Category Archives: Politics

Ugly Wisconsin Could Be Coming To A Theatre Near You

Is this stuff a matter of Veterans Affairs? Well sort of, mostly because when juxtaposed with War on three fronts and the intense need for moral support for our troops who are “liberating” the oppressed peoples in autocracies around the world, we cannot seem to put our own house in order with the civility that we are trying to export in the form of sane democratic principles.  Are the people of Wisconsin just a mirror for the nation? Is this what the soldier is coming home to see and live with during transition to civilian life? No wonder they are serving multiple tours. It reminds me of the riots in Chicago and the Moratorium in 1969, where the lowest common denominator of equanimity was center stage.  How little we have evolved as a Republic.


I get endless emails about the stuff the Main Stream Media does not cover. This one seems to be compelling, not just because it came from my cousin who lives in Wisconsin, but for the need to have intervention, maybe even psychiatric, into the political process. The rise of identity politics and the drawing of lines in the sand is a bit out of hand. And we all know why…..its because the divisiveness is paid for in advance.

Whether it be the Koch brothers on one side and George Soros on the other, this “Hatfield and McCoy” mentality is premeditated and financed by corporate interests who could give a damn about the commoner or e pluribus unum.  This is not what are soldiers are fighting for in lands afar.

The contextual truth begs to be told. The travails in Wisconsin, which could be in Arizona next week, are not about unions and collective bargaining. It is about the movement to privatize all, yes all ladies and gentlemen, all of our State operations. When the day comes that we need our troops to protect private corporations within our own state borders, the Republic is fini. The very reason that George Washington warned about the dangers of the two party system; “it will enfeeble the nation,” have now become prophecy.

A military coups inside the United States is not science fiction.  Read a short story in the Army War College magazine, Parameters,” The Origins of the Military Coups of 21012.” It was written in 1992!

Wisconsin is prologue. Pay attention.


When they find out how you voted, will they come for you and your children and grandchildren next ?  Is this the freedom our ancestors died for?  What should we do about this ?

This is not the Wisconsin I know!—About Representative Keith Ripp
Have you seen this kind of behavior ?   Keith had written a lengthy, thoughtful article in a recent Waunakee Tribune, giving a lot of information you don’t get from the media or protesters who neither live, work or pay taxes here. He understands the problems our state is facing. Hopefully spring weather will help make people more tolerant and accepting of one another.
This is not the Wisconsin I know!—About Representative Keith Ripp 

Had a ‘trying day ‘ yesterday as I stopped at a friend and clients of mine: Representative Keith Ripp owns and operates with his family a  feedlot in Dane, Wisconsin. Keith is also a State Representative in  Wisconsin. He voted in favor (with Governor Walker) of eliminating
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING in trying to balance Wisconsin‘s budget deficit.  His wife (Lori) came out and ‘broke down and cried ‘ during our talk.  Keith and his family have been terrorized since the VOTE. His church has told him ‘he is no longer welcome there ‘.  Many of his neighbors
have told him ‘to never talk to them again ‘.  His son Radley (9 th grader) has been persecuted by his teachers. Keith has received over 800 threats. Lori has been sworn at, spit on, etc. Daily Union  people pull into their driveway and harass them! Even the local firemen have told him, “don‘t bother calling if you have a fire “because we probably cannot FIND your farm in time‘.

Finally, Keith‘s sister-in-law is a teacher at a local high school. The Ripp family was all to get together for Easter dinner at Keith’s moms house (his father died of cancer 3 years ago). Keith‘s sister-in-law refuses to go to dinner at Easter dinner IF KEITH AND HIS FAMILY ATTEND! By
the way- the sister-in-law (teacher) has HER KIDS ATTEND A PRIVATE  SCHOOL! Complete harassment. What kind of people are these Democrats‘  Scum of the earth!
This man and family, whom are wonderful people, are being subjected  to a RECALL- due to him voting to balance the budget. Shame on Wisconsin!
Next, I went down to another friend and client Fritz Wyttenbach. He lives in Sauk City, Wisconsin. He owns a feedlot and a meat market. Fritz is on the school board. He voted to FREEZE teachers wages and reform their insurance policy to more align it with private industry
Since then ‘the local teachers have picketed his business. Threatened  him and his family. Restaurants whom have purchased beef and meat from his meat market for years cancelled orders and discontinued buying from him because  they are on the side of the  teachers ‘. He has received death threats and e-mails that his business will be burned and destroyed. Fritz is one of the finest Christians I know of. A wonderful person. If you drive through Sauk City you will daily see teachers PICKETING on the bridge crossing the Wisconsin river. Many are toting signs to boycott Wyttenbach Meat Market. What a tragedy! May I suggest if you are driving through that part of Wisconsin that you stop and purchase some meat products from Fritz. His spirits are pretty low today.
I am convinced that Unions are little more than organized mafia  movements. I am convinced that this era of American history (2008-2011) will be termed the GREAT DENIAL PERIOD in the future history books. Either we need to balance the budget and rid ourselves of entitlements or we will continue to move toward socialism.  I spent some time in France last year. I saw and heard how bad socialism is. The French hate it  but they can ‘t change it.
The reason I write this to you is to uncover the truth and outrageous injustice that is occurring currently in America. It is hard for me to believe that such outlandish activities are occurring
in our good old USA without the press covering this. Wow! If these activities were going on to non-Caucasians ‘.it would be deemed harassment and discrimination. It was a tough thing for me to experience. I did not know how to console these friends of mine ‘ Pray for them. I believe they are doing the right thing ‘..and they are brave people. As Fritz always says Attitude is Everything. They will press on.
So, in summary ‘.I realize we are currently in a sort of ‘CIVIL WAR ‘ in America. I can‘t believe that there is so much HATE in the U.S. amongst people whom are arguing about benefits. I hope and pray it doesn‘t come to physical conflict and it should not!  However, people during the Civil war put their life on the line for what was the ‘right thing to do for America ‘. I wonder if today‘s citizen is as convicted to do the correct thing for our future ‘
We need some new  leadership in this country. This will only occur if people are brave enough like the Ripps and the Wyttenbachs to stand up and do the right thing without worry about their personal loss and repercussions. I take my hat off and applaud these people. Everything I divulged above is current and true. It still baffles me how these injustices are occurring right under our noses.
No press to cover this side of the story. These families are concerned about going broke but they are standing up for what is right and risking their livelihood for the right thing! God Bless- Tom Peters
P.S. Remember- politics is NOT a spectator sport. We all need to get off the couch and GET ENGAED in correcting the system. The forefathers of our constitution would be turning over in their graves if they say the current state of the political system in America. We should and CAN fix this system with intellect and some sacrifices. Brutality and threats are not the answer. Ignorance currently rules. Knowledge and persistence will prevail. However, this system will NOT change unless smart people become enraged enough to participate in changing the system.
Perhaps I finally realized I am a TEA PARTY member ‘ Neither Republicans nor Democrats are correcting the injustices that have accumulated during the last 30-40 years.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Linked to Death,Atherosclerosis in Veterans/ Semper Fi Magazine

Post-traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD) more than doubles a veterans risk of death from any cause and is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2010.

The study states that doctors should offer as much preventive treatment for heart disease for clients with PTSD. The researchers, are Naser Ahmadi, MD, and Ramin Ebrahimi, MD.

The research studied the electronic medicals records of 286, 194 veterans, with an average age of 63, who are being treated at hospitals in Southern California and Nevada. The cohort group includes veterans of the Korean War.

The conclusion of the study indicated that veterans diagnosed with PTSD had 2.41 times the rate of death from all causes compared to veterans who have not experienced PTSD. Or at least not diagnosed with the symptoms. They then surmise that PTSD alone is an independent predictor of death from all causes.

Now, let Veteran Veritas  enter the picture. I cannot use the the adjective that first comes to mind for this study. So let your veteran imaginations take you there.

What I will say is that I first distrust this study because it smells of the subterranean influence of the Insurance industry that does not want to provide life insurance for the young soldiers returning from war, as a result of their pre-existing conditions —which is War!   A soldier who is diagnosed with PTSD cannot currently get life insurance. Truth.

Man is this a hard pill to swallow.

So, the citizen soldier who just defended the United States of America and our system of capitalism, the insurance industry being the very DNA of that system, can in turn not be defended by the very system they just defended.  There will  be an outcry beyond belief when this becomes known nationwide. Johnny can come marching home with ribbons of valor galore, but he cannot get life insurance if he seeks a little help for his nightmares of horific events, because he  is normal. All of the literature on PTSD indicates that, “it is a normal reaction to aberrant events.”  So, where am I going here? I believe studies like this should be scrutinized way beyond their practical value, for the core intent. I suspect that some of that intent is to have on record, medical data, to support the decline for life insurance.  Not unlike the bogus studies of a Psychiatrist named Sally Satel, who was on the payroll of the American Enterprise institute to conduct their dirty work in attempting to alter the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Psychiatry, DSM, so as to not have to award do many disability claims for PTSD, this study is akin to that effort that was suspended as a result of the incredible feedback from veterans, like this writer, who are up at night combing the net.  I will have more to say about this in future postings.

I would like to see what our readers have to say about this study and why from its initial reading it is laced with errors of science.  I will be revisiting this subject frequently over the next several months.

Next week I will be visiting with some high command at Camp Pendleton, and this topic is on the agenda.

As a footnote, many seasoned journalists have a bit of disdain for medical journalism as so much of it has hidden agendas of promotion of self and product, or is bent toward the pharmaceutical industry, meaning stockholders.

Vitally Important Veterans Legislation

There is one simple reason, this legislation is vitally necessary. Veterans of War with a diagnosis of PTSD, cannot get Life Insurance.  What a rap eh? You defend your nation, including one of the largest bastions of capitalism; the Insurance industry, and you cannot get insured by the folks whose freedom to conduct business was warrantied by your bodily and spiritual sacrifice.

Doc Holiday said it best, “my hypocrisy has no bounds.”

By Rick Maze – Staff writer,  Posted : Wednesday Sep 29, 2010 17:46:43 EDT

With just days before Congress takes a six-week break for the November elections, the House and Senate veterans’ affairs committees have reached agreement on an omnibus bill making improvements in employment, job protection, housing, insurance and other benefits.

The Senate passed the bill, HR 3219, by voice vote late Tuesday. The House is expected to approve it in the next few days.

The compromise bill surfaces just as national polls are showing wide spread discontent among voters about the glacial pace of legislative act. Getting the bill done is proof that when their backs are to the wall, lawmakers can reach agreement on veterans issues, which are largely bipartisan.

Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-Hawaii, and Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., are largely responsible for the agreement but there are dozens of bills wrapped into a package. Final passage by the House is expected by weeks’ end, just before lawmakers leave town. Akaka is chairman of the Senate veterans’ committee while Filner heads the House veterans’ panel.

Akaka said there are some important provisions, such as an increase in Veterans’ Mortage Life Insurance that fills a need “obvious in today’s housing market.” Currently, maximum insurance in case of the death of a service-connected disabled veteran was $90,000, far short of paying the mortgage balance on most homes. The bill hikes the maximum to $200,000.

Additionally, it increases supplemental life insurance for totally disabled veterans to $30,000, a $10,000 jump.

“Many totally disabled veterans find it difficult to obtain commercial life insurance,” Akaka said. “This legislation would provide these veterans with a reasonable amount of life insurance coverage.”

Called the Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010, the package also expands federal work-study programs to try to help veterans find jobs and it also tried to crack down small businesses trying to take advantage of veteran-owned business set asides by making the Veterans Affairs Department responsible for keeping a database of companies where the VA can show it is owned and controlled by a veteran. This addresses a hot-button issue for many veterans’ service organizations, who have complained to Congress that business are getting contracts without having veterans involved.

Here are some of the key provisions of the compromise:

• The Office of Special Counsel would be used on a test basis to enforce employment and re-employment rights for veterans when a federal agency is the employer.

• Homeless veterans grants from the Labor Department would be expanded specifically to help women veterans and homeless veterans with children by including child care services along with training, counseling and placement services.

• A pilot program would provide grants in three states to try to help veterans find jobs in energy-related fields. The states are not named.

• In an expansion of the ability of service members to cancel leases and contracts when deployed or reassigned to new duty stations, the bill would prohibit early termination fees for residential leases and also allows service members to terminate cellular telephone contracts, including family plans, at any time when they have military orders to relocate for 90 days or longer or move to an area not served by the cell phone company.

• Veterans’ burial benefits would increase to $700, effective Oct. 1, 2010, when a veteran dies in a VA facility or is eligible for burial in a national cemetery.

• Parents of deceased service members could be buried alongside their child in a national cemetery if the service member was not married and did not have a child and when the service member was killed by hostile fire or in a training accident.

God Bless
Jose M. Garcia
Past National Commander
Catholic War Veterans,USA
Better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot.
In God We Trust

Beware of Senator Who Speaks With Forked Tongue/ VVA Press Release

ress Release September 23, 2010 No. RI-002

Mokie Porter
301-585-4000, Ext. 146

Beware the Senator Who Speaks With Forked Tongue

By John Weiss, Vietnam Veterans of America Rhode Island State Council

North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, the leading Republican on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said yesterday, as reported by the Associated Press, that he has “concerns about a proposal to spend billions of dollars on disability compensation for Vietnam veterans who get heart disease and wants to make sure that science supports the expansion of benefits.”

The “proposal” Burr is referring to is a decision by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, based on the recent National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine committee report, “Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008.

A little history is in order: From 1962 to 1971, the U.S. military used Agent Orange and other herbicides in Vietnam and elsewhere to defoliate the jungle canopy, to destroy crops, and to clear the perimeters of U.S. bases. These herbicides were sprayed from fixed-wing and rotary aircraft, trucks, and backpack sprayers. The drums that stored these chemicals were often recycled and put to various other uses, sometimes to collect rain water, to serve as barbecue grill, etc. Nearly three million veterans served in Southeast Asia.

Contained in these herbicides was dioxin, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-paradioxin—one of the most dangerous chemicals known to man.

On August 31, 2010, in the Federal Register, the Department of Veterans Affairs published the final rules amending the adjudication regulations concerning presumptive service connection, concluding that there was a positive association between exposure in Vietnam to certain herbicides and the subsequent development of three diseases: hairy cell leukemia & B-cell leukemias; Parkinson’s disease; and ischemic heart disease.

And for the first time in history, on September 23, Burr and his colleagues will call into question the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, as outlined in the Agent Orange Act of 1991.

Recognizing that Burr was voted into the House of Representatives in 1994, it is obvious that he was not involved with the passage of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 (Public Law 102-4), which passed the House and the Senate without a single nay vote. In fact, today, 19 years later, there are only 36 members of Congress still serving who voted for passage of this act in 1991.

The Agent Orange Act of 1991 acknowledges the culpability of toxic exposures in health conditions that manifested years after a veteran’s service. Included in the law is the authority for the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to, on a biannual basis, provide a review of all scientific studies and research on the association between dioxin and specific diseases; and include recommendations for future research.

The act further grants the Secretary of the VA the authority to determine if a presumption of service connection is warranted for any of the health conditions addressed in the report.

If Sen. Burr is uncomfortable with the Secretary’s determinations based on the National Academy of Sciences recommendations, perhaps he would be more comfortable with the finding of the U.S. Air Force Ranch Hand Study, conducted by the U.S. Air Force on those who participated in the aerial spraying program, as sited in the 1992 testimony of Dr. Barry L. Johnson, Assistant Surgeon General, before the House Subcommittee on Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations:

A recent study on the health status of Vietnam veterans who participated in Operation Ranch Hand did not find any signs of liver disease, but did report increased levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood (a second report does not support these increases). In addition, an increase in body fat, diabetes, and blood pressure were also noted. These effects were strongly associated with TCDD levels in the serum. Ranch Hand veterans also had changes in blood (increased white blood cells, platelet, IgA, and sedimentation rates) which suggest a chronic inflammatory response, although no immunologic system diseases were identified. These immune system changes were also strongly associated with serum TCDD levels. These results differ from those reported in previous analyses of the Ranch Hand group in 1982 and 1985. The earlier analyses did not include an assessment of serum TCDD levels. A physical examination of Ranch Hand veterans is currently under way.

There is no doubt, that Burr, though too young to have faced conscription during the Vietnam Conflict, views himself as a supporter of those who served.

In fact, seven months ago, it was Sen. Burr who introduced a resolution recognizing March 30 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” Proclaimed Burr, “There’s no question that our troops served our country bravely and faithfully during the Vietnam War, and these veterans deserve our recognition and gratitude.  Unfortunately, when these service members returned home, they were caught in the crossfire of public debate about our nation’s involvement in the war.”

Today, Vietnam veterans are again caught in the “crossfire of public debate,” as Burr and others balk at the price of providing for the continuing cost of care for those whom he and others recognize “served our country bravely and faithfully during the Vietnam War.”

Words of praise and gratitude do not cost anything. Veterans’ compensation for service-related health conditions do. Sen. Burr, which is it?

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation’s only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA’s founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

Thank You American Legion For Dogging Those Enviromental Exposures

The following is a portion of the testimony presented by American Legion National Commander Jimmie L Foster and addresses Veteran disabilities due to environmental exposures.
The full testimony can be found at the following weblink:
Please distribute to your members.

American Legion National Commander Fiscal Year 2012 Testimony For the Department of Veteran’s Affairs

By Jimmie L Foster, National Commander

Excerpt: Veterans Disabilities due to Environmental Exposures:


The American Legion believes that major epidemiological studies of Vietnam veterans who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange are long overdue. In the early 1980s, Congress held hearings on the need for such epidemiological studies.  When VA was unable to accomplish the task, the responsibility was passed to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  In 1986, CDC also abandoned the project, asserting that a study could not be conducted based on available records.

The American Legion did not give up.  Three separate panels of the National Academy of Sciences have agreed with The American Legion and concluded that CDC was wrong and that epidemiological studies based on DoD records are possible.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Characterizing Exposure of Veterans to Agent Orange and Other Herbicides Used in Vietnam, is based on the research conducted by a Columbia University team.  The team has developed a powerful method for characterizing exposure to herbicides in Vietnam.  The American Legion is proud to have collaborated in this research effort.  In its final report on the study, the IOM urgently recommends that epidemiological studies be undertaken now that an accepted exposure methodology is available.  The American Legion strongly endorses this IOM report.


The American Legion strongly supports the extension of presumption of exposure to Agent Orange for veterans who served on naval vessels located in the territorial waters of Vietnam (known as Blue Water Navy veterans) but did not set foot on land in Vietnam.

The IOM, in Update 2008, specifically stated that the evidence it reviewed makes the current definition of Vietnam service, for the purpose of presumption of exposure to Agent Orange, limited to those who actually set foot on land in Vietnam “seem inappropriate.”  Citing an Australian study on the fate of the contaminant TCDD when sea water is distilled to produce drinking water, the IOM committee stated that it was convinced that such a process would produce a feasible route of exposure for Blue Water veterans, “which might have been supplemented by drift from herbicide spraying.”  (See IOM, Veterans and Agent Orange, Update 2008, p. 564; July 24, 2009)  The IOM also noted that a 1990 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a classic Agent Orange cancer, was more prevalent and significant among Blue Water Navy veterans. The IOM subsequently recommended that, given all of the available evidence, Blue Water Navy veterans should not be excluded from the group of Vietnam-era veterans presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange/herbicides.

The American Legion submits that not only does this latest IOM report fully support the extension of presumption of Agent Orange exposure to Blue Water Navy veterans, it provides scientific justification to the legislation currently pending in Congress that seeks to correct this grave injustice faced by Blue Water Navy veterans. The American

Legion at its 2010 National Convention approved Resolution 88 identifying service in the Republic of Vietnam includes “those who served in the territorial waters offshore.”


The American Legion is also extremely concerned about the timely disclosure and release of all information by DoD on the use and testing of herbicides in locations other than Vietnam during the war.  Over the years, The American Legion has represented veterans who claim to have been exposed to herbicides in places other than Vietnam.  Without official acknowledgement by the Federal government of the use of herbicides, proving such exposure is virtually impossible.  Information has come to light in the last few years leaving no doubt that Agent Orange, and other herbicides contaminated with dioxin, were released in locations other than Vietnam.  This information is slowly being disclosed by DoD and provided to VA. In April 2001, officials from DoD briefed VA on the use of Agent Orange along the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) from April 1968 through July 1969.  It was applied through hand spraying and by hand distribution of pelletized herbicides to defoliate the fields of fire between the front line defensive positions and the south barrier fence.  The size of the treated area was a strip 151 miles long and up to 350 yards from the fence to north of the civilian control line.  According to available records, the effects of the spraying were sometimes observed as far as 200 meters downwind. DoD identified the units that were stationed along the DMZ during the period in which the spraying took place.  This information was given to VA’s Compensation and Pension Service, which provided it to all of the regional offices.  VA Central Office has instructed its Regional Offices to concede exposure for veterans who served in the identified units during the period the spraying took place.

In January 2003, DoD provided VA with an inventory of documents containing brief descriptions of records of herbicides used at specific times and locations outside of Vietnam.  The information, unlike the information on the Korean DMZ, does not contain units’ involved or individual identifying information.  Also, according to VA, this information is incomplete, reflecting only 70 to 85 percent of herbicide use, testing and disposal locations outside of Vietnam.  VA requested that DoD provide it with information regarding the units involved with herbicide operations or other information that may be useful to place veterans at sites where herbicide operations or testing was conducted. Unfortunately, as of this date, additional information has not been provided by DoD.

Obtaining the most accurate information available concerning possible exposure is extremely important for the adjudication of herbicide-related disability claims of veterans claiming exposure outside of Vietnam.  For herbicide-related disability claims, veterans who served in Vietnam during the period of January 9, 1962 to May 7, 1975 are presumed by law to have been exposed to Agent Orange.  Veterans claiming exposure to herbicides outside of Vietnam are required to submit proof of exposure.  This is why it is crucial that all information pertaining to herbicide use, testing, and disposal in locations other than Vietnam be released to VA in a timely manner.

The IOM subsequently recommended that, given all of the available evidence, Blue Water Navy veterans should not be excluded from the group of Vietnam-era veterans presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange/herbicides.

Congressional oversight is needed to ensure that additional information identifying involved personnel or units for the locations already known by VA is released by DoD, as well as all relevant information pertaining to other locations that have yet to be identified.  Locating this information and providing it to VA must be a national priority.  The American Legion endorses both the 2006 and 2008 IOM reports and strongly urges VA to make a timely decision on its recommendations and provide timely notification of the decision to add or not add to the presumptive list. The ongoing and lengthy process witnessed during the addition of the three new presumptive conditions associated with Agent Orange, ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s

disease, and b-cell leukemias such as “hairy cell leukemia” has illustrated the need for better coordination between VA, the veterans’ community and Congress.  There is an excellent system already in place by law to provide for the addition of new presumptive conditions.  The science evaluation performed by the IOM has been proven to be

sound and thorough.  Where VA evaluates this information and chooses to add new presumptive conditions, the process should not reflect endless months of delays and debate, but should move forward swiftly.

In order to facilitate a better understanding of this process, more clarity and transparency may be required.  Why, for example, does VA determine one portion of an IOM report to be valid for finding of a presumption of service connection, yet disregard other portions of the IOM findings, such as the analysis of the Australian Naval Study which

recognized the link between Blue Water Naval Service and the exposure to Agent Orange?  When questions are raised as to why VA has determined that the IOM findings suggest a connection, there should be clear guidance as to what standard is being objectively used, so that no questions as to the integrity of the process can arise. The process, when supported by sound science, should not consist of a yearlong cycle of bickering.  The law clearly states a period of deadlines for the publication of new regulations.  These regulations must be adhered to, and the criteria by which the Department of Veterans’ Affairs determines the necessity to add a new presumptive condition must be clear, so that future delays to veterans can be avoided.

The American Legion has long fought for the veterans of Vietnam to be justly treated for the after effects of their exposure to Agent Orange. Congress and VA must discover a way to more efficiently execute the process of the addition of new presumptive conditions, so that years of long delays no longer plague veterans in their quest for benefits.


In the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illness (RACGWI) initial report released in November 2004, it was found that, for a large majority of affected Gulf War veterans, their illnesses could not be explained by stress or psychiatric illness and concluded that current scientific evidence supports a probable link between neurotoxin exposure and subsequent development of Gulf War veterans’ illnesses.  Earlier government panels concluded that deployment-related stress, not the numerous environmental and other exposures troops were exposed to during the war, was likely responsible for the numerous unexplained symptoms reported by thousands of Gulf War veterans. The Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses released their most recent report November 2008.  In the report, the committee concluded that Gulf War Illness is a physical condition.  The report indicates that Gulf War Illness is a serious condition that affects at least one fourth of the 697,000 U.S. veterans who served in the 1990-1991 Gulf War.  The panel also determined that Gulf War Illness fundamentally differs from trauma and stress-related syndromes described after other wars.

Studies have indicated that Gulf War veterans have a lower rate of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) than veterans of other wars.  Upon review of extensive scientific evidence, the committee determined that two neurotoxin exposures are causally associated with Gulf War Illness: a drug given to service members to protect them from nerve gas known as pyridostigmine bromide (PB) pills and pesticides used during deployment.

The science evaluation performed by the IOM has been proven to be sound and thorough.  Where VA evaluates this information and chooses to add new presumptive conditions, the process should not reflect endless months of delays and debate, but should move forward swiftly.

The American Legion strongly supports this report and urges the VA Secretary to act quickly on the committee’s recommendations. In addition, VA must continue to fund research projects consistent with the recommendations of the RACGWI.  VA must continue to fund research projects consistent with the recommendations of the RACGWI.  It is important that VA continues to focus its research on finding medical treatments that will alleviate veterans’ suffering as well as on figuring out the causes of that suffering.  Although veterans can file claims for these ailments and possibly gain access to the health care system once a disability percentage rate is granted, those whose claims are denied cannot enroll.  Unfortunately, the denial rate for Gulf War undiagnosed illness claims is approximately 75 percent. Due to their nature, these illnesses are difficult to understand and information about individual exposures may not be available, many ill veterans are not able to present strong claims.  They are then forced to seek care from private physicians who may not have enough information about Gulf War Veterans’ illnesses to provide appropriate care. VA published its comments on the IOM’s Gulf War and Health, Volume 2: Insecticides and Solvents report, released in February 2003 in the Federal Register.

The Department decided not to establish a presumption of service connection for any diseases, illnesses or health effects considered in the report, based on exposure to insecticides or solvents during service in the Persian Gulf during the Persian Gulf War.  Many of VA’s justifications for not establishing presumption mirror the reasons why ill Gulf War veterans have problems justifying their claims.  The IOM report notes that little information is known about the use of solvents in the theater. VA notes that veterans may still be granted service connection, if evidence indicates an association between their diseases and their exposures. This places the burden of proof on Gulf War veterans to prove their exposures and that the level of exposure is sufficient enough to warrant service connection. IOM and VA have acknowledged that there is insufficient information on the use of the identified solvents and pesticides during the Gulf War.

VA’s interpretation is that Congress did not intend VA to establish presumptions for known health effects of all substances common to military and civilian life, but that it should focus on the unique exposure environment in the Persian Gulf during the war. The IOM was commissioned to ascertain long-term health effects of service in the Persian Gulf during the war, based on exposures associated with service in theater during the war as identified by Congress, not exposures unique to the Southwest Asia Theater. The determination to not grant presumption for the ailments identified should be based solely on the research findings, not on the legitimacy of the exposures identified by Congress. The IOM has a similar charge to address veterans who served in Vietnam during the war. Herbicides were not unique to the operations in the Southeast Asia theater of conflict and there had not been, until recently, a definitive idea of the amounts of herbicides to which service members had been exposed.  Peer-reviewed, occupational studies are evaluated to make recommendations on which illnesses are associated with exposure the herbicides—and their components known to be used in theater.  For ailments that demonstrate sufficient evidence of a causal relationship, sufficient evidence of an association, and limited evidence of an association, the Secretary may consider presumption. Gulf War and Health Volume 2 identifies several illnesses in these categories.  However, the VA Secretary determined that presumption is not warranted. VA needs to clearly define what type of information is required to determine possible health effects, for example, any clarification of guidance or mandate for the research.

VA also needs to ensure that its charge to the IOM is specific enough to help it make determinations about presumptive illnesses.  VA noted that neither the report, nor the studies considered for the report identified increased risk of disease based on episodic exposures o insecticides or solvents and that the report states no conclusion whether any of the diseases are associated with “less than chronic exposure,” possibly indicating a lack of data to make a determination.  If this was necessary, it should have been clearly identified.

Finally, Section 1118, title 38, United States Code  mandates how the VA Secretary should respond to the recommendations made in the IOM reports.  The VA Secretary is required to make a determination of whether or not a presumption for service connection is warranted for each illness covered in the report no later than 60 days after the date the report is received. Persian Gulf War and Health, Volume 2 was released in 2003, four years ago.  VA has yet to publish its determination on those reports as well. The American Legion urges VA to provide clarity in the charge for the IOM reports. The VA must identify what type of information is needed to make determinations of presumption of service connection for illnesses that may be associated with service in the Gulf during the war.

The American Legion urges VA to request clarification from Congress on the intent of the phrase “known or presumed to be associated with service in the Armed Forces in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War.” Additionally to obtain clarification from the IOM committee concerning missing information as possible, and re-evaluate the findings of the IOM report with the clarification provided. The American Legion also urges Congress to provide oversight to ensure VA provides timely responses to the recommendations made in the IOM reports.
God Bless
Jose M. Garcia
Past National Commander
Catholic War Veterans,USA
Better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot.
In God We Trust

VA Blue Button Intiative

Does everyone remember that the Director of  Veterans Administration is a Cabinet Post? When did that happen?

And, for what it is worth, I think this Administration with the guidance of former General Shinsecki, is doing a stellar job with VA Health Care. It is one of the shining lights in these days of travail.

Blue Button Initiative

On August 2, 2010, President Obama announced the “Blue Button” capability that allows Veterans to download their personal health information from their MyHealtheVet account. VA developed the Blue Button in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Department of Defense, along with the Markle Foundation’s Consumer Engagement Workgroup.

The MyHealtheVet Personal Health Record (PHR) is comprised of self-entered health metrics (blood pressure, weight, heart rate, etc.), emergency contact information, test results, family health history, military health history, and other health related information. The Blue Button extract that Veterans can download is a so-called “ASCII text file”, the easiest and simplest electronic text format (see a sample Blue Button file).

Blue Button PHRs can be printed, or saved on computers and portable storage devices. Having control of this information enables Veterans to share this data with health care providers, caregivers, or people they trust.

On August 29, 2010, VA will make the Blue Button available on our website. Throughout the month of September Veterans can login to their MyHealtheVet account and try out the Blue Button. In early October, VA and CMS will officially roll-out the Blue Button download feature at the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

Additionally, the Markle Foundation has issued a Developer Challenge. VA looks forward to the innovative platforms, apps, and widgets that will result from this exciting competition. For more information, visit the Blue Button Challenge website or the CMS Blue Button website.

My HealtheVet is VA’s award–winning e–health Website, which offers Veterans, active duty service members, their dependents and caregivers anywhere, anytime Internet access to VA health care information and services. My HealtheVet is a free, online Personal Health Record that empowers Veterans to become informed partners in their health care. With My HealtheVet, America’s Veterans can access trusted, secure, and current health and benefits information as well as record, track and store important health and military history information at their convenience. Veterans who are enrolled in a VA facility can refill their VA prescriptions and more, so register today! Using My HealtheVet is easy and it’s for YOU!

God Bless
Jose M. Garcia
Deputy National Service Officer
Catholic War Veterans,USA
Better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot.
In God We Trust

Surprise The War Is Over!

While we slept peacefully last night  in  our cribs of freedom and prosperity, the last of the combat troops in Iraq cruised over the border into Kuwait; with papers of course, and unarmed. Much unlike our borders.

As I learned of this event by email tonight, I cannot help but think how odd it is that I was in the living room in California of my Sergeant from Vietnam, in March of 2003, as we witnessed the invasion of  Baghdad with the 3rd Infantry Division and the 7th Marines with whom we served. Neither one of us ever thought we would see a pre-emptive war again in our lifetime. Particularly one based on questionable data.  And here I am back in California with my pal, 7 1/2 years later watching the withdrawal of troops, leaving the people  of Iraq with questionable data. No question that Saddam had to go, but 13 Centuries of Suni domination morphed into a Shiite democracy, is assuredly questionable.  The 50,000 troops that are remaining coupled with some handsomely paid private contractors,(men with guns), will now fuel are 24/7 cable news for the next 7 years.

Officially, 440 troops of the Stryker Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division will be calling themselves the exit crew.  An exit that has a great deal more honor and record of accomplishment than is reported.  There are no helicopters being tossed overboard and no one fleeing Embassy compounds for safety. This is an ordered exit.  Is it a surprise? Well of course. Is it part of a grander plan? Well of course.

I think I now see why the National Security Advisor and former Commandant of the Marine Corps; General James Jones, got the job. This is a clear handing off of the baton from the Rumsfeld Department of Defense to the currently  finely tuned State Department who will now be charged with stabilizing this nation that is ruled by the Tower of Babel.

Community policing, and guiding a  judicial system is not the role of an Army. The very reason the Marine Corps balked at their continued use in Iraq and were shortly thereafter deployed to Afghanistan.

We stopped a civil war, maybe, we toppled a dictator, ooorah, and we have spent more training their cops than the entire nations  GDP. I do believe it is time to turn over the show to the locals.  Pray that the locals will stay, and that some of  the millions of middle class, highly educated Iraqi’s will return. If they can get visas. How is that for an American irony? Visas to get back in the county to be with their own families!  Let’s also hope that the thousands of interpreters, and third party contractor grunt labor; Phillipinos, Pakistanis, Indians, can safely be escorted out. Or? Remember the Vietnamese refugee boats?

We created the space and the opportunity for them to recreate their homeland. I do believe that was done by us.  But can the coalition governing body hold off Iran? The other irony, Saddam did that for us. Now they are flying solo.

In Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh was more than prepared to govern and had no one to hold at abeyance once we were gone.

For now, the grim news of  successes, that were like cotton candy, the cascade downward of American tolerance for war, ( not being attacked on our own turf is not a very enduring motive), and the domino effect of public opinion, can now take a rest as we focus on the “other” war in Afghanistan. And we wonder why there is no money to create jobs!

Will the Iraq people feel that we are abandoning them? No more than the unemployed American plumber.

Welcome home men and women of  faith and freedom. I hope we are ready for you.

POW/MIA Issues Still Haunt US

I am often asked why I keep the POW/MIA sticker on the passenger van I use to transport disabled veterans. I, in turn ask, “why would anyone use the word, ‘keep?” Does that not connote that somehow the topic is old and dated. It is not.

I then remind all that the POW/MIA flag is the only flag allowed to fly beneath the American flag.  Might that say something?

I still carry the bracelet of a downed pilot in Vietnam. Lt Curran/USMC

How many POW/ MIA’s are there currently in Iraq and Afghanistan? If you do not know, then you know why the issue is timely and compelling.

Remains of U.S. Army helicopter pilot from Billings found in Vietnam

Remains of U.S. Army helicopter pilot from Billings found in Vietnam JAN FALSTAD Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette | Posted: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 2:14 pm | (39) Comment

 buy this photo
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Paul G. Magers (Courtesy photo)

The remains of U.S. Army 1st Lt. Paul G. Magers of Billings and his gunner from Oklahoma, missing for almost four decades after their helicopter was shot down during the Vietnam War, have been positively identified and are being returned to their families.

Magers, who lettered in track and wrestling at Billings Central Catholic High School, was killed in action in 1971 in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam, while flying an AH-1 Cobra. Also killed was Chief Warrant Officer 2 Donald L. Wann of Shawnee, Okla.

Fred Magers of Billings, the oldest of six children, said his brother graduated from Central High in 1963, finished college at Regis College, a Jesuit Catholic school in Denver, and planned on attending medical school. Magers was married in 1969 to Beverly Mohatt of Sidney, Neb., and he enlisted in the U.S. Army. Attending officer training school at Fort Benning, Ga., Magers graduated in the top 10 percent of his class to qualify as an aviator, his brother said.

“He didn’t necessarily want to be a pilot, but that, too, was tough and he liked that,” Fred Magers said. “If it wasn’t tough, it wasn’t worth doing.”

His brother had been in Vietnam less than two weeks when he flew his last mission, Fred Magers said.

On June 1, 1971, Magers and Wann were flying their Cobra during an emergency rescue of an Army Ranger team in Quang Tri, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. After the Rangers were picked up and delivered to safety, the Cobra was ordered to destroy claymore mines that had been left behind in the landing zone. During this mission, ground fire hit Magers’ helicopter, which crashed and exploded. Then the Cobra’s ordnance detonated, tearing the aircraft apart. Pilots who witnessed the explosions said no one could have survived, according to the Defense Department. A ground search was impossible because of enemy soldiers in the area.

The first leads to finding and identifying the airmen came in 1990. Search teams from the U.S and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam surveyed the suspected crash site in 1993 and 1998. Excavation started the following year, but stopped because of bad weather. Then the Vietnamese government, citing security concerns, banned U.S. personnel from Quang Tri Province.

In 2008, artifacts and some human remains were recovered by a Vietnamese team. More remains were found the next year.

Maj. Tim Crowe, public affairs chief for the Montana Army National Guard, said the two men were identified by teams who specialize in returning the remains of military personnel.

“We do everything we can to bring MIA soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines back home,” Crowe said.

The remains of Magers and Wann were identified in March. The Magers family learned of the positive ID of Paul Magers in June, about the time they got their usual yearly update on his status. A U.S. Army officer formally briefed the family in mid-July and the news that Magers and Wann had been found was released Wednesday. The complexity of the process caused the four-month lag, Crowe said.

“These cases are within a pretty formal investigation cycle, so there are a lot of details to do to get this together,” he said. “As you can imagine, they want to get this right.”

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said he is pleased that Lt. Magers is being returned home with dignity and he extended condolences to the family.

“He will be laid to rest with honor and respect,” Tester said.

The Magers family moved from Denver to Billings in 1958, said Fred Magers, who does custom framing at his Billings business, Framing by Fred.

“He (Paul) would deliver The Gazette in the morning. Then when the ditch was dry he and another fellow or two, whoever he could find, would run the ditch,” Fred Magers said. “You know how hard it is to run in wet sand? It’s tough.”

But his playful side led Paul to endlessly tease and play with his nieces and nephews. And that is the spirit his family wants to see at his funeral. Well-wishers should bring smiles and dress in 1960s and ’70s clothes, including paisley, Fred Magers said.

“This is a joyous occasion and if anybody at the services comes wearing somber colors, Mom might just cuss them out and at 92, she has earned the right to do this,” he said.

Both men will be buried with full military honors. Wann’s burial will be Aug. 21 in Fort Gibson, Okla.

A vigil for Magers will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 26 at Dahl Funeral Home in Billings. Funeral services are planned for at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 27, at Holy Rosary Church in Billings. Then Magers will be buried at the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery in Laurel.

Contact Jan Falstad at or 657-1306.

Automatic Revocation of Non-Profit Exempt Status

I am a subscriber to Guidestar and have used them faithfully for about 15 years. They are a wonderful resource for non-profits, as they match you up with  philanthropists and charitable foundations.  I used them when I was the Director of the Fan Kane Foundation for children with  head injuries. We often forget there are as many folks looking for places to give as there are people in need. America is a very charitable nation.

I bring this to you now, as it may well impact many veteran outreach programs.  Most all are reputable, yet as human behavior is what it is, there are a few con jobs.

My take is that Homeland Security has a small hand in this effort to weed out the chaff.

Automatic Revocation of Nonprofits’Tax-Exempt Status
What Nonprofits, Grantmakers,
and Donors Need to Know
Updated July 27, 2010
Linda M. Lampkin
ERI Economic Research Institute
© 2010, GuideStar USA, Inc. All rights reserved.
Automatic Revocation of Nonprofits’ Tax-Exempt Status
So are there really close to 2 million tax-exempt
organizations operating in the United States—or
not? Soon we will be closer to a more accurate
picture of the sector.
For decades, once an organization received its
determination from the IRS as tax exempt, that
status was final—it remained in effect unless
affirmatively revoked by the IRS.1 Although
hundreds of thousands of nonprofits had to file an
annual information return (Form 990, 990-EZ, or
990-PF) with the IRS, a significant number failed
to do so, and the majority of exempt organizations
were not required to file because they did not meet
filing thresholds.
For many years, these non-reporting organizations
remained listed as tax exempt, but it was unclear
whether they were active and didn’t meet the
reporting thresholds, met the reporting thresholds
but neglected to file, or were in fact no longer
operating (had merged, achieved the mission, or
not, and/or stopped activities). When IRS attempts
to contact non-reporting organizations went
unanswered, the only recourse available to the
IRS was to revoke those organizations’ tax-exempt
status. The IRS was reluctant to take this step.
The situation changed with the passage of the
Pension Protection Act in 2006. Among the law’s
numerous provisions was a new requirement for
almost all exempt organizations to file information
with the IRS annually, starting in 2008 for
activities from January 1, 2007, on. And the IRS
is now required to revoke the tax exemption of any
organization required to file that doesn’t do so for
three consecutive years. Revocations will affect not
only the organizations that lose their exemptions
but also the donors and funders that support them
and the audiences that rely on their services.
Just How Many Tax-Exempt
Organizations Are at Risk?
In a word—lots! Some nonprofits still are not
required to file, including religious congregations
and state institutions.2 But the remaining exempt
organizations now must submit a return to the IRS
each year. The IRS created a new form, Form 990-N,
for smaller organizations that previously did not
meet the thresholds to file. See the appendix for
more information about Form 990-N and the
mechanics of filing it.
In April 2010, as the first filing deadline that
would trigger automatic revocations drew
near, GuideStar analyzed the IRS Exempt
Organizations Master File (also known as the
Business Master File or BMF) to determine
how many organizations might be at risk. The
April BMF listed more than 1.3 million exempt
organizations required to file an annual return
with the IRS. Of that number, more than 373,000
had never filed, and another 73,000 were at least
three years in arrears with their filings.
Note: These materials are intended to provide only a general summary and overview of this topic as it
pertains to nonprofits that have been granted tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code. These
materials are not to be considered legal advice applicable to any particular situation, and organizations
and individuals needing specific advice and counsel on these matters should always consult with
knowledgeable counsel.
What Does “Revocation of Tax-Exempt Status” Mean?
May 17, 2010, was the first filing deadline that
led to automatic revocations. At the end of the
following month, the Urban Institute’s National
Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) estimated
that almost 300,000 small nonprofits had not yet
completed the 990-N and were in jeopardy. Fiftyeight
percent of the organizations were 501(c)(3)
public charities. The remaining nonprofits at risk
were tax exempt under other 501(c) subsections.
The NCCS estimates that about 16,000 additional
organizations are part of a group return; these
organizations are not required to file if their
national offices file on their behalf.
In July 2010, more than 355,000 nonprofits
appeared to be facing revocation. A new NCCS
report found that more than 292,000 small
nonprofits still need to file Form 990-N.3
GuideStar’s analysis of the July 2010 BMF
revealed that more than 63,000 larger nonprofits
have failed to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, or
990-PF during the past three years.
Organizations that registered with the IRS
between 2008 and 2010 still have time to file
within the three years and are not yet subject
to revocation.
What Does “Revocation of Tax-Exempt
Status” Mean?
Revocation has a drastic and expensive impact
on a nonprofit. If it’s a charitable organization,
it will no longer be able to accept tax-deductible
contributions. Whatever type of exempt
organization it is, it will need to pay federal
income taxes. It may also incur penalties for failure
to pay income taxes, to say nothing of the loss of
the trust of its donors, members, and clients. Plus,
most grantmakers (such as private foundations
and government entities) will only give grants
to charitable organizations, i.e., those that are
tax exempt under section 501(c)(3). Obviously,
well-run organizations should be meeting their
reporting obligations.
So revocation is very serious—and if an
organization wants to regain tax-exempt status,
there are forms to fill out, fees to pay, and usually
some time to wait before it is granted again.
What Happens if I Give to a Charity
That Has Lost Its Exemption?
As long as the charity has not received a revocation
letter from the IRS, your contribution will still
be deductible. Once the charity receives the
letter, however, donations to it will no longer be
The IRS is waiting until 2011 to start sending
revocation letters. At that time, it will also post
a Web page of nonprofits that have lost tax-exempt
status because they failed to file with the IRS for
three consecutive years.
“Revocation has a drastic and
expensive impact on a nonprofit. If
it’s a charitable organization, it will
no longer be able to accept taxdeductible
contributions. Whatever
type of exempt organization it is, it
will need to pay federal income taxes.
It may also incur penalties for failure
to pay income taxes, to say nothing
of the loss of the trust of its donors,
members, and clients.”
Impact of the Revocations on Grantmakers
What Impact Will the Revocations Have
on Grantmakers?
Private foundations and sponsors of donor-advised
funds face much the same situation as donors.
Grants and disbursements made to a charity
that has lost exempt status but has not received
a revocation letter will still be qualifying
distributions, i.e., charitable gifts that reduce the
amount of federal tax a grantmaker pays. Payouts
made to a charity that has received a revocation
letter will no longer fall into this category, and
a grantmaker that declares them as qualifying
distributions could be subject to excise taxes.
Foundations may be permitted to make gifts to
organizations that are not public charities under
certain conditions. The foundation’s governing
documents must permit this activity, and the
foundation must assume expenditure responsibility
for these grants. Foundations electing to assume
expenditure responsibility for a grant must satisfy
a complicated set of rules and reporting obligations.
Failure to meet these rules could also subject the
foundation to excise taxes.
Once the IRS makes the revocations public,
grantmakers will need to amend their pre-grant
due-diligence processes. This new era of nonprofit
revocations has made relying on the IRS letter
of determination an incomplete and ineffective
process to protect a grantmaking foundation from
possible excise taxes.
GuideStar recommends that before making
a payout, grantmakers confirm that grantees
have not lost tax-exempt status, in addition to
verifying charitable status in IRS Publication 78
and consulting the IRS Business Master File (or
a third-party provider of BMF data that meets
the criteria outlined in IRS Revenue Procedure
2009-324 ) to identify supporting organizations.
Although IRS revocations will affect small
nonprofit organizations disproportionately, the
data confirm that tens of thousands of larger and
seemingly more established nonprofits will also
be removed from the IRS BMF.
IRS Response to the First Round
of Revocations
When the May 17 filing deadline passed and the
number of Forms 990-N received was drastically
short of expectations, IRS Commissioner Doug
Shulman made the following statement:
Now that the May 17 filing deadline has
passed, it appears that many small tax-exempt
organizations have not filed the required
information return in time. These organizations
are vital to communities across the United
States, and I understand their concerns about
possibly losing their tax-exempt status.
The IRS has conducted an unprecedented
outreach effort in the tax-exempt sector on the
2006 law’s new filing requirements, but many
“Once the IRS makes the revocations
public, grantmakers will need to
amend their pre-grant due-diligence
processes. This new era of nonprofit
revocations has made relying on
the IRS letter of determination an
incomplete and ineffective process
to protect a grantmaking foundation
from possible excise taxes.”
What Donors and Grantmakers Need to Do
of these smaller organizations are just now
learning of the May 17 deadline. I want to
reassure these small organizations that the
IRS will do what it can to help them avoid
losing their tax-exempt status.
The IRS will be providing additional guidance
in the near future on how it will help these
organizations maintain their important taxexempt
status—even if they missed the May
17 deadline. The guidance will offer relief
to these small organizations and provide them
with the opportunity to keep their critical
tax-exempt status intact.
So I urge these organizations to go ahead and
file—even though the May 17 deadline has
The IRS issued the guidance on July 26, 2010,
noting, “This one-time relief benefits Form 990-N
(e-Postcard) and Form 990-EZ filers only.
Organizations required to file Form 990 or
Form 990-PF are not eligible and are automatically
revoked if they fail to file for three consecutive
years.” The guidance also specifies that this onetime
relief is available to organizations whose
returns were due on or after May 17 and before
October 15, 2010, and reiterates that nonprofits
that do lose tax-exempt status must re-apply if
they want their exemptions restored.6 See the
appendix for more information.
What Nonprofits Need to Do
If your organization has been given tax-exempt
status by the IRS (that is, it has received an IRS
letter of determination), consult the IRS list of
filing exceptions to determine whether you need
to file an annual return. If you do, assess which
IRS form you should file by checking out the
requirements on the IRS Web site .7 Then file what
is required when it is due. Be aware that extensions
are available for Forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF
but, with the exception of the one-time relief
announced in July, not for Form 990-N.
“The impact of revocation is dramatic—
donors can’t deduct their contributions,
grantmakers and funders won’t commit
funds, and the nonprofit will have to pay
federal income tax. If it is a charitable
organization, donors must be told that
contributions are no longer deductible.”
What Donors and Grantmakers
Need to Do
Stay abreast of the situation. The IRS is posting
updates in the Charities & Non-Profits section
of its Web site.8 GuideStar has created a nonprofit
resource center that provides an overview of the
issue and links to several resources, including a
Form 990-N filing status database; information
on filing exceptions, filing thresholds, and filing
deadlines and extensions; and FAQs.9 Independent
Sector is monitoring developments on the IRS
Oversight page of its site.10
Once the IRS makes the revocations public,
private foundations and sponsors of donor-advised
funds will need to add verification of continued
tax-exempt status to their pre-grant due-diligence
practices. GuideStar Charity Check, GuideStar’s
due-diligence tool for grantmakers, will incorporate
revocation information, providing a potential
grantee’s IRS Publication 78 record, BMF data,
and exemption information in a single report.
The Revocation Process
The IRS has yet to detail the ongoing revocation
process, other than to say that it will publish the
initial list of organizations that have lost exemptions
for failure to file on its Web site in 2011.
The impact of revocation is dramatic—donors
can’t deduct their contributions, grantmakers and
funders won’t commit funds, and the nonprofit will
have to pay federal income tax. If it is a charitable
organization, donors must be told that contributions
are no longer deductible. If the organization wants
to regain tax-exempt status, it must reapply for
exemption and pay fees based on revenue level.11
If professional assistance in filling out the form is
needed, then fees for those services must also be
added. Private foundations and sponsors of donoradvised
funds will need to take an extra step in
this time of uncertainty and change to avoid
excise taxes.
The revocation of tax-exempt status by the IRS
as required under the PPA will have a tremendous
impact on the nonprofit sector. GuideStar’s
analysis of the July 2010 BMF indicates that as
many as hundreds of thousands organizations may
be at risk.
The long-term benefits of the revocation process
are much clearer than the short-term impact. The
increased transparency will lead to a more accurate
picture of the nonprofit sector, as almost all active
organizations will be reporting. The IRS will be
able to allocate its education and enforcement
resources more efficiently. Donors, funders,
members, clients, and other sector stakeholders
will have confidence that the organizations that
receive their support have reported as required
and deserve their trust.
This is a time of transition for nonprofit
reporting. It may be difficult for the many small
organizations with volunteer officers, but the
IRS has made many resources available on its
Web site,, to help. In 2011, there
will be more information on whether this change
represents primarily a cleanup of the IRS files
or whether revocations have affected many
functioning organizations. But more transparency
and accountability can only help increase the trust
necessary to improve the nonprofit sector.
There is no late fee if the e-Postcard is not filed on
time, but a failure to file an e-Postcard, Form 990,
or 990-EZ for three consecutive years normally
will lead to revocation of tax-exempt status.
How to File Form 990-N
Filing is online only and accessible at http:// There is no charge.
The form is short and only requires eight pieces
of information:
• legal name of the organization,
• any name under which the organization operates
or does business,
• mailing address and Internet Web site address
(if any),
• taxpayer identification number,
• name and address of a principal officer,
• evidence of the organization’s continuing basis
for its exemption from the generally applicable
information return filing requirements (typically
certifying that annual gross receipts are less
than $25,000), and
• notice of termination, if the organization no
longer exists or is going out of existence.
If a 990-N filer’s EIN (Employer Identification
Number) is not in the IRS system, a call to IRS
Customer Account Services at 877-829-5500
will be necessary.
Advice for Smaller Nonprofits That
Missed a 2010 Filing Deadline
Start by checking the IRS list of organizations
at risk of revocation, available at http://www.irs.
gov/charities/article/0,,id=225889,00.html. If
you find your organization on the list and its
gross receipts are less than $25,000, an officer
Who Files the e-Postcard and When
Exempt organizations that do not fall under a
filing exception and whose annual gross receipts
are normally $25,000 or less are required to submit
Form 990-N.12 They can also choose to complete
a Form 990 or Form 990-EZ, but the Form 990-N
is much simpler and quicker to fill out. Although
nonprofits with less than $5,000 in annual gross
receipts are not required to apply to the IRS for
tax-exempt status, typically they must now file a
The e-Postcard is due every year by the 15th day of
the 5th month after the close of the organization’s
tax year. For example, if the tax year ends on
December 31, the e-Postcard is due May 15 of the
following year. This means that if an organization
with gross receipts of $20,000, for example, has a
tax year that coincides with the calendar year (ends
December 31), it should have filed a Form 990-N
by May 15, 2008, for its 2007 activities, by May 15,
2009, for its 2008 activities, and by May 15, 2010,
for its 2009 activities. And if no form was filed for
each of the three years by May 15, 2010 (actually
Monday, May 17, 2010, because May 15 fell on a
Saturday), then the IRS is required to revoke the
nonprofit’s tax-exempt status.
According to the NCCS, almost 100,000 nonprofits
submitted their e-Postcards to the IRS before the
May 17 deadline. Since then, another 45,000 have
filed, with an average of 1,000 filing every day
through June 15. Although more than two-thirds
of small nonprofits operate on the calendar year
and had a deadline of May 17, 2010, IRS data
show that there are 67,000 nonprofits that must file
the e-Postcard by deadlines between July 15 and
December 15 and another 25,500 that must file by
April 15, 2011.
Appendix. Form 990-N and Filing Relief for Small Organizations
You will be required to pay a fee of $100, $200,
or $500, depending on the amount of your 2009
gross annual revenues.
If your organization is required to file Form 990
or Form 990-PF and has missed the deadline for
filing your 2009 return, you cannot participate in
the Filing Relief Voluntary Compliance Program.
You must re-apply to the IRS if you wish to regain
your exemption.
from the organization should file Form 990-N
If your organization’s revenues are $25,000 or
greater, view the information on http://www.irs.
gov/charities/article/0,,id=184445,00.html to
determine whether your organization qualifies
to file a Form 990-EZ. If it does, follow the
instructions on
article/0,,id=225704,00.html to participate in
the Filing Relief Voluntary Compliance Program.
Appendix. Form 990-N and Filing Relief for Small Organizations
Linda M. Lampkin is research director of ERI Economic Research Institute (, a company that
provides Form 990 compensation data for use by nonprofits, and former director of the National Center for
Charitable Statistics at the Urban Institute.
1. For more background and detailed descriptions, see Technical Explanation of H.R. 4, the “Pension Protection Act of 2006,” as Passed by the
House on July 28, 2006, and as Considered by the Senate on August 3, 2006,
2. Exceptions for certain types of organizations are still in force (churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of
churches; the exclusively religious activities of any religious order; section 501(c)(1) instrumentalities of the United States; section 501(c)(21) trusts;
an interchurch organization of local units of a church; certain mission societies; certain church-affiliated elementary and high schools; certain
state institutions whose income is excluded from gross income under section 115; certain governmental units and affiliates of governmental
units; and other organizations that the IRS has relieved from the filing requirement pursuant to its statutory discretionary authority). For a list
of filing exceptions, see,,id=152729,00.html.
3. “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: A Look at Organizations That May Have Their Tax-Exempt Status Revoked,”
4. See IRS Revenue Procedure 2009-32, Reliance Criteria for Private Foundations and Sponsoring Organizations,
5. Statement of IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman on the Filing Deadline for Small Charities,
7. See Annual Exempt Organization Returns,,,id=152728,00.html, for the requirements, forms,
and instructions.
8. See Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-profits,
9. Nonprofit Resource Center: Automatic Revocation of Tax-Exempt Status,
10. IRS Oversight of Charities and Foundations,
11. See IRS Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,
pub/irs-pdf/f1023.pdf; IRS Form 1024, Application for Recognition of Exemption under Section 501(a),
f1024.pdf; and User Fee Program for Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division,,,id=121515,00.html.
12. The IRS defines gross receipts as the total amount the organization received from all sources during its annual accounting period, without
subtracting any costs or expenses. See Gross Receipts Defined,,,id=177784,00.html. See also Gross
Receipts Normally $25,000 or Less,,,id=177338,00.html.

Race? Whose Race? My Race? Your Race? Our Race?

I thought I would be able to let this, “race card” storm pass, but you know the beloved main stream media have managed once again to spawn, fuel and incense America into listening to them. Give them an inch and they take a mile of storytelling, some of which is actually newsworthy, most of which is for their stockholders and ratings.

We have a race issue in America alright, it is the Narcissism Race of 24/7 cable news. They play the race card every hour of the day, waiting to trounce on the most triffling of affairs and spin them into national news stories. But this race is  more akin to a horse race card then any matter of  ethnicity.

True journalists used to work hard to scoop the competition on a breaking news story. Once the competition beat you in the race, the other moved on to another story. Not now. The race is to determine who can sensationalize the changing of the wind once the wind direction is reported, and then milk it all day.  Edward R. Murrow would puke over much of cable news.

Enter Shirley Sherod. Yawn.  A mistake was made. The parties involved were not harmed. Apologies were granted. Move on for cryin’ out loud. This is not news. America is on the brink of an all out Depression and we are at war against the most difficult enemy in our history of warfare. Lets focus and pull together and insert some leadership into the media.

Why does Veteran Veritas hold this out for discussion? Because if these folks were in the Armed Forces, this topic would last about an hour! If the level of enmity and tirade were to occur in the military over a race issue, like it does in the cranked up ADHD MSM, someone would walk away with an Article 15.

Few civilians know that an active duty soldier cannot even have a bumper sticker message on their car on a Military Base?  I like that level of  disciplined civility. Free speech is overrated.

One media outlet, even suggested that we stop and think about how many black people have helped us in our lives, like that Georgia farming family. My God, is that milking a story or what? This could be an episode on the new AMC , Mad Men! Who can give the best identity to a non-story? Get the ad men involved, like Glen Beck does with his staff Psycholgists.

Well, I did stop and think of all the Black Americans who have helped me throughout this pilgrimage. The MSM made me do it.

I learned to fish for trout on the Rock River in Illinois by black men. I learned to sing from those same black men. Four of my soul brothers in Vietnam saved my ass on many a patrol. My black Drill Sgt. in Marine Boot Camp taught me how to survive and be brave but not stupid. A sage black man standing by me on a street corner in the midst of the Watts Riots in 1965, when I was a grunt cub reporter for Norm Woodruff of KRLA News, afforded me a thumb nail sketch of how cities spend money and ignore the inner city. No change to this day.  My VA Psychologist was an Army Officer, black man.  The lady that tracked down vital records for me at the Chicago VA was a black woman named Maude. The most helpful person I could find in my claim process was a black Gunny Sgt at the Marine Corps Records Section in Quantico, Va. He penetrated all red tape and bureaucracy to get my records  amended to show additional war wounds.

So what is the point of referencing these experiences? Not once during those encounters, did I stop and think, “geeeze this is a black person.”   Racism is an implanted idea. It is not a natural human emotion. Do not let them put this weed in your garden.

Summarily, where was the media during World War ll when 80% of the officer corps believed in segregation?  Lets sensationalize that story.