I am a military wife.
Each of you will already have a picture in your mind. Your pre-conceived notion of a military wife is driven by pictures of women holding small children while embracing their husbands as they head out to war. The media does a great job of planting these pictures in our heads.
PRIDE * HONOR * SACRIFICE * DEDICATION * STRENGTH *
These aren't unlike the images that pop to mind when we think "soldiers" or "marines".
PRIDE * HONOR * SACRIFICE * DEDICATION * STRENGTH *
Now, imagine those words being used to describe Glenn Beck.
How do you feel?
Disgusted? Incredulous? Angry?
Maybe you understand how I feel.
I'm not real good at ranting. I wish I was because this is the time for it. Maybe if Glenn Beck was standing in front of me, it would be easier, but he isn't. So, as you read this, I want you to picture an angry, upset, probably crying (because I always do that when I'm mad), short, white woman with dark hair, blue eyes and glasses. I normally have two kids hanging around, blonde hair, blue-eyed and tall. One 11 and one 14. Imagine them standing by my side. My husband probably won't want to hang around for this - he's active duty and tries to stay away from confrontational topics and I try to make that easy for him. Let's imagine he's at work. So, got all that in your head? Read on.
Glenn Beck plans on wrapping himself in the glow of military honor. Imagine Beck on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial this coming August 28 - on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's famous words,I Have A Dream. He stands side by side our soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen. And he says, "America has lost it's honor but through the hard work and courage of these young men, we can find honor again. Our military can root out the evil of progressivism because at their core, our soldiers are conservatives through and through!" Can you see Old Glory draped about his shoulders? Can you hear the crowd roar with approval? Do you see the television cameras? The microphones?
Where are you? Watching from the foot of the steps? Watching from a distance at the Washington Monument? Or staring at a TV screen wondering how on earth this happened?
Glenn Beck preaches hate speech on a daily basis. If you doubt this, remember his latest speech at CPAC,
Progressivism is the cancer in America and it is eating our Constitution. And it was designed to eat the Constitution...It must be cut out of the system because they cannot co-exist. And you don't cure cancer by - well, I'm just going to give you a little bit of cancer. You must eradicate it.
Where did the progressives go; where did they come from? All of a sudden, I'm not a liberal, I'm a progressive...Every time they wake America up to their policies, they have to change their names...They're running out of names.
Although Beck claims his event, his extravaganza, will be non-partisan, I doubt that it will be non-controversial. He will preach the eradication of progressivism, and perhaps even progressives, from the Lincoln Memorial. And he will use the military to help make his argument. Lincoln had his own experience with progressives. Progressives rid this nation of slavery. Abraham Lincoln will turn in his grave when he sees this event divide the nation even further.
You see, I'm speaking of this event as if it will happen. Because it will. Unless people like you and me do something to prevent it. You think this isn't possible - but as a military wife, I know that all things are possible. I've watched my husband return from war. If that can happen, then I can stop Glenn Beck. But I need your help. No soldier works alone. Neither do Daily Kos activists.
Glenn Beck has made a fatal flaw. He has chosen an unconventional fundraising method that may be his undoing.
Special Operations Warrior Command is a non-profit that "provides full scholarship grants and educational and family counseling to the surviving children of special operations personnel who die in operational or training missions and immediate financial assistance to severely wounded special operations personnel and their families." They are a worthy organization that has received a four star rating from Charity Navigator.
Glenn Beck is using this non-profit to raise funds to pay for his rally. All donations will be 100% tax free. Conservatives are loving this. A fellow Kossack and former charity auditor agrees that there is reason to be concerned with this type of fundraising.
This may sound like small potatoes to those of you unfamiliar with the story. Beck believes this event will cost $2 million dollars to fund. He will provide the first million. He expects the charity to provide the remainder. He will promote the charity on his shows, and they will receive the donations. The great Beck has told them they can keep everything over $1 million. This charity spends perhaps 4 to 5 million dollars a year - this type of fundraising is a huge percentage of their annual budget. Since the funds are being spent on a non-charitable cause, this could mess up their non-profit status. Worse yet, fundraising should not benefit a private individual. It is hard to argue that this event won't benefit Glenn Beck.
A few of us here at DailyKos have been working to convince Special Ops that partnering with Glenn Beck is a poor way to gain national recognition. My second diary on this topic makes the case for this. Although the charity is run by a Board of Directors that is heavily Republican, the charity itself should not be used to promote Glenn Beck or his reactionary rhetoric. We are making inroads - the public relations director is now hanging up on folks. But the partnership still exists.
If you would like to help prevent Glenn Beck from wearing a military badge of honor, then step up to volunteer.
UPDATED ACTION - Call Special Operations Warrior Foundation, 813-805-9400, and
ask for Edie Rosenthal, the Public Relations Director. Let her know what you think. Edie is no longer taking phone calls; they've called in the professionals to start helping... keep the calls rolling! Well, Edie is answering the lines again, and so are some others. Go ahead and ask for Edie. Or, ask for General Stiner or Colonel Carney, if you're up to it.
ACTION - Email Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Let them know what you think. You can address your emails to:
Carl W. Stiner, Chairman
General, USA (Ret.)
2nd Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command
John T. Carney, Jr., President
Colonel, USAF (Ret.)
Former Commander, 720th Special Tactics Group
UPDATED ACTION - write a letter to the editor of the Tampa Tribune. You could just send a copy of your email slightly edited. They have a 150 word limit. The more letters they receive, the more likely a couple of them will get printed.
And to the St. Petersburg Times. Their guidelines: Because of space limitations, letters should be of reasonable length (250-300 words maximum, as a rule). Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length. All letters must contain the writer's name, address and telephone number. (Addresses and telephone numbers will not be printed.)
UPDATED ACTION - for Florida Residents - file an online complaint with the Florida Attorney General.
You will need to call the charity first and complain. Remember the name of the person you spoke to. Send this information to the AG. You will also need to know their address, including Hillsborough County:
Special Operations Warrior Foundation
P.O. Box 13483, Tampa, FL 33681-3483
Physical Location: 4409 El Prado Blvd, Tampa, FL 33629
Toll Free: (877) 337-7693
Fax: (813) 805-0567
UPDATED ACTION: Attorneys General in other states; before contacting, please call Special Ops first. Most of these forms require you to have contacted the charity and ask with whom you spoke. Also, if any of these links don't work, please let me know. I'm bound to have made at least one mistake.
CA, Registry of Charitable Trusts, Office of the Attorney General
GA, Phone:(404) 656-3300, Fax:(404) 657-8733
NH, Terry Knowles, Assistant Director, Charitable Trusts Unit
RI, Adam J. Sholes, Special Assistant Attorney General Phone: (401) 274-4400, Ext 2219
TN, Secretary of State, Department of Charitable Giving
ACTION - Spread the word. Facebook, Twitter, Email... it's the best way to grow a campaign. Do you have a suggestion for the name of our Facebook page? Please leave in comments!
And have no doubt, this is a campaign.
Help me figure out the next steps. Kossacks have made suggestions in past diaries (Part 1,rescued, Part 2, Part 3) and I keep incorporating them. I can't tell you how much it bothers me that Glenn Beck will blatantly take advantage of our military, and that some will so blindly go along. Please help me stop this. Remember the beginning of this diary - see that picture of me and my family in your head? We need your help.
PRIDE * HONOR * SACRIFICE * DEDICATION * STRENGTH *
STATUS UPDATE - From Blue Armadillo,
seems they have a new person to take the calls - much smoother that the poor woman that was taking them earlier.
The man I spoke with was "Mike". I aked why this fine charity would choose to be affiliated with Glenn Beck - his response: "I dont know that I would use that word. We are simply benefitting from the fundraising that Glenn Beck is doing"
I asked about being associated with such a divisive and politically partisan personality as Beck. His response: "Anybody in the talk show business is partisan - that's what they do."
I asked why a military veteran's charity would be associated with so much hate speech. His response: "One measure of 'free speech' is the freedom to have offensive speech."
So they are OK with being associated (remember, they're not sure "affiliated" is the right word....) with a personality who regularly engages in what many would consider hate speech. It appears so.
I asked if he was familiar with Beck. Yes,he is. I asked if he'd like me to read from the facebook page Restore Honor: At the Steps of the Lincoln Memorial - he declined. I told him that was what his charity would be associating with.
His reply: "It will attract lots of different people"
He said we need to write letters ("They will all be read" to the "higher powers" that make the decisions. angelajean has them posted in the diary - the president and CEO of the charity.
They do not mind being associated with hate monger Glenn Beck. They do not mind letting Beck use their good name to wrap himself in the American flag and bask in the reflected glow of the heroism of others.
Truly, I am disgusted now. They are doing this with their eys wide open it seems. I am horrified.
PLEASE KEEP CALLING AND SENDING EMAILS - We are making a difference!