Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned on Monday that U.S. troops are “close to the breaking point,” after many deployments — and Congress risks worsening the situation if it doesn’t help the Pentagon with its budget.
“Our people are strong and resilient after 12 years of war, but they are under stress — and so are the institutions that support them,” Hagel told the Veterans of Foreign Wars at the group’s annual convention in Louisville, Ky.
“Last week at Fort Bragg’s Soldier and Family Assistance Center, I met a first sergeant who told me that in Afghanistan, he froze up and became overwhelmed by anxiety. He couldn’t command. He had lost his ability to command,” Hagel said. “I asked him how many deployments he had. He told me he was on his fifth consecutive combat tour when this happened. When you push human beings this hard, they break. Some people have been pushed beyond the breaking point.” Read The Full Story
An effort is underway in the House (Thanks to Justin Amash, the Republican congressman from Michigan) to defund part of the NSA. Special interests within and around the agency are concerned. For pretty much forever the agency has been seen as untouchable.
And though the attached article doesn’t touch on this aspect, it is important for people to remember that there is a massive complex of government contractors which work for and /or supply the NSA which wields lots of power on the Hill. The amounts which flow to these “private” interests is likely huge. (Judging from their buildings which litter Northern Virginia and southern Maryland, we don’t get to see actually how much they get as the information is classified.)
But neither the agency nor its many private satellites probably need to worry too much. For all the attention the NSA is getting at this moment, for all the calls for greater transparency, Diane Feinstein says she has the NSA’s back. As she is the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee that matters. The dollars will likely keep flowing as before.
We can only hope that people like Mr. Amash in the House, and Mr. Wyden in the Senate will keep the light burning on this issue. The establishment wants America to be OK with the NSA spying on them. I’m thankful at least a few people in the Capitol care enough to say and do something even if the rest of Congress quietly bows and pretends that the Bill of Rights isn’t being violated. Read The Full Story
A Mises forum report on the Simpson mention of Austrian economics:
Mr. Burns is increasing energy costs and says...
I've assembled a team of distinguished economists...and placed plausible rate hike percentages on their backs. We'll use unfettered free market principles to arrive at a number.
----There is a picture of several people with "11%, 17%, 22%, 15%" etc. saftey-pinned to their backs.
Burns then says squinting his eyes,
Release the hounds...
Notice how the Keynesians climb trees while the Austrian school economists hide under rocks!
Smithers replies very dryly,
hahaha. Harvard jokers. It is funny because it is an accurate simple analogy for a problem that is coming for them!
Rates rise by 17%. Then Mr. Burns releases the radioactive steam onto the people who run away screaming.
Homer makes a joke about throwing away consumer goods like a good american later as well. Good episode.