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The Physical and Mental Wounds That Torment Combatants and Their Families Long After the War Is Over

November 12, 2013 in Blogs

By Prashanth Kamalakanthan, Asia Times

Ann Jones' new book'They Were Soldiers' delivers brutal examples of destroyed lives to highlight war's inhumanity.


In his final letter to his family, 30-year-old Iraq war veteran Daniel Somers wrote of having never returned from war. “In truth, I was nothing more than a prop”, reads the suicide note dated June 10, 2013, six years after his final deployment. “In truth, I have already been absent for a long, long time.” 

As the US-led war in Afghanistan draws to a close, Washington will tout the absence of combat troops in that country. Looking toward a scheduled withdrawal date of 2014, President Barack Obama has proudly announced hat “our troops are finally coming home”. 


But in what state he cannot say. For as the soldiers start streaming back, they will have absences of their own. Many will be disfigured, missing parts of the bodies they left with. Others will return in boxes, gone altogether. For some, like Somers, it will take longer to understand what was lost. 

“There are some things that a person simply cannot come back from,” he wrote in anguish. 

Though it's the harshest condemnation we seem to hear, the horrors of war are not really “unspeakable”. The English language gives us many words to express the wretched realities of modern warfare: rape, mutilation, massacre, psychosis. But there are those that make our wars, and there are those who live them. 

Both choose not to utter these ugly truths for their separate reasons. The heroic vocabulary of patriotic sacrifice papers over a miserable human reality politicians wish to ignore and soldiers need to escape. 

Between them are the witnesses who find the voice to speak. 

Ann Jones, the scholar, journalist and photographer who for decades has reported from the world's conflict zones, turns in her latest book to those dealing with the silences surrounding the United States' longest war. They Were Soldiers is an unwaveringly human narrative about the soldiers who return from Afghanistan, whole or in pieces, and the communities that put them back together, or not. It is not, as she makes clear at the outset, about “the pointless wars”. 

From the outside, wars start …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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The Fall 2013 ‘Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics’ Is Now Online

November 12, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

QJAEheader3

The new issue of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 16, no. 3 (Fall 2013) is now available. To view the full issue click here.

Inside Volume 16, no. 3 (Fall 2013): 255–376:

Fritz Machlup and the Bellagio Group:
Solutions to Liquidity, Adjustment and
Confidence Problems and their
Opportunity Costs

By Carol M. Connell

PDF Version

A Note on Two Erroneous Ways of
Defending the Pure Time Preference
Theory of Interest

By Mihai Vladimir Topan and Cristian Păun

PDF Version

Comment on “A Note on Two Erroneous
Ways of Defending the PTPT of Interest”

By Jeffrey Herbener

PDF Version

The Theory of Interpretive Frameworks:
Ceteris Non Paribus

By Paul D. Mueller

PDF Version

An Appreciation of B .R . Shenoy, Economist
By Sandeep Prakash

PDF Version

Book Review: Antifragile: Things that Gain
from Disorder

By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Review by David Howden

PDF Version

Book Review: The Great Deformation:
The Corruption of Capitalism in America

By David A . Stockman
Review by Thomas DiLorenzo

PDF Version

Visit the homepage of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics:

http://mises.org/periodical.aspx?Id=4

For Submissions Guidelines
http://mises.org/page/1477

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Audit the Fed

November 12, 2013 in Economics

By Joseph Salerno

. . . and make the results public, say 74% of Americans in a national  telephone survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports.

HT to Mike Stern of Auburn University.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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SLIDESHOW: Age of Crony Capitalism Starts Tonight

November 12, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Check out these slides for the Age of Crony Capitalism, an online course on David Stockman’s book, The Great Deformation. The instructor is Robert Batemarco, an economist who has worked with Rothbard! Course starts tonight. Sign up here.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Sen. Paul Addresses Cadets at The Citadel

November 12, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today spoke to cadets at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. Below is text prepared for delivery and video of his address.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH SEN. PAUL ADDRESS THE CITADEL’S CORPS OF CADETS

TRANSCRIPT:
It is an honor to be with you here today at the Citadel.

Gen. Rosa, thank you for this opportunity. I would also like to acknowledge Lt. Gen. Mike Steele, Chairman of The Citadel’s Board of Visitors. And thanks to Cadet Colonel Colin Hicks, the Regimental Commander, for his leadership of the Corps of Cadets.

Some of you may one day be called to defend your country. If you choose to serve, it will be willingly, as a volunteer. Our military is second to none and much of that excellence stems from having professionals who serve voluntarily. Since 1842, Cadets at The Citadel have answered their nation’s calling. Of last year’s class, fully 40 percent accepted commissions into the Armed Forces.

They will serve bravely and with purpose. They follow in the footsteps of graduates like Col. Myron Harrington, US Marine Corps, retired, Citadel class of 1960.[1] In 1968 during the Tet Offensive, Col. Harrington led a courageous assault against a heavily fortified enemy stronghold in Hue City. [2]

Disregarding extreme personal danger, he led his Marines in overrunning the entrenched enemy position. For that action, Col. Harrington received the Navy Cross, the nation’s second highest military award for valor in combat.[3] Col. Harrington is with us today. I would like to thank him for his service to our nation.[4]

Those of us in Washington who must make the decision to go to war owe you something, something that has been lacking in recent years. We owe you a full and proper consideration of the pros and cons of war.

We owe it to you to follow our Constitution and for Congress to debate and authorize all wars.

We owe it to you to clearly show our national interest before we go to war. We owe it to you to have a sound strategy, an achievable goal, and most of all, an exit plan so we aren’t stuck in quagmires for decades on end.

And above all, …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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European Fascism Is Different This Time, Says the New York Times

November 12, 2013 in Economics

By Joseph Salerno

A recent New York Times article bemoans the rise of populist parties in European countries, which are stridently nativist and nationalist. In Denmark, some polls show that the Danish People’s Party is now more popular than the incumbent Social Democrats.  Likewise, a recent poll indicates that the National Front, founded by the notorious Jean-Marie Le Pen and now led by his daughter Marine Le Pen,  is the most popular party in France.  According to the article such “disruptive upstart groups” are also making inroads in Austria, Britain, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland and the Netherlands.

The article hastens to assure readers, however, that, aside from Greece and maybe Hungary,  ”The trend in Europe does not signal the return of fascist demons from the 1930s.”  Why no cause for concern?  You see  ”Europe’s populists want to strengthen, not shrink, government and see the welfare state as an integral part of their national identities.”   These parties tap into  ”a curious mix of right-wing identity politics and left-wing anxieties about the future of the welfare state.”  In making such an argument the author of the article, Andrew Higgins, demonstrates his complete innocence of any historical or doctrinal knowledge of the phenomenon of fascism.

A strong government and a welfare state was precisely what the the European fascists of the 1930s promoted in their propaganda and instituted once they achieved power.  For example, the 25-point program of Hitler’s National Socialist party, promulgated in 1920, called for an extensive  welfare state enforced by a strong central government.  Point 7 demanded “that the State shall make it its primary duty to provide a livelihood for its citizens.”  Point 11 sought “The abolition of all incomes unearned by work” and “The breaking of the slavery of interest.”  Points 13-16 demanded, respectively:  the nationalization of all  trusts; profit-sharing in all large industrial enterprises; the “extensive development” of old age insurance; and the communalizing of large department stores and the subsidization and preferential treatment of “small traders” by the State.  Point 20 demanded that the State reconstruct education “with the aim of opening up to every able and hard-working German the possibility of higher education and of thus obtaining advancement.”  It also demanded “the education of gifted children of poor parents, whatever their class or occupation, at the expense of the State.”  Point 21 would require that the State “ensure that the nation’s health standards are raised by protecting mothers …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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The Future of Easy Money in Europe

November 12, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

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It’s bright (for the inflationists) says Andrew Cullen in today’s Mises Daily:

First, they are all, with the sole exception of the Bundesbank, “inflationists” when it comes to monetary policy. Inflation (that is, an increase in the money supply) steadily reduces the purchasing power of a fiat money and, in parallel, eases the burden of debt repayments over time as nominal sums become progressively of less relative value.

Such price inflation benefits debtors at the expense of creditors. Hence, for highly indebted Eurozone governments, price inflation is the perceived “get out of jail” card, permitting them to meet their debt obligations with a falling share of government expenditures.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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The Truth about the 1 Percent

November 12, 2013 in Economics

By Alan Reynolds

Alan Reynolds

Every year, new estimates of the incomes of the “top 1 percent” are reported with the requisite fanfare from Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics and Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley. And every year the press gets the numbers all wrong.

“Worry Over Inequality Occupies Wall Street,” writes Justin Lahart of the Wall Street Journal. An odd worry, when stocks keep hitting record highs. In reality, top income shares always rise and fall with the stock market because of capital gains, stock options, and bonuses and fees tied to stocks.

The rich’s incomes aren’t surging, and inequality measures ignore growing government transfers.”

“Messrs. Piketty and Saez,” says Lahart, “show the top 1 percent captured 19.3% of U.S. income in 2012. The only year in the past century when their share was bigger was 1928, at 19.6%.” That comparison is incredibly misleading. Piketty and Saez don’t include $2.3 trillion of transfer payments in “U.S. income,” even though transfers accounted for over 16 percent of personal income in 2009 and almost zero in 1928.

Extolling Piketty and Saez as “everyone’s favorite inequality-tracking researchers,” Dylan Matthews of the Washington Post writes, “Shockingly — shockingly — what [Piketty and Saez] found is that while only 49 percent of the decline in incomes during the recession was born [sic] by the top 1 percent (whose income share fell to 18.1 percent due to the recession), 95 percent of income gains since the recovery started have gone to them.”

There is an interesting story in these numbers, but it is not a story journalists choose to report. It turns out that the same table Matthews reprinted from Piketty and Saez shows the top 1 percent’s real income fell by 36.3 percent from 2007 to 2009, then rose by only 31.4 percent from 2009 to 2012. The 36.3 percent decline, of course, was calculated from a much larger base than the subsequent 31.4 percent recovery.

Since top incomes fell more than they rose, you might expect the Post’s Mr. Matthews to note that over the whole period, the net change was a decline in top incomes rather than an increase. Down is not up, even in economic journalism. Yet every major media outlet, even The Economist and the Wall Street Journal, gullibly reported the data — adding up to a five-year decline — as evidence the rich are continually getting richer.

The table shown here — which uses Piketty …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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On Spending: No Sacred Cows

November 12, 2013 in Economics

We face another budget crisis and possible government shutdown as early as January, unless Congress can come together on a bipartisan basis to cut spending. Both Democrats and Republicans must be willing to cut programs that are championed by special interests in their parties. There can be no more “sacred cows.” In an ad running in Politico, Roll Call, and The Hill, policy experts at the Cato Institute offer a plan that balances the budget and reduces our dangerously high debt burden by cutting more than $3 trillion over 10 years.

…read more

Source: CATO HEADLINES