into Parsons’ federal contracting unit during the next 12 to 18 months, said Carey Smith, who heads the unit.

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‘The Best of America’: Scranton Remembers Forgotten Fallen Marine 51 Years Later in Memorial Day Weekend Ceremony

Lance Corporal Jimmy Reddington died at 19-years-old in Vietnam in March 1967, just a few months after he arrived there in December 1966. He was the life of Scranton, by all accounts, before he left to serve his country in one of the most gruesome wars in U.S. history.

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BiH exports see year-on-year increase of 10.6 pct in Jan-April

Exports from Bosnia and Herzegovina amounted to 3.765 billion convertible mark , or 2.254 billion U.S. dollars, in the first four months of this year, registering a year-on-year increase of 10.6 percent, official data showed Saturday. According to data from BiH Agency for Statistics, imports during the same period reached 5.938 billion KM, up 8.3 percent year-on-year.

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A Young Man With the Biggest Balls in Texas is Gone: R.I.P. Christian Garcia

I’ll get to Christian Garcia in a moment, but first – my heart goes out on this weekend to the victims and their families, friends, neighbors, fellow students and staff at Santa Fe High School near Galveston – as well as all the good people of the great state of Texas.

One of the most heinous attacks ever seen at a Texas school occurred on Friday, May 18th when 9 students and 1 teacher were killed in the mass-school shooting which left ten others were wounded by the 17-year-old shooter and fellow student at Santa Fe High School.

I can tell you this: From here forward, I’m fed up and done talking and writing about active shooters, mass shootings at schools, sociopaths, guns, mental health experts, rules of engagement and just in case you’re wondering – yes – I’m putting my money where my mouth is.

It’s been 20 years since Columbine. Now think about that. Go ahead, think about 20 years passing – I’ll give you a few minutes:

All the bullshit talk and posturing by politicians. Michael Moore and his stupid movie – “Bowling” for Columbine – yeah, you’re about as clever as making armpit farts, Mike.

Then there’s the irrational lies and disingenuous blaming of inanimate objects for the actions of murderous sociopaths, or confused and angry children – bereft of love or purpose – hepped up for years on psychotropic pills prescribed en masse by lazy psycho “doctors,” simply because no one wanted to take time out from their own selfish lives to really help them cope.

Bla bla bla bla bla blab bla blah – I’m done. After 20 years of experts, authorities, regulations, talk shows, political agendas and endless platitudes what do we have to show for it?

Just dozens more dead innocent school kids. Dead. Gone.

They’re not out having a blast this Memorial Day weekend with their families and friends OR visiting the cemetery where great-grandad lies – you know – the guy who trudged across Europe in his bare feet to kill Nazis, climbed into a tin can and submerged under the Pacific to fight Tojo’s Navy, or stared down Rommel’s tanks in North Africa?

Yeah, that guy. That guy WHO GAVE YOU THIS INTERNET?

Those dead kids will never get to be cool, as Neil Young says. And why? Because nobody does anything. They just talk. And talk. And then talk some more… Well, it’s over sports fans – time for you and me to trudge across our own country and protect our children in the classroom and do it now.

Here’s what I’m doing and I’d like you to read on and perhaps reach out if you give a damn. If you don’t, then just keep watching this new reality show called; “Let’s shoot up the next school, then blame everybody for a couple weeks till the next one comes along: Rinse and Repeat.”

Think I’m an a-hole? Would it surprise you if I said I agree with that assessment? Kinda hoping you’ll also agree with George Bernard Shaw when he said “all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” .. He was talking about a-holes like me, btw. But I digress.. Don’t worry, I’m getting to Christian’s story.

I’ve been deeply involved in a project which has the potential to touch all your lives and virtually anyone in the country with kids or grandkids. It will take resolute action – not just talk – coupled with the will to employ rigorous and unflinching solutions to not only reduce but eradicate these horrific events. Yes, I know of all the increased security, expanded mental health measures, improved training for law enforcement, calls for more gun-control, posturing and lecturing by politicians on and on and on it goes..

But all of this and more were present in Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe High School in Texas and yet: Twenty-two murdered children, dozens injured, and hundreds traumatized – some for life. Obviously there must be a safe alternative to protecting our kids in class rooms other what we’re doing now – which is not working.

SO: What’s the solution, Rodney Lee?

Soon after the horrific incident at Santa Fe High School, which is near Galveston, Texas; ‘SwiftShield’ – the company I’ve joined up with in the fight to secure and lock-down school classrooms – allowed me to develop an innovative program I believe will cut through the red tape and politics which is enabling this continued slaughter of innocent school children. In fact, I know it will.

It’s called the S.O.S – ‘Shield Our Schools’ initiative and it’s quite unique in that ‘SwiftShield’ is now partnering with several of its large corporate sponsors and others to outfit schools all over the country with their line of devices which easily and effectively lock-down classrooms in the event of another one of these attacks.

We’re putting our money where our mouth’s are – along with other private-sector entities who are exasperated with the lack of a government answer to this very real and deadly problem. In fact, I can make you a great case that government actions are making this problem worse: FAR worse. Keep reading.

What first drew my attention to ‘SwiftShield’ a year ago, is the effectiveness of these products – they lock-down classrooms instantly in the event of an active-shooter or similar threats, can withstand thousands of pounds of pressure and stop bullets from hand guns, military-style weapons and shotguns – I’ve seen it.

And now, the entire design, product and system installation doesn’t cost the school or district a penny – it’s all handled by our corporate partners, sponsors and donors who are ready and willing right now to get involved to help our students be safe during these threats. That way we’re not even having a conversation about school budgets or costs conflicting with teacher pay or books, etc. It’s free to the schools.

As we speak, we are in the process of outfitting every classroom in the Santa Fe ISD, free of charge. That means the designing and installing of the SwiftShield system in every classroom on every door in all eight schools in the entire district – completely cost-free. It’s all being handled by corporate sponsorship.

Now get this: All public schools everywhere – in every State – can apply and receive a complete classroom active-shooter emergency system installed through the ‘Shield Our Schools’ initiative, absolutely free of cost. The funding is handled outside of any expenditures by the schools or districts themselves. In the past two months alone, this could have saved the lives of twenty kids at bare minimum – probably more.

So, as the headline stated, I did want to tell you about a 15-year-old student named Christian Garcia: If you haven’t heard about Christian, you should have – and you should share this article with everyone in your email contact list because Christian Garcia died a hero: And he had the biggest balls in Texas.

While the bullets were flying inside Santa Fe High School, Christian died while blocking the door from the attacker to give other students time to escape. He stood steadfast as long as he could, waving other students away and giving his classmates those precious seconds they needed – even as shots ripped through the door locks and then through his body.

As honorable and heroic as Christian was, I don’t believe a kid should ever be put in a position to have to make that choice. Does anyone believe Christian would have done great things in life had he survived? Anyone think his name is a coincidence? Not me.

take a look. a long look. that’s what a superhero looks like.

Which is why we’re (that means you and me, friendo) are now on a mission to get a SwiftShield door barricade device into every Santa Fe ISD classroom and then every door in the country. You and I both know in our hearts that it’s no longer a question of “if” but a matter of “when” and this seems to me to be the answer to not only get through the ugly politics of this mess, but a perfect solution to the question of already cash-strapped school budgets. Blam!

This is a no-brainer, dudes and dudettes. There’s a willingness and money to do this right now – in droves – everyone wants to help, we just need to get the information to them. Crazy right? Wrong. It’s happening.

Kids have the right to go to school get an education, participate in athletics, after-school projects, or go to the prom without worrying about being gunned down because government has failed at every level. I pray to God I never have to go through what these families are going through and I’m sure you feel the same about your family.

Nothing will change if we don’t stand up and help save lives by buying time and giving first responders those precious extra minutes when every second counts. SwiftShield is looking for corporate partners to donate products through the S.O.S. CAMPAIGN “ Shield Our Schools”  that allows schools to get free secondary safety Devices and not at the tax payers dollar since the government won’t stand up and protect them . And if you are a business that wants to do something to protect our kids let me know.

If you are a fellow warrior – write me and tell me you’re going to walk one of these into your local high school and say; “why don’t we have these yesterday – they’re free?rodney@swiftshield.com

kinda fired up, aren’t I?

The post A Young Man With the Biggest Balls in Texas is Gone: R.I.P. Christian Garcia appeared first on Joe For America.

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Pizzaria offers millennial a job after parents evict him for not working in nearly a decade

A millennial who has remained jobless for eight years is being tossed out of his parents’ home after they filed an eviction against him.

For months, Michael Rotondo, 30, ignored his parents’ eviction notices and offers of cash as an incentive for him to move out, CBS News reported. At one point, Rotondo’s parents offered him $1,100 to pack up and get his own place.

Nothing worked.

This week, a state judge in Syracuse ordered that Rotondo must move out of his parents’ home by June 1.

But things are finally looking up for Rotondo, who lives in upstate New York.

Well, sort of.

What was the job offer?

A national pizzeria chain has offered the college graduate a “store-level job.”

Andrew Steinberg, chief operating officer of the quick-service pizza chain Villa Italian Kitchen, told CBS News he’s taking a chance on Rotondo because it’s “tough out there” for millennials.

“At Villa, we feel for millennials, across the board,” Steinberg said in the CBS report. “With that said, Michael, hey dude. We are offering you a store-level gig, complete with extensive training to get you up to speed, at any one of our 250 locations worldwide.”

Steinberg even tossed in a bonus.

“We heard your parents offered you $1,100 to get out,” Steinberg said. “We’ll do you one better. Literally, one. Offer from us is on the table for $1,101 to come join our team. Consider it a signing bonus. We gotchu, bud.”

Rotondo has stayed with his parents, Mark and Christina, for eight years after losing his job. They told the judge they no longer want to support him.

“They said, ‘you need to get a job; you need to get health insurance,’” Rotundo told CBS news.

Over the years, Rotondo contributed nothing to household expenses, nor did he help with chores or property maintenance, according to the report.

Rotondo blamed his “failure to launch” on an ongoing custody battle over his own son.

“I’m getting my son back, that’s what I’m doing,” he said.

He won’t be doing it at his parents house, however.

“I’m granting the eviction,” the judge ruled.

In a CBS video of the hearing, Greenwood laughed when Rotondo asked if he could remain in his parent’s house at least six more months. He claimed he needs more time to move out but does not want to live there, anymore.

He later told media his parents “are not good people.”

Read more from The Blaze…

USS Blue Ridge ignites its boilers for first time in 2 years

The USS Blue Ridge lit its boilers for the first time in two years this week, signifying a big step toward bringing the Navy’s oldest deployable warship back to sailing condition.

As steam plumed from the 7th Fleet’s flagship late Tuesday evening, sailors who had watched the Blue Ridge undergo various repairs, refurbishments and system upgrades since June 2016 felt a great sense of accomplishment.

“I saw this engine room before dry dock when she was still steaming. Then during the time that it was shut down and ripped apart, it seemed like everything was working against us,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Raymond Davis III, a machinist’s mate attached to the Blue Ridge. “To finally light off the boilers is one of the best feelings I have had in the United States Navy.”

Commissioned on Nov. 14, 1970, the Blue Ridge has spent 38 years forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. It is scheduled to stay in service for at least another two decades.

With the boilers ignited, the warship can operate under its own power — meaning it is “one step closer to returning to sea and being fully operational in support of the 7th Fleet,” the Navy said.

The warship’s maintenance period was expected to last 14 months before unexpected issues arose with its engineering plant. In the end, repairs took about 135,000 man hours and cost more than $60 million.

Upgrades included modernizing the engineering plant and refurbishing the main condenser and ventilation systems, the service said. It was also outfitted with the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services computer system, which “consolidate[s] and modernize[s] communications, computers and intelligence network systems,” according to Northrop Grumman.

The amount of time the ship spent undergoing maintenance offered various challenges. There was a large turnover of crewmembers, and about 80 percent of the Blue Ridge’s engineers came “straight from boot camp or other non-engineering assignments” because the ship had entered restricted availability status, the Navy said.

“They had to go from learning the difference between the bow and the stern, to learning how to conduct a material check on an advanced piece of equipment,” said Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Hartley, the ship’s chief engineering officer.

Before the boilers could be ignited, the warship’s crew underwent a weeklong light-off assessment. The ship’s programs, standard operating procedures, equipment and emergency response protocols were evaluated “to ensure maximum compliance” before the first flame in two years could be sent into boiler, the Navy said.

“The magnitude of the boilers to the Blue Ridge cannot be underestimated. They produce steam for the ship’s propulsion, electrical power, auxiliary systems and potable water,” the Navy said. “Managing the complex engineering system is no easy feat, but the Blue Ridge demonstrated it was up to the task.”

Capt. Brett Crozier, the Blue Ridge’s commanding officer, said lighting the boilers was a rewarding milestone after the nearly 24-month maintenance period.

“Lighting these boilers is a reflection of all the hard work that has been put in by the crew, the ship-repair facility here in Yokosuka, the contractors and the Japanese shipbuilding company assigned to complete the majority of projects,” he said.

Crozier compared the warship’s extended maintenance period to a baseball team’s preparation for a season – and the boiler ignition as the start of the first game.

“Lighting off the boilers for the first time in nearly two years is the equivalent of the first pitch being thrown,” he said. “… This means it’s now game time — time to play ball preparing to return to sea.”

———

© 2018 the Stars and Stripes

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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House Republicans divided as Speaker Paul Ryan struggles to keep clout

WASHINGTON — Seven months before his planned retirement, House Speaker Paul Ryan is facing growing disruption among the GOP ranks, raising fresh questions about his ability to lead a divided group of Republicans through a tough election season.

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Leaked Documents Show Facebook’s Post-Charlottesville Reckoning with American Nazis

“James Fields did nothing wrong,” the post on Facebook read, referring to the man who drove a car through a crowd protesting against white supremacy in Charlottesville in August 2017, killing one. The post accompanied an article from Squawker.org, a conservative website. In training materials given to its army of moderators, Facebook says the post is an example of content “praising hate crime,” and it and others like it should be removed.

But after Charlottesville Facebook {snip} pushed to re-educate its moderators about American white supremacists in particular, according to a cache of Facebook documents obtained by Motherboard.

The documents provide more specific insights into how Facebook views and classifies white supremacy and neo-Nazis, and how those views have evolved {snip}.

“Recent incidents in the United States (i.e. Charlottesville) have shown that there is potentially confusion about our hate org policies and the specific hate orgs in specific markets,” a training document for moderators created shortly after the protest, and obtained by Motherboard, reads.

One of the training documents includes a log of when Facebook has modified the material, including adding new examples of hate speech as the network identifies them. {snip}

In January, 5 months after Charlottesville, Facebook added slides discussing the company’s position on white nationalism, supremacy, and separatism. While it says Facebook does not allow praise, support, or representation of white supremacy, it does allow the same sort of positions for white nationalism and separatism, according to one of the slides obtained by Motherboard.

Explaining its motivation, another section of the document reads that nationalism is an “extreme right movement and ideology, but it doesn’t seem to be always associated with racism (at least not explicitly).” Facebook then acknowledges that “In fact, some white nationalists carefully avoid the term supremacy because it has negative connotations.”

{snip}

Another slide asks “Can you say you’re a racist on Facebook?”.

“No,” is the response. “By definition, as a racist, you hate on at least one of our characteristics that are protected.”

Facebook classifies hate groups, individuals, and high profile figures based on “strong, medium, and weak signals,” according to one of the documents focused on hate speech in America. A strong signal would be if the individual is a founder or prominent member of a hate organization (or, “h8 org”, in Facebook parlance); medium would include the name or symbol of a banned hate group, or using dehumanizing language against certain groups of people. Partnership or some form of alliance with a banned hate organization—including participating in rallies together, of particular relevance to events like Charlottesville—Facebook sees as a weak signal, as well as an individual receiving a guilty verdict for distributing forbidden propaganda material.

{snip}

In its policy clarification document around hate groups in America, Facebook specifically points to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), United Klans of America, Aryan Nations, and several other groups that are either based in or are popular in the US. Another document, dated April of this year, includes many other white supremacist organizations from around the world, including Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi group linked to several murders in the US. Another document explicitly says that Facebook does not consider every organization the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) flags a hate group as such. (In its statement Facebook said “Online extremism can only be tackled with strong partnerships which is why we continue to work closely with academics and organisations, including the Anti-Defamation League, to further develop and refine this process.”)

{snip}

In April, Facebook released a selection of rules for when it takes down content, including hate speech. {snip}

“Our policies against organised hate groups and individuals are longstanding and explicit—we don’t allow these groups to maintain a presence on Facebook because we don’t want to be a platform for hate. Using a combination of technology and people we work aggressively to root out extremist content and hate organisations from our platform,” Facebook added in its statement.

The post Leaked Documents Show Facebook’s Post-Charlottesville Reckoning with American Nazis appeared first on American Renaissance.

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