Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fainting Canaries and them what Pukes

A couple of days ago, for a few hours, you could buy one American dollar for less than five Danish Kroner.

I've been living in the Happy Little Kingdom for almost all my adult life and, to me, that was one of those factoids like the canary in the mine that lets the miners know something is wrong.

The canary gave a nervous tweet last week when the people in charge of National Heritage Sites in India like the Taj Mahal took down the $5 entrance fee signs -- tourists now must fork over 250 Rupees instead...

Before that canary, I read about what I might call a canary fart in the mine, that is something so disgusting as to make you want to puke and spit at the same time.

The name of the game is signing bonuses -- a person with the right kind of skills can get something like a $30,000 bonus for re-upping for new hitch with the military. Of course, it is expected that you complete your three years or whatever you have signed up for on the dotted line for -- if you get yourself thrown out for misbehavior or go AWOL (without the proper family connections -- but then you wouldn't need the damn bonus!), it does seem fair that you return some of the money.

However, if you get a leg blown off in the line of duty and can no longer serve, are you supposed to return the money? The military seems to think so.

Speaking of wounded, I can understand (somewhat) the focus on the number of fatalities instead of wounded in the military adventures of the Codpiece administration -- dead is dead, a pine box draped in an American flag. Wounded is something of sliding scale -- that also means it is a place with a place for a big, heavy thumb on the scales when making statistics and Power Point presentations.

But this is disgusting: people with brain injuries are being excluded from wounded statistics with such consequence that must be a policy from higher up the food chain. We're talking about a number like 20,000 -- and that's on top of the recognized wounded!

A third of the homeless men in the US are vets -- and don't even think about the suicides!

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