Sat Feb 23, 2013, 06:38 PM
ProSense (108,089 posts)
Alan Grayson: Sequester Threatens Top-Secret Military Research
Sequester Threatens Top-Secret Military Research
by Alan Grayson
One of the nice things about being a Member of Congress is that I have security clearance, and you don't. (Sorry!) So I know about the threat that the looming sequester poses to a crucial top-secret military research project. Since we're friends, I'll tell you about it.
The U.S. Army has discovered that a small round white object, when hurled from close range at the upper extremities of an enemy combatant, can have a devastating impact, sometimes inducing unconsciousness. Deploying this weapon often results in immediate disorientation in the enemy combatant, reflected in his abrupt non-vertical motion and transient imbalance. The Army refers to these powerful weapons as "Ballistic White Spherical Objects," or BWSOs.
Although it packs quite a wallop, the BWSO is surprisingly compact. It measures only nine inches in circumference, small enough for a properly trained U.S. soldier to hold one in each hand. A fully-functional BWSO weighs only five ounces, making it practical for a U.S. soldier deployed on the battlefield to carry several of them, simultaneously, in his kit.
The U.S. Army's current BWSO research program - placed directly at risk by the sequester -- focuses on the maximum speed with which BWSOs may be deployed. In this key project, the Army has identified and procured the services of certain experts in the field. These experts cannot be identified, for obvious reasons, but they definitely aren't not named "CC Sabathia," "Johan Santana" or "Barry Zito." (Disturbingly, intelligence reports conclusively demonstrate that "Justin Verlander" may or may not be cooperating with foreign military forces in a similar manner, thus posing the very real threat of an "arms race.")
Due to earlier budget cuts, the Army found that it could not pay the normal daily rate for these experts, which is $600,000 for approximately two hours of work. The Army found, however, that it could procure these services for half-price, or only $300,000 for each two-hour "start," if it conducted these tests between mid-October and late March.
These essential tests are being threatened by the sequester. If the sequester goes into effect at the end of this month, then we may never understand why Army test data indicate that Santana's deployment of the BWSOs appears to be slowing. (Could it be a gradual increase in the strength of the Earth's gravitational field?) Or why Zito's declining ability to force the BWSO trajectory to arc occasionally seems to leave the BWSO hanging in the air, much like a ripe pumpkin.
We cannot leave America defenseless. We cannot let the terrorists win. Remember, they hate us because we are free. But the cost of that freedom is precisely whatever the current military budget happens to be, before any terrorist-coddling sequester cuts.
Virtually all of the media coverage of the impact of the sequester on the US military-industrial complex has focused on the loss of jobs, as if hiring people to kill other people is some kind of national full-employment program. But having read all the way down to here, at least you, Dear Reader, you understand that there is a lot more at stake.
Oh, and we're also cutting the air traffic control budget by nine percent. That should have some interesting consequences.
Rep. Alan Grayson
P.S. Please sign our petition against Social Security and Medicare cuts at www.no-cuts.com, if you haven't already.
This is a tough one. The $500 billion in defense cuts are fairly attractive.
Here is Congressman Grayson's other post on the sequester:
"Would You Like To Buy A Pen?" She Asked Me
Please sign the petition: http://no-cuts.com/
...the American story is one of perfectibility and striving for ever-greater fidelity to our ideals -- it is a journey from colony to republic, from slavery to freedom, from sexism to suffrage, from stark poverty to shared prosperity.
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Alan Grayson: Sequester Threatens Top-Secret Military Research (Original post)
Response to ProSense (Original post)
Sat Feb 23, 2013, 06:41 PM
Warpy (73,109 posts)
1. Then the military needs to cut something else
Honestly, folks, military cuts are the last things on my mind, they're absolutely necessary to do. Force those generals to make the hard choices: military research programs at the national labs versus bases that are kept open mostly because of the sailing and golf courses. Or maybe just cancel a few of the planes you didn't want in the first place.
C'mon, guys, you can do it if you apply yourselves.
Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work for the benefit of all. - John Maynard Keynes
Response to Warpy (Reply #1)
Sat Feb 23, 2013, 06:46 PM
riderinthestorm (14,035 posts)
2. Grayson's piece is a satirical take Warpy! Its very, very funny.
But I do agree with you that the military needs some trimming!
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful". Attributed to Seneca the Younger, Roman Philosopher.