Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A NEW Note to the GOP

Now that the elections are pretty much over, Americans have handed the GOP a mandate. That mandate is to put an end to the rampant Socialism being brought forward by the Democrat Party. It is also to lower our taxes, stop the rampant spending spree that the Dems have been on and to secure our borders. DO NOT fail America and it's citizens!!

Here is the golden opportunity to reverse the damage that's been done. Do the right thing and you will have the respect of the American public and perhaps, even the World. It's time to put 0bama in his place and take away his checkbook!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Denison, Texas Walmart

I've been with the local VFW for almost two years now. During this two years, the Post Commander has approached the local Walmart for a contribution. He's approached them several times, without any luck. He's submitted the paperwork at least twice, if not three times. For some reason, the paperwork seems to become conveniently "lost". Today, I read about where a Walmart in Arizona just opened and gave out several grants to serveral different charities, including the local VFW.

From a friend of mine: "Like to tell everyone what a good neighbor Walmart is. There is a new Walmart super center opening here in Flagstaff. They have the built a very environmentally friendly store. keeping with the spirit of Flagstaff living. They Have also chosen to give 10 local charities grand opening donations. The San Francisco Peeks post 1709 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars was honored with a donation of $1500. We will use this money in our relief fund to help local veterans and their families. Thank you Walmart" - Joe C.

We've been after the Walmart in Denison Texas to contribute to the local VFW to no avail. I'm beginning to think that the Denison, Texas Walmart Manager is anti-military & anti-veteran!! Not only that, but the Denison Walmart is one of the dirtiest and most poorly maintained Walmarts I've been into. To top it off, their "customer service" is non-existent. The employees there, on the whole, seem to have the attitude that if they DO help you, they are doing you a favor That is, IF a customer can even FIND an employee to render assistance. I continue to shop there because it is close. However, I have started shopping at Krogers or Albertsons when I see a decent sale. (Normally, their prices are significantly higher than Walmart's)The Walmart in Durant, OK is far better, but OK charges sales tax on EVERYTHING, including food and Durant adds in their little bit of extra sales tax to make it impractical to make the drive.

What I fail to understand is why the local VFW's requests have been ignored. The Denison Walmart is ALWAYS busy. It's not like their losing business like most of downtown Denison has. I've even cornered the one of the Assistant Managers and voiced my displeasure with them. So, my question remains, is the Denison, Texas Walmart manager anti-military and anti-veteran? Or is he just anti-VFW? Just in case anybody is of the inclination to give the manager a call and inquire as to WHY he's ignoring our repeated requests, you may contact the store directly:

Walmart Supercenter
401 N Us Highway 75
Denison, TX 75020

(903) 465-9744

Friday, October 22, 2010

On Spouses & Wedding Vows

Darryl Curtis made a post on Facebook that kind of rubbed salt in an old wound. He was writing about how the feminist movement has adversely affected marriage. He stated:
Too many women fail to see their marriages as a source of satisfaction and accomplishment in the way they’ve been led to believe their careers will be. This mentality is the ugly part of the feminist movement, which supports personal success, acquisition, accomplishment, power, and the feminist political agenda over love, marriage, and family.

I kind of agree with him. While my "Ex wife" and I worked pretty well together as a team, apparently she got "tired" of me. I feel that this was mainly because I suffered a couple of injuries during a move and afterwards. The entire reason we decided to make this move was that it was a new company and had LOTS of potential and I wouldn't be constantly working outside during the harsh Minnesota winters. That move was of more benefit than just the job. It also gave us the extra money that would enable her to go to Real Estate school and obtain her license.

She worked hard at selling homes. With our combined incomes, we were pretty much set and could live a "comfortable" life, which we were doing. We had everything a couple could want or at least I THOUGHT so. In the interim, my left foot started dragging. I went to see my Doctor about it and he ordered an MRI. I had a ruptured disk in my back. I was thinking, "OK, well that's not such a big deal". I had an L4-L5 discectomy. For some strange reason, I never got ANY better. I was in constant pain and didn't want to take anything more than Ibuprofen due to my job. Next came an automobile accident which herniated two disks in my neck. I hung in there. Ultimately, due to my pain & frustration with the way my body wasn't working, my anger got out of hand. I was angry towards some contract workers not only because I was in pain, but also because they wouldn't pay attention to what I had attempted to teach them. Most of these contract workers were not very intelligent, had little or no experience and some had extensive criminal backgrounds. I ultimately got fired from this job because I was "offensive and rude".

As it worked out, I looked for work that I thought I could do. I wasn't able to find anything. I pretty much became "Mr. Mom". That was OK because the Real Estate market was booming and I still had my retirement from the military, along with the medical benefits. During this time, we started sleeping in different rooms because my medications were keeping me awake and I didn't want to disturb her sleep. After all, she was working and I wasn't. As time went by, I attempted to convince my wife to obtain her brokers license. She really didn't listen to me much and that should have been an indication. After running it by several of her coworkers and with my continued insistence, she did get her brokers license. Things continued to go well. I wound up with a two level fusion in my neck. Money was still not a problem. We still had everything we needed and most everything we wanted.

The next move was that because we lived in an almost rural area, she wanted to be closer to work. She didn't like driving Hwy 10 from Becker to Elk River. I could sort of understand that because it was a 20 minute drive and during the winter, it could be extremely dangerous. ( I should mention that at this time she started hanging out at the bar with her co-workers and "friends".) She decided that moving to Ramsey would make life better for her as it was closer to work, some of her family and friends. I assented with reluctance. Her brother had found a lot just four houses down from his house. We had him build our new "custom home". Lots of problems, but she closed on it anyways. She didn't want to hold her brother accountable for the flaws and get them fixed or repaired. We then moved from Becker to Ramsey. It was a difficult move for me because we had a LOT of stuff. Some of it got moved by a local mover, but not nearly enough. After we moved, our home in Becker sat on the failing real estate market. We were making payments on two houses !! In that time, she decided that she wanted to be in this new office building where the rent was TRIPLE of what she was paying. Funds drained slowly until we reached a point where we were struggling to even make ONE house payment. I found a temporary summer job in Minneapolis. That kept us afloat for another six months. I sucked it up that entire summer and made do by whatever means I could with the job. It was physically hard on me. Not only the commute, but the job, itself. After that job ended, I was out of work again. Another several months went by and the real estate market continued to fail. All the while, I did the outside stuff at the new house and at the old house, for the most part, which included moving massive amounts of snow.

Knowing that I was still infirmed, I sought out more surgery to correct the problems. To put it bluntly, I was tired of hurting, not being able to do things and most especially, being unable to find work that I could actually DO. After that surgery and while I was recuperating, I got the deck installed on our house that was supposed to have been installed before we took occupancy a year and a half earlier. Thank God that the sub-contractors had already been paid and held to their word. During that time, I contracted a post-surgical e-Coli infection in my bladder that ultimately found its way to my kidneys. I laid in bed for almost three weeks, with a fever and chills. My "loving wife" just told me to "quit whining" and insinuated that I was malingering. She would come home at all hours of the night. What little did I know what she was actually doing. After three weeks, I finally got enough energy to convince my daughter to take me to the Doctor. Three injections of Rocephin set me straight. I was on my way back to recovery. During this time, my "loving wife" of 19 years came home drunk and told me she wanted a divorce. I thought that it was he liquor talking. She continued to come home at all hours of the morning, if at all.

Two weeks before Christmas that year, she told me again that she wanted a divorce. This time I knew that it wasn't the liquor talking. That was the worst Christmas of my life. Finally, I said, "fine" took my retirement check and went home to my Texas hometown. I found some work, which I wasn't real certain I could physically do, but it was a start. I sold off some things to get some money that would enable my relocation and packed up things and moved. The things were mutually decided on. I still remember her watching me and my friends like a hawk as we were loading up. I don't know why. She almost made me feel like a criminal as I was leaving. I said goodbye to my daughter and we headed South.

Fast forward to a a couple of years later....... Once again, unemployed, I discovered through some connections I still had in Minnesota that she had been unfaithful to me just after my surgery. I guess that with her dad telling her that she was too young to be saddled with someone infirmed and broken, my infirmities themselves, and her friends pushing her in a bad direction, this might be why. They didn't want to tell me at the time as they were afraid of what I might have done. (I would have left earlier had I known is about it.) I already had my suspicions, but I didn't want to face them. I'd like to think I tried, but apparently I didn't try hard enough. She didn't try at all. As I see it, she just bailed.

Jumping to the present, I have finally discovered, through relentless pursuit, the cause of my problems; I have Spino-cerebellar Ataxia. What this means to the layperson is that my cerebellum is dying off. I will ultimately wind up in a wheel chair and worse as my cerebellum continues to die off.

Jumping Back in Time

Getting ready for my 35th class reunion, I was going over some songs to see what I had from that era. It's amazing just how a song, a movie, a picture, or even just a car on the road can draw one's memories back to a time almost forgotten. My roads have been traveled, many bridge crossed and some burnt and years have flown by in almost an instant.

I do think that music was best in the 60s and 70s. Here's why. People had talent. They didn't rely on voice synthesizers or manipulation of the recorded music. Studio time was expensive and musicians better have had their stuff together before they entered the studio. It was also usually "fun" music. Uplifting, not usually blatantly immoral (there were a few RARE exceptions), all in all, it seemed like a more pleasant time despite Viet Nam, the hippie protesters (now we call them "Progressives"), the gas shortages, etc. We all seemed to get by. Life was still lived under the constant threat of Mutually Assured Destruction as it had been for the decade plus before.

Anyways, as I listened to some of the songs, I was immediately drawn back to that somewhat more pleasant time in my life.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Hypocritical Democrat Party

Fairly breaking:

 Democratic leaders in the House and Senate alleging GOP groups have funneled foreign money into campaign ads have seen their party raise more than $1 million from political action committees affiliated with foreign companies.

House and Senate Democrats have received about $1.02 million this cycle from such PACs, according to an analysis compiled for The Hill by the Center for Responsive Politics. House and Senate GOP leaders have taken almost $510,000 from PACs on the same list. More Here
 What I don't comprehend is why the Dems are whining about foreign campaign contributions. The Chamber of Commerce has donated to BOTH parties and yet, the Dems seem to want to cry, "FOUL". Did we forget all of the foreign monies that rolled in for Obama's campaign? Yet, what happened with all of that money?? Some was returned. Some was kept and used because some donors were suspiciously "Anonymous". The real truth of the story can be found here.

To put it bluntly, I'm getting sick and tired of the Dems disparaging anything that goes against their Socialist agenda. Because some people consider Obama an inept leader, they're called, "Racists". Because some people don't like the potential Mosques being built near Ground Zero in NYC, they're called, "Islamophobes". Now, because campaign contributions are being thought to have been generated by foreign donors, they're crying foul, again!! It's time for the Dems to suck it up, grow a pair, and fight the righteous battle instead of being a bunch of whiners.

The VFW National Commander Moves to Dissolve the VFW-PAC

I hate to seem to be stuck on one subject, but this is important to me and many other Combat Veterans: 

VFW National Commander Moves for Dissolution of Political Action Committee

by Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW on Monday, October 18, 2010 at 9:55am
I have reviewed the Political Action Committee (PAC) Board of Directors’ response to our request to rescind this year’s Congressional endorsements.  I disagree with their assessment.

It is now evident to most of the VFW leadership, both National and especially the departments, that the VFW has been subjected to extreme negative publicity throughout the nation, and the recent endorsement decisions have, in fact, harmed the VFW’s reputation and future ability to fulfill our mission.

I cannot let this erosion of public support for our great organization continue.  The apparent lack of the committee to address these concerns will lead to a proposal by me, as Commander-in-Chief, to amend the by-laws at the 112th National Convention for the purpose of dissolving the PAC.  Meanwhile, under the authority granted to me as Commander-in-Chief in section 619 of the VFW National By-Laws and under section 620 of the Manual of Procedure, I am withdrawing all PAC appointments effective October 15, 2010.

Accordingly, I’m asking the VFW national council for a vote of “no confidence” in the VFW PAC.

Richard Eubank

I think that this is the best move the VFW National Commander could make.  It seems to be within the requests and attitudes of of its members, at least the folks at MY VFW Post.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

VFW PAC won't rescind endorsements

The VFW PAC, an independent political action committee connected to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, rejected its parent organization's call on it to "rescind" its endorsements after a firestorm of criticism from conservative veterans.
In a statement on its website, the group said it had endorsed Democrats and Republicans using the narrow criteria it always has: "grading an incumbent's support by the position taken on critical issues of importance to the VFW," namely 13 House votes and nine in the Senate. Incumbents with 10 of the 13 or 7 of the 9 got the endorsement.
The statement continues:
In the political endorsement arena, there will always be party loyalists and individuals that will not agree with the VFW-PAC decision. The Board respects their position and appreciates their activism in support of the candidate of their choice. The VFW-PAC endorsement is not designed to tell people how to vote; but to point out who has demonstrated support for veterans and America's security.
The VFW-PAC disagrees with those who claim the endorsement process is skewed, flawed, or unfair. Some incumbents will have an advantage over another candidate because they have a good voting record on the issues. They also have a disadvantage if their votes don't support the VFW's position.

Well, ain't this just dandy. No matter. This will be another nail in the PAC's coffin come next August when the National Convention is held. To ignore the outcry of the members of the VFW and the call from the National Commander is beyond ridiculous. As I've state earlier, the process IS flawed!!

What the VFW Does and How It Benefits Veterans, the Community and the Country

This is a co-written article between WOTN Editor & myself.

Why would anyone join the Veterans of Foreign War?  Well, not just anyone can.  Not even just any Veteran can.  A prospective member must have served honorably in a combat zone that earned them one of several qualifying campaign medals.  The most recent are: the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the Global War On Terror Expeditionary Medal.  (Service in Kosovo, Korea, Somalia, and Bosnia are also qualifying service, though I don't know the medal names.)
Those that earned the National Defense Service Medal, but not a medal qualifying them for membership at the VFW are qualified for the American Legion.  Both organizations are honorable and a place to gather with fellow Veterans, Brothers, like those we served with in the Military.  Both have auxiliaries for family members of Veterans.  The Legion led the way with Sons of the Legion and the VFW recently added the Men's Auxiliary.  Both have a Ladies Auxiliary, which does a lot of the heavy lifting in Troop Support and general organizing.
The companionship of fellow Warriors is but one facet of the VFW, albeit an important one.  Thor, a Post Quartermaster, and the WOTN Editor, a life member, have set about to give some of the reasons why a Combat Veteran would want to join, and why Our Posts are so important to Veterans, Troops, and Our Communities.  Each Post is unique, with its own personality, as rich and storied as the buildings themselves.  To Find a Post near you or where you are going.  (Most Posts don't have a website.)
Nashville has two posts (1291 & 1970), one structure is younger than the War On Terror and the other older than the hills.  Both have been at their current locations for many decades.  Each has hundreds of members, but the newer building attracts more younger Veterans while the other has a more cozy atmosphere.  Technically, there's a 3rd Post in Nashville which doesn't have a building or location.  During the recent deployment of the Tennessee National Guard, the Tennessee VFW's adopted units of the Guard.  I'll let Thor take it from here:
These are a few of the things that the VFW, on the whole, does:
National Military Services (VFW Support)
The VFW provides numerous services to military service members and their families.
The three main efforts of the VFW Military Services department are:
the Military Assistance Program (MAP), Operation Uplink, and Unmet Needs.
These are programs that Officers and NCO's in the Military need to know about.  In times of need, they can help young Soldiers get by.  Captains and Sergeants Major should consider the potential for welcoming home their Troops with the Veterans that likely taught them as Privates.

Each program has a focus of support:
MAP has helped fund Farewell and Welcome Home gatherings for military units worldwide.
Operation Uplink provides free, pre-paid phone cards to service members.
Unmet Needs can give a one-time grant up to $2,500 for qualifying service members and their families experiencing financial hardship.

Flag EducationOn June 14, 1777, the Marine Committee of the Continental Congress adopted a resolution that gave birth to our national flag. The resolution read:

"Resolved that the flag of the United States be made of 13 stripes, alternate red and white, that the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."
Flags and flag education are important elements of the VFW's Citizenship Education program. In fact, flags are the most commonly requested items from the VFW's Emblem and Supply Department, which sells more than 250,000 flags each year.

The VFW publishes a flag booklet, "Ten Short Flag Stories," which you can request by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Citizenship Education Department, Veterans of Foreign Wars, 406 West 34th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, 64111. Quantities can be purchased through VFW Emblem and Supply

Patriotic Days
Fostering patriotism and honoring America's veterans, whether it is Independence Day or Veterans Day, is part of the VFW's philosophical core. Public commemorations hosted by VFW Posts worldwide cultivate an appreciation of both the responsibilities and benefits of being an American.

More Here


The VFW "Un-endorses" Political Candidates

From the VFW Website:

VFW Leaders Act on PAC Endorsements
October 12, 2010

The angry tone and tenor of the telephone calls and messages being received at national headquarters make it clear that many of our members are not cognizant of the fact that VFW National By-Laws clearly stipulate that the VFW Commander-in-Chief is not authorized to direct or otherwise attempt to introduce his control over the VFW PAC. Furthermore, no membership dues or donations made to the VFW or VFW Foundation are used for the VFW PAC.

As you know, the recent endorsements by the PAC are the subject of much controversy. Unfortunately, many questions have been raised regarding VFW’s involvement in the endorsement process and the integrity of the organization as a whole. Regrettably, many of our members and supporters are disappointed and have misdirected their anger toward the VFW as having lost its purpose.

Comrades, we cannot sit idly by while a great organization is being disparaged and maligned, even unintentionally. It is vitally important that you take a direct role in alleviating this current flood of criticism by reminding members and supporters that:

-- The VFW PAC was created by the VFW members and not by VFW national leaders. 2/3 of the delegates of the 80th VFW National Convention (1979) voted to establish PAC as a standing committee.

-- VFW By-Laws stipulate that VFW leadership does not direct PAC activities and that the VFW convention is the governing body of the organization. As such, it is only the delegates at the convention that can determine the continuation of the PAC.

-- Encourage VFW members to get involved in their VFW Posts and to exercise and further direct their concerns to convention delegates so that there can be an informed debate on the existence of the PAC.

That is a future process. But, as indicated, we also have an immediate necessity on the recent PAC endorsements. VFW’s values and guiding principles aren’t grounded in a desire to participate in partisan policies in political activities. As veterans of foreign wars, we gave substantially more of ourselves than most to ensure the viability and the integrity of our great democratic process. However, our recent endorsement process unintentionally provided favoritism to the incumbents. It is now evident it was unfairly skewed and actually subverted that process.

As determined in the VFW By-Laws, as the national officers, we have specific responsibilities to take definitive action when events can have a detrimental impact on the organization. It is clear to us that the current situation now demands direct action; therefore, we are requesting the chairman and the directors of the Political Action Committee immediately rescind their endorsement actions.

We also want to stress this request means no endorsement for any Congressional candidate.

Richard L. Eubank

Richard L. DeNoyer
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief

John E. Hamilton
Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief

 In my opinion, this is the best move that the VFW could do due to the National outcry over the VFW-PAC's endorsements. The system is flawed and since we can't just arbitrarily fix the system right now, I think that this suits the immediate need. Come next August, at the National Convention, we can address how to either revamp the PAC or do away with it, altogether. I have to say, "Bravo Zulu"* to our National Commander !!

* Bravo Zulu is military speak for "Good Job" for those that might not know.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How the VFW-PAC Works

I can't take credit for this because one of my fellow VFW Post members did all of the work. That said, here is how the VFW-PAC works, PER their by-laws. The editorial comments are my friends.

Let's look at the VFW PAC By-laws to see:

In the first place, the mission of the VFW PAC is simply stated in Article 2 of the By-laws:

The VFW-PAC is established to promote and facilitate the accumulation and distribution of voluntary contributions from employees and members of the Veterans ofForeign Wars of the United States and its subordinate units, (Posts, Districts, CountyCouncils, Departments, Ladies Auxiliary and Military Order of the Cooties) for the support of various candidates for election to federal office in the United States. The established endorsement criteria not withstanding, no Presidential candidate will be endorsed by the VFW-PAC Board of Directors. The VFW-PAC is dedicated to the support of candidates who have taken responsible positions on issues involving national defense and legislation pertaining to our nation's veterans.

I have emboldened the guiding principles of our PAC.  There is no party or ideological criteria; we support only those who support us.

How is that determined?  Simple:



In other words, our endorsement of candidates is entirely driven by how much they support issues and bills important to the VFW and it's membership.  There is no other guiding principle.  They either have a demonstrated willingness to vote for issues important to Veteran's and on-duty personnel, or they don't get our support.

Among the charges leveled at the PAC is that they've favored incumbents and that's true. It IS weighted in favor of incumbents, or those already in office running for another seat.  Why?  Because it's unlikely that an opposition candidate will have such a track record if he or she has never held federal office before, so they will not, cannot, be considered by the PAC for support.  The By-laws make it pretty clear that our support is only given to those who have shown a willingness to support us.

So, who looks at the evidence of Congressional voting records and makes the decision of who gets what from us?  Who must they consult before making such a decision?  This is an important question because another charge laid against the PAC in regards to this year's endorsements is that the PAC did not follow established procedure and did not consult with the state departments, local posts and membership.

The By-laws are pretty clear about that too.  The final decisions are made by the Director, the Treasurer and a nine member Board of Director's, ALL of whom are appointed by the National Commander and they DO NOT HAVE TO CONSULT WITH ANYONE.  They may, if they wish, take advice from anyone they chose, but there is no official line of communication with anyone other than themselves.  That's how the system was set up and that's how it's operated.  As anyone who knows something about tax-exempt organizations knows, such an organization operates outside it's published By-laws at great peril to its tax exempt status and the PAC has done nothing at variance with those By-laws when determining who to endorse.

Here's the By-law dictated official duties of the Director and the Board of Directors.  I have emboldened the pertinent parts and I have skipped the official duties of the Treasurer because they do not relate to how a decision to support, or not support, a candidate is made.  You may see the official duties of the Treasurer by accessing the link provided at the end of this message.

The duties of the Director shall include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:
A. Coordinate the solicitations of contributions by the Committee;
B. Consult with the Board of Directors and other knowledgeable persons and make recommendations to the committee concerning which parties and candidates for federal office should receive support and in what amount;
C. Direct the Treasurer to disburse funds in amounts authorized by the committee;

B. Determine, as committee members, those candidates who are deserving of the  support of the committee and in what amounts such support should be given;

The guidelines for making such recommendations and offering such support to candidates was noted above.

Once a list of candidates deserving of our support has been decided upon, the next step is the actual disbursement of funds to help their campaigns.  The By-laws dictate how that is to be done too and what criteria are to be used in choosing how much to give to whom:

In determining how funds shall be distributed, the committee shall consider the recommendations of the Director, each member of the Board of Directors, and other knowledgeable persons. Of primary consideration shall be the candidate's position and/or voting record on issues involving national defense and veterans
Additional factors include, but are not necessarily limited to:
A. The integrity and character of the candidate.
B. Whether the candidate holds a leadership or policy-shaping position in his party or on a congressional committee or is likely to hold such a position in the future;
C. The nature and strength of the candidate's opposition in primary or general elections;
D. Other sources of financial assistance available to the candidate.

As you can see, the process of deciding who to support, and how much to give them, was arrived at apparently in line with the VFW PAC By-laws.  No personal prejudices were involved and nobody was left out of the loop.  The processes of decision and distribution were done strictly by the book, which none of us should consider a dereliction of duty on their part.  They did what we sent them to do:  offered our support to those who support us.  ALL of the names on that list of endorsements met the established criteria by voting as the VFW wanted them to on issues important to Veterans and current members of the Armed Forces.  That some of those names are surprising to us does not invalidate the idea of supporting those who have a demonstrated willingness to support us.

If we're still outraged and angered over the presence of certain names on the list, perhaps we should ask ourselves this:  Which is more important us?  Supporting Veteran's and our Armed Forces, or supporting the particular ideology we hold?  Should we REALLY withhold financial support for Members of Congress who voted with us simply because they sit on the wrong side of the aisle or hold ideological positions different from ours?  Which is most effective at achieving our goals and achieving our agenda of making sure Veteran's and members of the Armed Forces have the best our nation can offer?- G. Cap.

VFW-PAC By-Laws in Full

While G. Cap & I are diametrically opposed as far as politics go, we are usually on the same page as far as life, in general. He's right on this one. Even I can't argue that. 

What I will say is that there are a few criteria that are borderline, if even not being followed. Am I outraged at the endorsements of the PAC? Of course! Maybe this is reason enough that the PAC be disbanded?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Don't Desert the VFW!!

Like I've stated before, cancelling one's membership is NOT the answer!! If we want to effect change in the VFW & it's PAC, it MUST come from within!! To abandon an organization because they screwed up is just like rats abandoning a sinking ship!!

I've heard stories of how the Viet Nam vets were treated  by the older VFW members. It's now apparent as to how much those old WWII & Korea vets has adversely affected the VFW. Those folks are now dying off, as is the membership of the VFW. What I will say is to hang in there. Why, you may ask?? Because it's time for the Viet Nam and younger Vets to take the helm. My Post is mainly run by two Viet Nam Vets and two Desert Storm Vets. There are still some older veterans involved, but they are slowly dropping out of the scene due to health issues and to put it plainly, dying off. We are trying very hard to recruit the younger war vets that have returned or are returning from the war front in Iraq & Afghanistan. You didn't desert when you were in the military, did you?? Please, please....... don't desert the VFW now. Let's FIX this problem instead of killing the oldest and most viable veteran's organization!! We can't FIX the problem if we aren't involved!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Good Job to My Fellow Combat Veterans!!

Due to the national outrage that the VFW-PAC's endorsements has caused, the VFW is now rethinking the continued viability of its PAC. However, that won't be decided until next August, when they hold the National Convention.

What I have learned in the interim is that the VFW-PAC's endorsements automatically default to the incumbent. I don't think that this is a good idea because it can generate an endorsement for a less than desirable candidate through the way a candidate has voted in the past. As long as the candidate votes in favor of certain issues that are pertinent to the VFW, regardless of whether or not that issue passes, they will receive an endorsement from the VFW-PAC. This seems to open up the VFW-PAC to some pretty drastic manipulation. It also discriminates against any new candidate because they have no "voting record", regardless of that candidate's history, intentions, or outlook. So, this is WHY we're seeing endorsements of some of the lunatic fringe, like Sheila Jackson Lee, Harry "The WAR Is Lost" Reid, etc.

Perhaps it would be better to just return to lobbying candidates when there is a bill on the floor of the House or the Senate?

Friday, October 8, 2010

An Update on the VFW-PAC

VFW Leadership at Odds with VFW-PAC

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct. 8, 2010 - The national line officers of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) are at odds with the VFW Political Action Committee (PAC), calling the methodology process used by the PAC “seriously flawed at best this year and in immediate need of extensive review,” in the wake of the recent congressional endorsements made by the committee.

“Even though the law requires that VFW-PAC be a separate organization, the acronym ‘VFW’ is attached to the committee and the natural assumption is that the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is somehow making the endorsement decisions. Nothing could be further from the truth, but perception is reality,” said National Commander Richard Eubank.

“Obviously, an organization's political positions have to reflect the opinions of its members. But those opinions can't be perceived as ‘off the wall,’ and the methodology used this year to grade candidates obviously is skewed in favor of the incumbent. That isn’t fair, and it actually subverts the democratic process.”

Because of the controversy surrounding the endorsements, VFW line officers have decided to bring the question of continued existence of the PAC to the floor during the 112th VFW national convention in August.

Richard L. Eubank
National Commander

Richard L. DeNoyer
Sr. Vice Commander

John E. Hamilton
Jr. Vice Commander

It appears that with the National outrage with the VFW-PAC, the VFW is considering doing away with the PAC. That just might be a good thing. We'll have to keep on top of this and insure that this doesn't fall through the cracks next August.

The VFW-PAC and the National Outrage It's Generated

A recent revelation of the political candidates that the VFW-PAC has endorsed has caused quite the National disturbance. The link to the candidates that the VFW endorses can be found here: If one carefully looks at the list, there are significant numbers of candidates that are generally anti-military and/ or anti-veteran. There have been cries of outrage over the endorsement of certain candidates. I am told that the way it is SUPPOSED to work is that VFW National obtains input from the various State Departments, which obtains input from its various Districts, which obtain inputs from the various Posts within the District. It is clear that this is NOT happening. People are cancelling their memberships in droves. From the Florida State Commander of the VFW:
“On behalf of the Department of Florida, I am writing to object to the manner in which the Veterans of Foreign Wars Political Action Committee made its endorsements for the United States Congress. This year’s process is both arbitrary and capricious and devoid of Department input. Consequently, I am asking each member of the Department of Florida to disregard the list of endorsements as published in this month’s VFW Magazine and vote their own conscience since we had no input into this year’s endorsement process.

Apparently, the Committee has abandoned the previous years’ process of “advise and consent” whereby it provided a list of proposed endorsees to the Departments for comment, concurrence, additions and deletions. The Department of Florida certainly understands that the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the VFWPAC are necessarily separate entities, however, the PAC exists because of the support it derives from all Departments, Districts, Posts, Comrades and Sisters. Consequently, the Departments acting on behalf of its Districts, Posts and members should have an opportunity to voice its opinion on which Floridian candidates should or should not receive the endorsement of the VFW-PAC.

It is abundantly clear that the PAC has skewed this year’s endorsements towards incumbents. By weighting selections toward the sitting members of Congress, you are encouraging complacency and taking discourse out of the electoral process. Our position is that a process that only evaluates the voting record of sitting members inherently disadvantages those candidates who challenge incumbents. The extant process negates any previous public or private sector experience of a non-incumbent candidate.

I am concerned that the selection process adopted by the PAC will have both lasting and negative consequences on our ability to recruit and retain members in the Department of Florida. It is evident from the tone of the received emails that the VFW-PAC and by association the Veterans of Foreign Wars is not sewing the interests of some members and potential members. This regional firestorm could have been avoided if the PAC board and staff remembered the old adage that all politics are local.”- Pete Nicholson A link to the actual letter to download and read can be found here:

It appears that the VFW-PAC is supporting the following politicians: Barbara Boxer, Alcee Hastings, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barbara Lee, Steny Hoyer, Barbara Mikulsky, Chris VanHollen, John Dingell, Chuckie Schumer, Pat Leahy, Sheila Jackson Lee and Patty Murray. These politicians are some of the most reprehensible politicians when it comes to supporting our troops, the war effort and many of the veterans. I will admit that some of these politicians hold a better track record on Veteran’s Issues than they do in supporting our Active Duty troops. I’ve looked at couple of other Democrats that the VFW-PAC has endorsed in an effort to discern WHY the VFW-PAC threw their support behind a certain candidate, typically an incumbent and almost ALWAYS not a Veteran. What I’ve discovered is that some of their endorsement are for candidates that are pro-veteran and even pro-Military. I’m not suggesting that ALL Democrats are bad, but seriously? Sheila Jackson Lee? Barbara “Don’t Call Me, Ma’am” Boxer, Nancy Pelosi? Harry “the War is lost” Reid? Alcee Hastings, a known criminal? Come on, give me a break! I’m also not suggesting that a Veteran is always the answer. I remember a time when I THOUGHT that Jimmy Carter, an ex-Navy Nuclear Power Engineer, would be a good candidate. I even voted for the man on that premise and that alone. I was young and na├»ve. My first four years in the Navy, mostly during Carter’s regime, were some of the toughest times for my Squadron. Cannibalization of aircraft parts were at an all time high. Many times we had to suspend operations near the end of the Fiscal Quarter because there were no funds to operate with and I even recall a time when the entire military was wondering whether or not we’d be paid at the end of the month. That said, I think that I’d choose the side of a Veteran vs. someone who has never served and views the military with contempt or someone who is historically anti-military. To quote an excerpt from a blog; “What we need in Congress are strong Representatives that put this Nation and the Constitution ahead of personal ambitions and party loyalty. Our strong pool of Combat Veterans ready to accept the mantle of leadership is a good place to look for true Representatives”.

As the Post Quartermaster, an elected Officer, for a North Texas Post, I feel that members cancelling their membership will be counter-productive to the issue at hand. It is tantamount to not voting in an election because one doesn’t care for any of the candidates. It’s quite obvious that the VFW-PAC has acted in its own interests, instead of using the tools they have to obtain a consensus. The VFW, being a democratic type system, holds elections each Spring. These officers are duly elected by its members at the Post, District, State and National levels. By dropping out of the VFW, it will be nigh on impossible to effect any change. That change MUST come from within. I won’t even get into just how difficult that it will be to recruit new members when an organization is in chaos. No, we must stay the course, make ourselves heard and elect responsible individuals that will see to our needs instead of using their position in the organization for their own ends.

Friday, July 2, 2010