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In Nemesis: The Last Days of Empire, Chalmers Johnson dissects the current military budget and details how these figures are incomplete and deliberately misleading. For example, in 2005 the Pentagon stated its official budget was roughly $440 billion. This figure was substantially inaccurate as it excluded several costs integral to military operations, including: the war in Iraq; the nuclear weapons program; the Homeland Security Department’s outlays for defense against terrorism; the Department of Veteran Affair’s responsibilities for the lifetime care of the seriously wounded; the Department of State’s financing of foreign arms sales and military developmental assistance; and the Military Construction Appropriations Bill amounted to an additional $278 billion. This adds up to a total of $718 billion in 2005 .
Quasars, the brightest objects we're aware of, are powered by the supermassive black holes that are thought to reside at the center of every galaxy. But many galaxies fail to feed their black holes enough matter, leading to a body that's quiet and difficult to detect. Our own galaxy's central black hole, called Sgr A*, falls into the latter category. We can detect it at wavelengths up to the X-ray range, but it's dim enough that we'd have a hard time spotting it if it weren't so close. That may be about to change, however.