Early this morning , during a preliminary walk through for his Midnight Dash, Santa narrowly escaped injury from Coneal and Carry Advocates celebrating their annual,"Protect Our Property Days" at the Stone Pine headquarters of ontheborderline.nut. Borderliners's were target practicing in pre-dawn conditions to similate real life intrusions by Communists. Stray shots inadvertantly grazed Santa's holiday attire, but thankfully he was uninjured. When questioned Santa said.
"Borderline headquarters is on the naughty list for years to come."
According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, nearly 200,000 American veterans are homeless on any given night, and over 400 of those homeless veterans served in Iraq.
Without a comprehensive support system for returning vets, it's no wonder so many troops are failing to successfully transition from military to civilian life. Our troops are in Baghdad one week and Brooklyn the next. The shift from soldier to civilian in a matter of days is not an easy one to make. According to the Army's latest figures, approximately one-in-three Iraq veterans will have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other mental health issues. Throughout the war, that percentage has risen, and experts predict that trend will continue for decades, just like in Vietnam.
These veterans aren't getting the support they need because the Department of Veterans' Affairs is dangerously under funded. Despite outcry from every major veterans' organization in America, funding for the VA is still not mandatory. This means that every year, veterans' groups have to battle with politicians to get the funding they need. For 2007 alone, veterans' groups from Disabled American Veterans to the Veterans of Foreign Wars are urging Congress to increase the Administration's budget by more than $2 billion.
Faced with this budget shortfall, VA hospitals across the country are reducing their services -- even as 18,000 wounded Iraq vets are returning seeking care, and hundreds of thousands are seeking mental health treatment. One IAVA member veteran from Virginia Beach seeking treatment at his local VA was told recently that he would have to wait three months for an appointment with a counselor because, “all of you guys are coming home.”
at 12/23/2006 Posted by Andy Rand
By Alexandra Marks | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
When the frenzy of "Supporting Ouf Troops" was at it's peak you saw these on most every car in sight. I never got one because it seemed to me it really did nothing for the troops. I considered purchasing one at a local service station but first asked " Where does the money for this go"? The station manager informed me that he did not know. My guess is someone made a quick buck on the backs of our trooops.
As the troops return from Iraq and the opportunity for real support presents itself, the yellow ribbons are disappearing. Yesterday, I learned of one disabled amputee veteran who was homeless on the the street in his wheelchair. Until a new agency publicized his plight he was receiving $200/mo. to support himself from the V.A. When the story broke, his compensation immediately increased, no doubt out of fear for bad publicity than "Support for Our Troops".
Stories like the following from the Christian Science Monitor are playing out across America.
Social service agencies say the number of homeless vets is rising, in part because of high housing costs and gaps in pay.
NEW YORK – Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are now showing up in the nation's homeless shelters.
While the numbers are still small, they're steadily rising, and raising alarms in both the homeless and veterans' communities. The concern is that these returning veterans - some of whom can't find jobs after leaving the military, others of whom are still struggling psychologically with the war - may be just the beginning of an influx of new veterans in need. Currently, there are 150,000 troops in Iraq and 16,000 in Afghanistan. More than 130,000 have already served and returned home.
Beyond the yellow ribbons
Both the Veterans Administration and private veterans service organizations are already stretched, providing services for veterans of previous conflicts. For instance, while an estimated 500,000 veterans were homeless at some time during 2004, the VA had the resources to tend to only 100,000 of them.
"You can have all of the yellow ribbons on cars that say 'Support Our Troops' that you want, but it's when they take off the uniform and transition back to civilian life that they need support the most," says Linda Boone, executive director of The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
So far, dozens of them, like Herold Noel, a married father of three, have found themselves sleeping on the streets, on friends' couches, or in their cars within weeks of returning home. Two years ago, Black Veterans for Social Justice (BVSJ) in the borough of Brooklyn, saw only a handful of recent returnees. Now the group is aiding more than 100 Iraq veterans, 30 of whom are homeless.
"It's horrible to put your life on the line and then come back home to nothing, that's what I came home to: nothing. I didn't know where to go or where to turn," says Mr. Noel. "I thought I was alone, but I found out there are a whole lot of other soldiers in the same situation. Now I want people to know what's really going on."
at 12/23/2006 Posted by Andy Rand
Dear Ayn Randers,
How do I, as a Rugged Individual Objectivist Libertarian resist caving in to the
temptation of participating the the immoral collectivist group think practice of
gift giving and sharing at this time of year? I'll hang up a listen to your answer!
Dear Rugged Individualist Objectivist Libertarian,
Many of us Objectivists experience a greater sense of individualism by standing alone against the archaic and immoral practice of gift giving. My advise is, go to the most decadent and oppulent merchant you can find and empty you wallet on something you've desired all your life. With no money left, your altruistic temptation to spend it on others will vanish.
Ayn Randers Advice
(Terms of Usage)
The Advice column "Ask Ayn Randers" is provided for the entertainment and enjoyment of our readers. Ayn Randers is a fictious and deceased Objectivist Philosopher who gives advise to those asking, not out of any immoral altruistic impulse, on
the contrary, it comes from a deep seated genetically induced sadistic streak that some may consider a serious character flaw. For those of you actually foolish enough to follow "Ayn Rander's" ludicrous suggestions, you are adviced to seek psychological counciling immediately.
The views expressed by "Ayn Randers"
are her own and are not necessarily those of ATBL1 or it associates.
ATBL1 and it's management accept no responsibility for those requesting and following the advice of Ayn Randers nor from any damages incurred by said idiots.
at 12/22/2006 Posted by Mikhail Ivanovich
IT TAKES A DIFFERENT KIND OF IDIOT TO IGNORE ICE COVERING A LANDMASS THE SIZE OF GREENLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Greenland Melt May Swamp LA, Other Cities, Study Says:
for National Geographic News
Greenland's massive ice sheet could begin to melt this century and may disappear completely within the next thousand years if global warming continues at its present rate. According to a new climate change study, the melting of Greenland's ice sheet would raise the oceans by seven meters (23 feet), threatening to submerge cities located at sea level, from London to Los Angeles.
"A one-meter [three-foot] sea level rise would submerge a substantial amount of Bangladesh," Jonathan Gregory, the study's lead author and a climate scientist at the University of Reading in England, said in a telephone interview.
Scientists have previously calculated that if the annual average temperature in Greenland increases by almost 3° Celsius (5.4° Fahrenheit), its ice sheet will begin to melt.
Many experts believe the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will have reached levels around the year 2100 that would cause the temperature to rise that much.
at 12/22/2006 Posted by Andy Rand
|Just in time -- Ontheborderline bloggers celebrate capitalist pigs.|
at 12/22/2006 Posted by Kitty
|Free market free-for-all:|
Watch as free market millionaires from the New York Knicks fight free market millionaires from the Denver Nuggets from one end of the court to the other. Thank God my children were busy blasting Islamic enemies on their Left Behind video game and didn't have to see this violence.
at 12/22/2006 Posted by EastWing
Friday really was payday for workers at Marvin Windows, as annual bonus checks are handed out.
Santa came early for the workers at Marvin Windows and Doors. They are heading into Christmas weekend with a combined $15.7 million in profit sharing checks.
Split among the company's 3,489 employees, that works out to a cool $4,500 average payout.
The news was announced Friday morning at the company's annual meeting in Warroad.
Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune -- read more.
With Christmas rapidly approaching, you may need a few quick suggestions for the capitalist in your house...or should I say villas scattered across the globe. Check out this little fish boat. If you'r familiar with the playing field at Newton Field, that is it's approximate size. If you are familiar with the operating budget of the Hudson school district, you will need to saveup many years of that to purchase this.
Asking price: $104,098,000 -- batteries not included...
This yacht is steaming towards the pukatorium in Hudson, Wisconsin.
The Ri$e of Plutocracy and Corporate Rule
“We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.”
- Supreme Court Justice Louis B. Brandeis
The richest 1 percent of Americans now have more income that the bottom 96 million. The richest 1 percent owns nearly half the country's wealth. The top 10 percent owns 80 percent of the wealth. The Census Bureau reports the gap between rich and poor is the largest in 75 years, just before the Great Depression.
This ideal has degraded to a “greed is good” philosophy and the Ronald Reagan drivel that “government is the problem.” Add the many politicians that are bought by corporate America through campaign donations and the result is legislation that is transforming the U.S. from a democracy to a plutocracy where the rich rule.
“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime?”
at 12/22/2006 Posted by JPN
Report Finds Coverage Offers Fewer Benefits, High Deductibles And Co-Pays
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Health care premiums are rising more than four times faster than what Wisconsinites are earning, according to a new report. A nonprofit consumer health care organization released a report on Monday that said that from 2000 to 2006, health care premiums rose by 66 percent in Wisconsin, while median earnings rose nearly 16 percent.
The report by Families USA said that that premiums for health care coverage provided through the workplace rose about $4,700 to nearly $12,000 annually during the six years. The median earnings of Wisconsin's workers increased about $3,800 to about $28,000 during the same time.
The report said that despite the increase in premiums, health care coverage offers fewer benefits and higher deductibles and co-payments.
Source: Progressive Christians Uniting
The Working Poor: The IRS says that the bottom fifth of U.S. taxpayers–some 26 million–made under $11,000 in 2004 and had an average income of $5,743–up 2.4 percent from 2000. A “taxpayer” can be a single individual or a couple with children, meaning that the poorest 60 million Americans–everyone covered by these 25 million tax returns–enjoyed an average income of less than $7 per day per person. (The official poverty line in 2004 was $27 for a single adult below retirement age.)
The Very Wealthy: Incomes at the very top–some 300,000 households–also slipped a bit between 2000 and 2004, but this group still reported significantly more income than the poorest 120 million Americans earned in 2004. The elite group increased its share of national income substantially over the period from 1979–the oldest year studied by the IRS. (In 1979 the top households received “only” about a third of the income of the big group at the bottom.)
A Disturbing Pattern: We often hear consoling numbers about overall income growth in the U.S., but this aggregate growth masks a horrendously uneven distribution. For example…
*the bottom 60 percent of taxpayers made 95 cents in 2004 for each dollar they made ini 1979: that is, over a period of 25 years their real income actually fell
*the next best off group–those between the 60th and 80th rungs on the ladder–moved upward over the period, but only by two cents, earning $1.02 in 2004 for every dollar they had earned in 1979
*only those in the top 5 percent had significant gains: those between the 95 and 99th rungs on the ladder saw their income rise by 53 percent over the period
*a full third of the aggregate growth in national income went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers–and more than half of that to the top tenth of 1 percent. Members of this super-elite group were making $3.48 in 2004 for every dollar they made in 2000. Moreover, the Bush tax cuts for the superrich meant that for each inflation-adjusted dollar they had after taxes in 1979, their 2004 equivalent was $3.94.
Mind you, this changes reflect income distribution in the United States, not wealth distribution, which is even more grotesquely unequal.
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The flood of massive executive pay packages has me seeing things. The other day I mistakenly awarded former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chief executive Hank Paulson $45 million in a brief story...
To sum up. Bankers make a lot more than you and me and are getting raises at a faster rate. Compare the average bonus to the real median U.S. household income of $46,326. Keep in mind that's a full year's income. Between 2004 and 2005 the median income grew 1.1%. Even in the Northeast where wages are generally higher, the median income for a family of four was $50,992, according to the Census Bureau.
To put it into more relative terms, Lloyd Blankfein could comfortably support 1,059 families of four, or 4,236 people, for a year with his bonus. The $16.5 billion Goldman Sachs investment pool could support 323,580 families, or 1.29 million people.
Read more @ Market Watch.
Health care premiums grew about six times faster than earnings for Wyoming workers from 2000 to 2006, according to a report issued Monday by a consumer group.
Families USA found that annual premiums for family health care coverage offered through the workplace in Wyoming increased on average from $5,605 in 2000 to $12,274 in 2006, an increase of $6,669 or 119 percent.
During the same period, median earnings of Wyoming workers increased from $20,765 in 2000 to $24,646 in 2006, an increase of 18.7 percent.
According to the organization's report, fast-rising health care costs are causing increasing numbers of people to go into debt.
"If this troubling trend continues, the health care affordability crisis will get much worse and many more Wyomingites will become uninsured and underinsured," Ron Pollack, Families USA executive director, said in a statement. "If earnings continue to lag behind fast-rising health care costs, Wyomingites will face diminishing economic and health security."
The analysis found the high increases in insurance premiums came as many health plans offer fewer benefits along with higher deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance. The data was collected from the Census Bureau, the Labor Department and the Health and Human Services Department.
The Families USA report said the result is a growing number of Wyoming families joining the ranks of uninsured and underinsured. It said the number of non-elderly uninsured people in Wyoming is estimated at more than 75,000, about 17 percent of the state's non-elderly population.
Source: Insurance Journal 12/20/2006
at 12/21/2006 Posted by Our Poop
at 12/21/2006 Posted by Our Poop
|An example the junk science of Kent Hovind|
Like most Objectivists, for you, Freedom is key to the pursuit of happiness. That goes for game time just as much as back-breaking, wealth building investment management. Who wants other participants spoiling your me-time by trying to engage in the same activity you're pusuing. That's why Ayn Rand Industries has announced the release of a new, exciting passtime to express the inner liberty of the everyday Libertarian.
Twister UNO. Just roll out the mat and start contorting. It's fun, it's easy, it's safe. What better way to test the benefits of that Cadillac Health Care plan you've been paying into and getting no return. Crank up The Who's "I'm Free" and gyrate ecstatically. Who says Libertarians are only Republican's who smoke pot? With Twister UNO, you can indulge in any mindbending, consciousness warping substance you want. It will only enhance your self indulgent pleasure.
This week for our Holiday Special, Ayn Rand industies is including an absolutely free copy of the "Atheist's Guide to Exploiting Christmas for Fun and Profit". It's an indispensible tool for your wealth building arsenal.
Operators are waiting to take your order at: 1-800-666-Twisted.
at 12/20/2006 Posted by Andy Rand
|Think about it...|
at 12/20/2006 Posted by Sunny Badger
You know who you are! You're a hard working, freedom loving, wealth building, libertarian objectivist.
You feel that uneasy nausea at the thought of your confiscated property being used to school the unwashed masses of social ballast. Like your cold blooded temperment, the ice blue color of Rugged Individual evokes the essence of resolute aloofness. There is a "u" in skunk.
You want a fragrance that says: "Just stay away and leave me alone". Well this market niche is empty no longer. Rugged Individual is here!!!!!
Rugged Individual comes in both 4 and 8 fl. oz spray decanters. Make that special someone, (yourself) happy this holiday season. Give them "Rugged Individual".
The small print:
No government rules, regulations, or inspections were permitted during the free market
manufacture of this product in the Sri Lankan sweat shops. Exempt form all tariffs,
sales taxes or other govenment intervention in the pursuit of your happiness.
at 12/19/2006 Posted by Andy Rand
Former U.S. Detainee in Iraq Recalls Torment
One night in mid-April, the steel door clanked shut on detainee No. 200343 at Camp Cropper, the United States military’s maximum-security detention site in Baghdad.
...The detainee was Donald Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran from Chicago who went to Iraq as a security contractor. He wound up as a whistle-blower, passing information to the F.B.I. about suspicious activities at the Iraqi security firm where he worked, including what he said was possible illegal weapons trading.
But when American soldiers raided the company at his urging, Mr. Vance and another American who worked there were detained as suspects by the military, which was unaware that Mr. Vance was an informer, according to officials and military documents.
Read his story in the New York Times.
Also hear Donald Vance and others discuss and debate his story on NPR's On Point.
at 12/19/2006 Posted by EastWing
|This 8-minute excerpt from the multiple award-winning documentary VOICES OF DISSENT focuses on some of the brave citizens who are defending our American heritage of First Amendment rights and civil liberties against government attempts to repress democracy and our freedom to dissent. It features Martin Sheen, Woody Harrelson, Michael Franti, Al Franken, Medea Benjamin, Daniel Ellsberg, Will Durst, Jim Hightower, Norman Solomon, Joan Blades, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and many more.|
at 12/17/2006 Posted by EastWing
OK can't resist.
First hit this link.
Then simply sing along using the following lyrics:
OTBL bloggers on a DSL wire,
Joke boys failing to make a sound,
Mr. Peanut's puppets so very slow,
A non-presence we all know.
Everybody knows, what they shirk is work,
and they bore us with their fibbery
All see them as stain on the rim,
They float like a turn, stink like pee.
Socialist scum now monitor their ways,
Black helicopters chase them into caves,
Of course even dogs have there days,
So Sunday finds them under naves.
Beware of OTBL geeks with a gift,
All you kids up to six-six-six.
Although longer I could linger
Two fists, two hands,
To OTBL'ers I extend one middle finger.
at 12/17/2006 Posted by EastWing
|In a Thursday night speech, Oregon Conservative Gordon Smith, who voted to impeach Clinton 7 years ago, used an interesting word. See if you can spot it: |
"I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal."
He also said that although he doesn't believe that Bush lied, he does "believe he is guilty of believing bad intelligence and giving us the same."
at 12/17/2006 Posted by Sunny Badger
Can't afford a PlayStation 3 this Christmas -- even with your local tax reduction?
Afraid to be seen buying latte gift certificates at the local corporate coffee houses?
Trying to save up $24.99 for the next referendum?
This is the ideal present for you!
Order before the next school board meeting and we'll throw in a free roll of duct tape!