Fresh Paint
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Pentagon plans death payout boost
Under the plan, a one-time, tax-free "death gratuity" paid to the families of servicemen and women killed in the line of duty would rise from $12,420 to $100,000.

The government would also increase the limit for the life insurance cover offered to all service members by $150,000 to $400,000 and pay the extra premiums for troops in combat zones.
Ok, so adding this to the increased sign-up bonus, you could be making out like a bandit (except of course you're dead). And Rolling Stone informs us:
Desperate for troops, the Army has lowered its standards to let in twenty-five percent more high school dropouts, and the Marines are now offering as much as $30,000 to anyone who re-enlists. To understand the scope of the crisis, consider this: The United States is pouring nearly as much money into incentives for new recruits -- almost $300 million -- as it is into international tsunami relief.

In December, the National Guard nearly doubled its enlistment bonus to $10,000, and the Army is trying to attract urban youth with a marketing campaign called "Taking It to the Streets," which features a pimped-out yellow Hummer and a basketball exhibition replete with free throwback jerseys. President Bush has also signed an executive order allowing legal immigrants to apply for citizenship immediately -- rather than wait five years -- if they volunteer for active duty.
This is of course something no one should be joking about. How can you put a figure on someone's life? But I find the idea of luring some poor kid to his death with instant citizenship appalling.

Good morning, folks. Yes, I'm here, and yes, I'm still a Democrat, regardless of how they're trying to weasel out of standing firm for what I stand firm for (a secure future, no needless wars, equal rights for all -- yes, folks, all -- decent health care, housing, etc. etc., the right to prevent or terminate a pregnancy, the right to see Buster's Postcards from Vermont on TV, etc. etc.) Holding elections in Iraq doesn't mean it was right for us to go there or for us to be there.

Felt a little overwhelmed by art yesterday, so pretty much sat with my hands in my lap all day. Will try to do better today. Am within a row of finishing the first sleeve for the gray sweater, and have only a few yards left on the skein. Dilemma. Should I attach a new skein in order to bind off? Seems dumb. But a sweater with sleeves too short is dumb too. I might dither about it all day, so will post and get on with it.

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