The nonscience of spacecraft naming. Contributor D.B. Grady writes, “Let’s say you spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars building a spacecraft. Once you put that last rivet into it, you step back and behold your vessel to the stars, and then it hits you: you still have to name the thing. It’s not enough to call it Spaceship One and call it a day; you need to be creative and come up with something that rouses the human spirit. Here are four such spacecraft, and how they were named.”

China loves LinkedIn. Editor Lindy Kyzer reports, “A new website that can best be described as a privacy and national security disaster is culling LinkedIn and Google to create a database of professionals with access to America’s secrets.”


What we have here, is a failure to communicate.  ABC News‘ Luis Martinez reports on the removal of Iraqi Special Forces troops that preceded the fall of Ramadi, “The departure of that elite unit led other Iraqi military commanders in the city to order the departure of their troops even though they held a significant numerical superiority, the U.S. official said.  The motivations for the elite unit’s departure remain unknown, the U.S. official said, but it was another reason provided by American officials as to why thousands of Iraqi security forces left the city….Taken together, it appears the fall of Ramadi was due to a domino effect of circumstances.”

Tit for tat. Ilan Ben Zion and Marissa Newman with the Times of Israel report on new skirmishes at the Gaza Strip, “A source in Gaza said the firing was the result of an internal dispute inside the Islamic Jihad terror group, which has included kidnappings of people in northern Gaza. The source said Islamic Jihad recently appointed a new commander to oversee the northern region of the coastal enclave. The new commander was supposed to start his new position today officially, but his predecessor opposed it, sparking clashes between the two commanders’ supporters. The new commander’s men then kidnapped two operatives working under the former commander and, in retaliation, the predecessor’s followers decided to fire rockets at Israel.”


So, about that cyber pros shortage…   Defense One‘s Aliya Sternstein writes, “Cyber Command has called off a sweeping solicitation that would have outsourced support for cyberspying and network attacks against foreigners, as well as the defense of military networks. As of Friday afternoon, there were few details on why the five-year-old command, which is racing to staff up, revoked an April 30 request for proposals from contractors. The jobs were worth up to $475 million over five years.”

Big primes don’t cry. Breaking Defense‘s Sydney Freedburg reports, “With the Pentagon opening an outreach office in Silicon Valley, traditional defense firms may be feeling left behind. But the much-maligned prime contractors play a vital role in innovation, said Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush this morning. In fact, he argued, the Defense Department often needs the traditional firms to act as a “translator,” helping it connect to commercial companies that are reluctant to deal with DoD directly.”


Does this mean I still have to pay my taxes? The Associated Press‘ Stephen Ohlemacher reports “Sophisticated criminals used an online service run by the IRS to access personal tax information from more than 100,000 taxpayers, part of an elaborate scheme to steal identities and claim fraudulent tax refunds, the IRS said Tuesday.”

Opening up Uncle Sam’s pocket book. Government Executive’s Hallie Golden writes, “The next big thing in commercial space technology may not be quite ready to head to market. And that’s where NASA is stepping in. The space agency announced last week it wants to invest in a number of industry-developed space technologies that are at the so-called “tipping point” — everything from systems for robotic, in-space manufacturing to remote-sensing applications.”


Imprisoned in Iran. The New York Times‘ Rick Gladstone writes on the imprisonment of a Washington Post reporter, “Iran has many laws that are written so vaguely they can be applied to almost any situation, and it remains possible that Mr. Rezaian did, intentionally or not, violate some aspect of Iran’s legal code simply by gathering information — doing his job as a journalist. Yet if history is a guide, his fate may be tied to Iranian political tensions and calculations in the estranged relations between Iran and the United States that may have nothing to do with the accusations, according to political experts, relatives of prisoners and former prisoners.”

White House to Senate: Can you hear me now? Defense One’s Dustin Volz reports, “An exasperated White House on Tuesday ratcheted up pressure on the Senate to pass surveillance-reform legislation before intelligence tools considered crucial to national security expire at the end of the month—while appearing to throw a direct barb at Sen. Rand Paul for gumming up the process.”


Poking the Big Red BearForeign Policy’s Feng Zhang writes, “It’s worth asking the big question: What American interests are served by dispatching military assets to Chinese-controlled islands in the South China Sea? U.S. ships will sail around the 12-nautical mile line; U.S. aircraft will fly over the islands. China will condemn such behavior without doing anything dramatic.”

When you don’t want to win. The Orange County Register’s Ron Hart reports “In his own “Mission Accomplished” moment, President Obama declared a couple of years ago that he had brought a “responsible end to the war in Iraq.” As it turns out, not so much. A destabilized Iraq ushered in the rise of ISIS, which Obama dismissively called the “Junior Varsity.” Now ISIS is on the rise and has recently taken the Iraqi provincial capital of Ramadi, 70 miles from Baghdad.”


Cheaper than a DMV apartment.

Cleaning up the GOP debates.

Because cartoons are only free speech if they get published in The New Yorker.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.