09 May 2005

Not an Army of One; Instead, a Nice Pair

The current debate over Social Security reform has called into question whether the American social support foundation laid by President Franklin Roosevelt in his New Deal is still fulfilling its promise in a world much changed from his era. Thus far, the focus has been upon Social Security and Medicaid, but developments in Britain indicate that we should perhaps also take another look at the G.I. Bill.

The G.I. Bill was intended to provide support for military veterans, including low-cost home loans and educational funding. In this latter area, perhaps the breadth of educational opportunities available to our uniformed service personnel is not all that it could be; Agence France Presse and Yahoo! News report on the British model for post-service retraining:
Britain's defence ministry defended a decision to pay for an ex-servicewoman to train to be an erotic "pole dancer", arguing it had a duty to help former troops return to civilian life.

Stephanie Hulme, a former senior aircraftwoman in the Royal Air Force (RAF), received 2,290 pounds (3,350 euros, 4,300 dollars) to train as a pole dancer, newspaper reports said.

After learning to pole dance -- a routine generally seen in strip clubs in which scantily clad women drape themselves suggestively around a pole in time to music -- the 23-year-old was now working in a London club.

Using the stage-name "Kitty", Hulme makes up to 500 pounds a night, she told the papers.

. . . .

Hulme -- who admitted to being "very surprised" when her training grant was approved -- told newspapers on Monday that life in the RAF had helped prepare her for the new career.

"After taking a shower, it wouldn't be uncommon to emerge with a towel around you and walk down a corridor past a group of men and be subjected to a bit of banter," she said.

"So the notion of getting naked and being a bit direct with men didn't bother me."

Brilliant! It's high time for those who claim to "Support Our Troops" to step up and put their money where their mouths are; what better way can there be than to support this noble effort? My only request is that we carve out an exception for Lynndie England.

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