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Thread: Vietnam Veterans Plan Demonstrations Against Kerry

  1. #1
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    VIETNAM VETERANS AGAINST JOHN KERRY

    P.O. Box 246, Kinston, N.C. 28502

    [url]www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry[/url]. org


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    February 5, 2004

    U.S. VETERANS & VIETNAMESE UNITE TO OPPOSE JOHN KERRY

    Contacts:

    Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry

    Mike Benge, former Vietnam POW - (703) 698-8256

    Ted Sampley, Vietnam veteran - (252) 527-0442 - cell (252) 521-2146


    Jerry Kiley, Vietnam Veteran- (845) 947-3058

    Vietnamese Americans Against John Kerry Dan Tran, president of the Vietnam Human Rights Project - cell (281) 772-0510

    Duc D. Tran, public relations - cell (856) 297-5585 work( 610) 407-8826

    Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry (V.V.A.J.K.) today announced a national coalition with Vietnamese Americans for Human Rights in Vietnam.

    "We represent hundreds of thousand of American veterans who do not want to see John Kerry any where near the Oval Office," said Ted Sampley, founder of V.V.A.J.K, and a U.S. Army Green Beret and veteran of two combat tours in Vietnam.

    Said Sampley, "I have personally dealt with John Kerry on the issue of US POWs left behind in Vietnam. Kerry is not truthful and is not worthy of the support of US veterans. Many Vietnam vets have been duped into thinking Kerry is their friend. He is not. To us, he is ‘Hanoi John’"

    Dan Tran said speaking as a member of Vietnamese Americans Against John Kerry, "On behalf of tens of thousands of Vietnamese-Americans, we are determined to demonstrate against Senator Kerry all across this nation."

    Dan Tran, a NASA engineer and president of the Vietnam Human Rights Project, said, "John Kerry aided and abetted the communist government in Hanoi and has hindered any human rights progress in Vietnam."

    "John Kerry has fought harder for the Vietnamese communists than he fought against them in Vietnam," says Mike Benge, former civilian Viet Nam POW. "In the Senate, Kerry blocked Vietnam Human Rights (and religious freedom) Bill on behalf of Hanoi, while the Vietnamese communists continue to wage a war of repression against the non-communist Vietnamese and a war of genocide against our former allies the Montagnard ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands of Vietnam."

    The Coalition plans nationwide demonstrations against Kerry beginning with the New York and Massachusetts primaries.

    Coalition spokesman Mike Benge, a US POW in Vietnam for 5 years is available for interviews.


    [url=http://www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry.org/]http://www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry.org/[/url]

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Another anti-liberal demonstration I can participate in....kool. :D

    "Hanoi John"-rather creative!! :lol:

  2. #2
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Come Back to NY[/i]@Feb 7 2004, 06:24 PM
    [b] "Hanoi John"-rather creative!! :lol: [/b][/quote]
    Yeah. Real creative. We've never heard ANYTHING like that before. :rolleyes:

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    Interesting article.....I didn't know a whole lot about Kerry's activities after Vietnam other than the fact he turned anti-war and testified against the war in congress, I've gotta say if this article is accurate he was {and is} alot more radical than I thought and I seriously doubt middle America is ready to embrace his ideology.

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    Sen. Kerry does not appear to be on the Christmas card list of too many of his fellow Vietnam vets.



    [quote][b]From the mailbag, Ex-POW Joe Crecca shares his thoughts on John F. Kerry:

    by Joe Crecca
    29 Jan 04

    The rigors and hardships of being a POW aside, I remember the so called "Peace Movement" and "Peace Marches" and
    "Rallies" that were taking place back home in the U.S.A. Our captors were more than willing, within their means, to provide us
    with any and all anti-U.S. and anti-Vietnam War propaganda. Without a choice in the matter, we listened to the "Voice of
    Vietnam" broadcasts by "Hanoi Hannah" and were shown newspaper and magazine photos and articles about those opposing
    the war back in the States.

    One of the peace marchers' standard slogans was to, "Bring our boys home now and, alive." The warped thinking of such
    people was that by demonstrating against U.S. involvement in Vietnam, they'd be shortening the war and reducing the number
    of American casualties. These demonstrators would also try to make one believe that their efforts would bring POWs like me
    home sooner. They were utterly wrong on both counts not to mention the detrimental effect their actions had on the morale of
    our troops and our POWs.

    John F. Kerry was not just one of these demonstrators. He was leading them.

    Therefore, these so-called demonstrations for peace had the exact opposite effect of what they were purporting to accomplish.
    Instead of shortening the war, the so-called "Peace Movement" served only to protract the conflict resulting in a vastly greater
    number of Americans killed and wounded, greater economic burdens and longer periods of incarceration for Americans held
    captive in Vietnam. The war would have been over much sooner and with a much more favorable result if those in the
    so-called "Peace Movement" would have instead rallied behind the Commander-in-Chief to accomplish our mission and then,
    withdraw.

    [b]It is inescapable to think of the so-called peace movement and the anti-war demonstrators without also thinking how many
    fewer names there would now be engraved into the black granite of the Vietnam Wall if these same people had supported our
    efforts instead of trying to derail them. After all, fighting against a political regime that up to that time had murdered over a
    hundred million people couldn't have been all bad. But, John F. Kerry thought and acted differently. How many more names on
    the wall can he take credit for?[/b]

    After the war ended, some of the war protesters hung on to their anti-war postures for a while. Some of them realized the
    errors of their ways almost immediately while for others it took twenty to twenty-five years.

    But some, like John F. Kerry, have not realized there was anything wrong with what he did. Instead, he hopes we will see him
    as a courageous Vietnam veteran. I do not. He hopes we will admire his bravery. I do not. I remember him more for his
    misdeeds upon his return from Vietnam.

    However, in the present political arena, he evidently has succeeded in gaining the support of some well-meaning but misled
    Americans. Given his past record, it is just astonishing that he has garnered any support from our nation's veterans.

    I hope all will reconsider their support for Senator Kerry in light of his actions which were so detrimental to our Vietnam
    combat soldiers, sailors and airmen - many of whom are not here today to tell you themselves.

    Thank you for considering my views. Please share what I have written with your fellow vets....

    Joe Crecca
    Vietnam POW
    22 NOV 66 - 18 FEB 73

    [/b][/quote]

  5. #5
    I guess those vets are glad to know that their VA benefits will be cut as the VA budget is getting slashed by God's Patriotic President. Not to mention the Vets that have been on activation alert. Just so some of you Patriotic guys with family values become aware, I work with alot of Veterans in Florida and some of the guys who have been alerted that they may be sent into Iraq have to provide documention to their employers that they may have to take a leave of absense to honor their military commitments.

    In the right to work states such as Florida and California employees can be released from employment without cause at any time. I have friends and clients that have been laid off shortly after serving their employers with this notification. Thankfully most of these guys are married to wives that earn a good living so they are not feeling too much of a financial shock. However, that can not be said of the majority of veterans that have been served this notice. Luckily veterans in non-right to work states such as NY won't have that problem. However, a large portion of the states in the south are right to work states. Just thought you guys who are big on Patriotism and family values should know this. Most of us including myself were not aware of this and that is one of the reasons why I am very much against a war based on lies and bull****. Sure Hussein is scum but we better have a plan and do it quickly. In the past year we have learned about the lies and see no plan or end in sight.

    Just so a lot of you guys know the majority of soldiers heading over there are married with kids and are leaving professional careers in the states. There are some younger guys like my cousins that have been sent to Iraq but the majority of them are older reservists that have been activated. So before you talk about Patriotism or family values you might want to take a good look at how many of our soldiers are going through right now. Most of us including myself are fortunate that we don't have to deal with this type of conflict.

  6. #6
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by outsider[/i]@Feb 8 2004, 08:56 PM
    [b] I guess those vets are glad to know that their VA benefits will be cut as the VA budget is getting slashed by God's Patriotic President. [/b][/quote]
    outsider, you don't know what you're talking about. You're simply repeating a lie tossed about by ignoramuses on the Left.

    [url=http://wilson.house.gov/NewsAction.asp?FormMode=neighbors&ID=117]VA Secretary Decries Budget Slash Myth[/url]

    [url=http://www.gla.med.va.gov/pages/documents/VAFunding.htm]Dept. of Veterans Affairs Decries Slash Myth[/url]

    The above links are in response to lies about Bush's fiscal year 2004 budget: Bush's recently released fiscal year 2005 budget for VA medical care is over 40% larger than when he took office.

    [quote][b]

    VA Secretary Principi decries myth of budget slash
    *
    WASHINGTON (April 24, 2003) - The statement below was issued today by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi:

    One of the byproducts of the Internet Age is the blinding speed with which rumor becomes accepted "fact" among those willing to believe. More than a century ago, a wise man wrote, "A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on." Today, lies can rocket around the world before the truth can even find its socks. Only prompt intervention can squelch rumors before they are widely accepted as truth.

    Here`s a rumor that desperately needs squelching -- On the eve of our battle to liberate the Iraqi people, Congress slashed funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the organization I am privileged to lead. This rumor has the potential to frighten America`s veterans, and to undermine morale among our brave troops in the field.

    The rumor has already surfaced on the Internet, in Hollywood, and on the op-ed pages of the venerable New York Times. Even a member of Congress, in a Chicago Sun-Times op-ed published April 13, wrote of a "$28 billion cut in veterans` benefits and health care."

    If any such cut in veterans` benefits were made, veterans and their families would be justifiably concerned. But there is no truth to any suggestion or assertion that VA`s budget will be "cut" or "slashed" next year. In fact, funding for veterans programs will increase in fiscal year 2004, probably by record levels.

    President Bush`s fiscal year 2004 budget requests a record $63.6 billion for our nation`s veterans, including a nearly 8-percent increase over the fiscal year 2003 budget for discretionary funding - which mostly pays for VA`s health care system -- and a 32-percent increase in overall funding since fiscal year 2001. And the Budget Conference report the House and Senate agreed to on April 11 raises the suggested levels of discretionary funding for veterans by an additional $1.8 billion.

    This rumor may have been fueled by a parliamentary maneuver that escaped even the most die-hard C-Span viewers. At about the time the Iraq war began, the House of Representatives passed a resolution requesting House and Senate Appropriations Committee members to reduce most federal agencies` funding, including VA`s, by 1 percent in fiscal year 2004, a reduction they believed could be made up by reducing waste, fraud and abuse at each department.

    If that measure had passed, it would have lowered the amount of the record increase in funding President Bush proposed for veterans, but it would not have cut VA`s funding. Lawmakers, however, quickly recognized the impact upon veterans and exempted VA from the across-the-board reductions.

    So, despite rumors they may hear to the contrary, veterans and their families, including our newest generation of veterans, should rest secure in the knowledge that a grateful nation honors their service to America. These days, the only cuts at VA are to the waiting lists for medical care and the backlog of compensation claims. While VA can always use more money, the interests of America`s veterans and their families will continue to be protected by Congress, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the President.

    [/b][/quote]

    [quote][b]Department of Veterans Affairs

    VA Office of Public Affairs / Media Relations
    VA White Paper:
    4/24/03


    The Truth About VA Funding

    Has VA's budget been cut?
    Rumors on the Internet, Hollywood stars with political agendas and a few columnists
    who weren't paying attention to the facts have spread a totally inaccurate tale of VA
    spending cuts. They are wrong: there are no cuts. President Bush has requested record
    increases in VA's budget and Congress has approved his request. No matter how one
    looks at the figures, VA's budget has been rising continuously and there is no scenario
    being advocated by the Administration or in Congress to reduce funding from existing
    levels. In fact, the debate in Washington generally focuses on the rate of growth in
    future spending.

    What was the congressional action that started a rumor about VA having a $15
    billion cut? What was the outcome?
    At one point in mid-March, lawmakers considered a 1 percent, across-the-board cut in
    the budgets of federal departments, but VA was quickly eliminated as a potential
    candidate for a cut because of the absurdity of cutting VA's budget during a war. For
    next year alone, lawmakers have agreed on a 12.9 percent increase ($3.4 billion) over
    the 2003 level for veteran's health care and similar “discretionary” accounts.

    Have Congress and the Administration agreed to cuts in future VA budgets?
    No. Each year, Congress enacts a budget resolution that lays out an economic
    framework for the next 10 years. Those 10-year projections call for ever-increasing
    budgets that keep pace with the needs of America's veterans. The resolution's level for
    VA's total budget next year is $63.8 billion, which is $6.2 billion higher than the 2003
    level.

    What has been VA's track record with its budget?
    The VA's $60.3 billion spending for the current fiscal year was enacted in February and
    Congress recently provided $100 million in additional funds that will be available for
    disability claims and other services for veterans returning from combat in Iraq.

    What is the VA asking for in appropriations for next year?
    The president’s fiscal year 2004 budget requests a record $63.6 billion for our nation’s
    veterans, including a nearly 8 percent increase in discretionary funding over the 2003
    budget and a 32 percent increase in overall funding since fiscal year 2001. This will
    allow the department to improve health care delivery to its core constituency – veterans
    with service-connected disabilities, lower incomes or special medical needs.
    The president's proposal will help disabled veterans, provide annuities for widows, offset
    the educational and housing expenses of veterans, honor veterans when they die and
    operate the nation’s largest health care system. The budget proposal supports the
    president’s goal of continuing our progress in reducing the time veterans must wait to
    get decisions on their claims for financial benefits and it will allow the department to
    continue to lead the nation in many important health care areas like patient safety,
    computerized patient records, telemedicine, rehabilitation and research.

    Are veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom going to receive fewer VA benefits
    than veterans of other conflicts?
    The men and women discharged after Iraqi Freedom will receive the same veterans
    benefits usually associated with VA – GI Bill home loan guarantees, educational
    assistance, disability compensation if they qualify and survivors benefits.
    Iraqi Freedom veterans will also receive one important benefit not available at the time
    of Desert Storm. Under rules that went into effect last year, everyone who served in the
    combat zone will be eligible for two years of free health care from VA, without having
    to prove that a medical problem is connected to military service.
    This new benefit is an outgrowth of VA's experience with Gulf War illnesses after the
    first Gulf War and Agent Orange after the Vietnam War. It will increase the chances that
    VA health care workers can detect early any unusual health care problems that develop
    among Iraqi Freedom veterans.

    Will VA be able to restore enrollment of Category 8 veterans?
    Actions by Congress to date on the current year's appropriations, including the recent
    emergency wartime supplemental, maintain VA's ability to care for its core constituency
    of service-disabled and lower-income veterans. Until the waiting time for medical
    appointments can be reduced to an acceptable standard, it would not be in the best
    interest of those most in need of care for VA to enroll additional priority group 8
    veterans.
    Priority 8 veterans are those with incomes above $24,644 per year (for a single veteran)
    and above a geographic means test. In the months ahead, Congress will be debating the
    appropriate level of spending for next year and future enrollment decisions cannot be
    forecast with certainty at this time.

    What are the budget steps VA is taking to ensure as many veterans as possible
    get timely service?
    VA is proposing management savings through competitive sourcing and
    performance-based private-sector contracts, continuing its procurement reforms, and
    taking advantage of efficiencies as it redirects resources from inpatient to outpatient
    care. In addition, VA is working with the Department of Health and Human Services
    (HHS) to develop a plan that will provide non-enrolled priority group 8 veterans the
    option of using their Medicare benefits to obtain their care from VA. Further, to ensure
    VA's core constituency can receive timely medical services, VA has proposed in its
    2004 budget new fees to raise revenue from those veterans who can afford it and who
    are not receiving care for a service-related disability. It would assess an annual
    enrollment fee of $250 for nonservice-connected priority group 7 veterans and all
    priority 8 veterans.
    Priority group 7 veterans are those whose income falls between the $24,644 annual
    income test (for a single veteran) but are below a geographic means test. In addition,
    modest new copayments are proposed for these higher-income veterans to contribute to
    the cost of pharmaceuticals and for outpatient primary care visits.[/b][/quote]

  7. #7
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by outsider[/i]@Feb 8 2004, 08:56 PM
    [b]
    In the right to work states such as Florida and California employees can be released from employment without cause at any time. I have friends and clients that have been laid off shortly after serving their employers with this notification. Thankfully most of these guys are married to wives that earn a good living so they are not feeling too much of a financial shock. However, that can not be said of the majority of veterans that have been served this notice. Luckily veterans in non-right to work states such as NY won't have that problem. However, a large portion of the states in the south are right to work states. Just thought you guys who are big on Patriotism and family values should know this. [/b][/quote]

    More Lies or Lawsuits... you tell us the truth.

    Give me the name and the employer of just ONE of those "friends" of yours and I will gladly take the case pro-bono.

    Florida - Military Service
    PROHIBITED PRACTICES

    Florida law prohibits both public and private employers from discharging or otherwise discriminating against an individual because he or she (FL Stat. Sec. 250.481 et seq.):

    - Belongs to the state National Guard and is required to report for active duty

    - Has an obligation as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces


    [b]Private employers are covered by the federal Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994 (38 USC 4301 et seq.). [/b]

    Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) Update

    As our military personnel (including reservists called to active duty) are preparing to leave for overseas destinations, more of you are finding that your employees are among those troops. It's important to be aware that they have certain rights and protections under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). This article highlights some of the rights and protections that employees have during military service and upon reemployment relating to their job and benefits.

    Who's covered under USERRA?
    USERRA covers employees on "qualified military service," which means service in "uniformed services" while on active or inactive duty, including training periods. Uniformed services include the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service Commission Corps, and the reserve components of those services as well as training or service in the National Guard or Air National Guard. Most private and government employers are subject to the Act.

    Employee's obligations
    To be covered by USERRA, employees must:

    give you notice of their impending military service;
    receive an honorable or general discharge from the military; and
    promptly return to work. The time frame in which employees must return to work after discharge depends on the length of their military service:
    If the employees' military service was less than 31 days, they must return to work the first day after the completion of service.
    If their military service was more than 30 days but less than 181 days, they must submit for reemployment within 14 days after the completion of service.
    If their military service was more 180 days, they must submit for reemployment within 90 days after the completion of service.
    Employees' rights and protections
    Assuming that the employees satisfy all their obligations, they're afforded the following rights and protections under USERRA:

    Reemployment -- You must offer jobs to your employees returning from military service. The jobs that they're offered depends on the length of their military service.


    Qualified benefits plans -- As a plan sponsor of a qualified plan, you must count their military service as a time of employment for purposes of eligibility, vesting, and benefit accruals under your qualified plans. Don't treat their military leave as a break in service.


    Salary deferrals and matching contributions -- Upon reemployment, your military employees may catch up on their 401(k) contributions by contributing the amount that they could have contributed during their military service. How long do they have to make these additional contributions? Either five years or three times their period of service, whichever is shorter. To determine the amount of their additional contributions, consider their compensation during military leave to be the same as they would have been paid if were it not for the military service.

    You're required to make matching contributions related to the additional contributions made by the employee. But you don't have to make up for lost earnings during the period of military service.


    Loans -- Under USERRA, you may (but aren't required to) suspend employees' obligation to repay loans from your retirement plan while they're on military duty. The suspension won't result in a deemed distribution or affect the qualified status of the plan. Employees may continue to repay their loans by check if the plan permits repayment by check.

    In addition to USERRA, the Solders and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940 (SSCRA) may apply to certain employees on military service who have plan loans. SSCRA imposes a six percent limit on the interest rates that active military personnel can be charged for obligations and liabilities incurred before active duty began. The U.S. Department of Labor has indicated that this limitation apples to plan loans.

    Unlike USERRA, SSCRA applies only to individuals entering or called to active duty, including the period for training or education under U.S. supervision before induction into military service. Although employees may be entitled to have their loan repayments suspended, only employees on active duty are entitled to the six percent interest rate limitation. To ensure that the provisions under USERRA and SSCRA are administered properly, loan policies should clearly describe who's eligible for the protections under each law.


    Health plans -- All employers, regardless of size, must offer employees continued medical coverage for the first 18 months of military service. You may require employees whose military service is longer than 31 days to pay 102 percent of the normal premium. If employees lose coverage, the plan can't impose exclusions or a waiting period upon reemployment.


    FMLA -- You must credit your employees for all months of military service for purposes of eligibility under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
    Bottom line
    If you have -- or expect to have -- employees on military duty, you should verify that your qualified plans, welfare plans, and other employee benefit programs comply with USERRA and SSCRA and that your affected employees are made aware of their rights and obligations under those laws.




    The federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act 1994 provides employment and re-employment protection for reservists, National Guard Members and recently separated veterans returning to their previous civilian jobs.

    The federal law calls for National Guard and reserve members to be entitled to a leave of absence from civilian, private and public sector employers for the period necessary to perform military service, whether that service is voluntary or involuntary. These troops are not required to use their earned personal vacation during the period of service. The federal law also states employees are entitled to have their employment restored once their military service is complete, with seniority, status and rate of pay offered as if continuously employed.

    Also under federal law, employers are not permitted to discriminate in hiring, retention, or any other benefit because of past or present military affiliation or obligations or because an employee has expressed an intent to join the military, whether it be active, reserve or National Guard service.

    Workforce Florida, the Agency for Workforce Innovation and Florida's Regional Workforce Boards say they plan to aggressively market this information to Florida employers and potentially impacted reservists, National Guard members and eligible veterans. The state also says it supplies career resources to spouses of National Guard and military personnel called to active duty through Florida's One-Stop Career Centers.



    -----

    Then again, maybe your friends and clients were simply fired for being crappy employees.

  8. #8
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by JetFanTransplant[/i]@Feb 9 2004, 08:27 AM
    [b] Then again, maybe your friends and clients were simply fired for being crappy employees. [/b][/quote]
    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  9. #9
    Jetfan transplant did you really stick your head up your ass?

    Just ****ing with ya'!

    First of all your legal stuff is right on. By law employers can not discriminate as you mentioned and documented. However, right to work states can and do fire people and can do so without reason at any time. Now you can try to argue your case and that is fine but lot's of luck. You and I both know that by the time the employee gets his day in court his ability to get a job would be drastically hindered as the employee would not get positive refences from his previous employer while seeking employment during the process. You might get your payday in a few years but I doubt you would pay the guys mortgage and monthly living expenses along the way.

    Furthermore, I invite you to go down to your local unemployment office and see what those workforce workshops really are all about especially in Florida. You might be unpleasantly surprised at what you find.

    I would talk to a few of the guys and ask them if they would take legal action. However, before I do so I would like to know a little more about your practice and how you might be able to actually fight their case.

  10. #10
    [quote][i]Originally posted by shakin318+Feb 8 2004, 11:04 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (shakin318 @ Feb 8 2004, 11:04 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--outsider[/i]@Feb 8 2004, 08:56 PM
    [b] I guess those vets are glad to know that their VA benefits will be cut as the VA budget is getting slashed by God&#39;s Patriotic President. [/b][/quote]
    outsider, you don&#39;t know what you&#39;re talking about. You&#39;re simply repeating a lie tossed about by ignoramuses on the Left.

    [url=http://wilson.house.gov/NewsAction.asp?FormMode=neighbors&ID=117]VA Secretary Decries Budget Slash Myth[/url]

    [url=http://www.gla.med.va.gov/pages/documents/VAFunding.htm]Dept. of Veterans Affairs Decries Slash Myth[/url]

    The above links are in response to lies about Bush&#39;s fiscal year 2004 budget: Bush&#39;s recently released fiscal year 2005 budget for VA medical care is over 40% larger than when he took office.

    [quote][b]

    VA Secretary Principi decries myth of budget slash
    *
    WASHINGTON (April 24, 2003) - The statement below was issued today by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi:

    One of the byproducts of the Internet Age is the blinding speed with which rumor becomes accepted "fact" among those willing to believe. More than a century ago, a wise man wrote, "A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on." Today, lies can rocket around the world before the truth can even find its socks. Only prompt intervention can squelch rumors before they are widely accepted as truth.

    Here`s a rumor that desperately needs squelching -- On the eve of our battle to liberate the Iraqi people, Congress slashed funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the organization I am privileged to lead. This rumor has the potential to frighten America`s veterans, and to undermine morale among our brave troops in the field.

    The rumor has already surfaced on the Internet, in Hollywood, and on the op-ed pages of the venerable New York Times. Even a member of Congress, in a Chicago Sun-Times op-ed published April 13, wrote of a "&#036;28 billion cut in veterans` benefits and health care."

    If any such cut in veterans` benefits were made, veterans and their families would be justifiably concerned. But there is no truth to any suggestion or assertion that VA`s budget will be "cut" or "slashed" next year. In fact, funding for veterans programs will increase in fiscal year 2004, probably by record levels.

    President Bush`s fiscal year 2004 budget requests a record &#036;63.6 billion for our nation`s veterans, including a nearly 8-percent increase over the fiscal year 2003 budget for discretionary funding - which mostly pays for VA`s health care system -- and a 32-percent increase in overall funding since fiscal year 2001. And the Budget Conference report the House and Senate agreed to on April 11 raises the suggested levels of discretionary funding for veterans by an additional &#036;1.8 billion.

    This rumor may have been fueled by a parliamentary maneuver that escaped even the most die-hard C-Span viewers. At about the time the Iraq war began, the House of Representatives passed a resolution requesting House and Senate Appropriations Committee members to reduce most federal agencies` funding, including VA`s, by 1 percent in fiscal year 2004, a reduction they believed could be made up by reducing waste, fraud and abuse at each department.

    If that measure had passed, it would have lowered the amount of the record increase in funding President Bush proposed for veterans, but it would not have cut VA`s funding. Lawmakers, however, quickly recognized the impact upon veterans and exempted VA from the across-the-board reductions.

    So, despite rumors they may hear to the contrary, veterans and their families, including our newest generation of veterans, should rest secure in the knowledge that a grateful nation honors their service to America. These days, the only cuts at VA are to the waiting lists for medical care and the backlog of compensation claims. While VA can always use more money, the interests of America`s veterans and their families will continue to be protected by Congress, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the President.

    [/b][/quote]

    [quote][b]Department of Veterans Affairs

    VA Office of Public Affairs / Media Relations
    VA White Paper:
    4/24/03


    The Truth About VA Funding

    Has VA&#39;s budget been cut?
    Rumors on the Internet, Hollywood stars with political agendas and a few columnists
    who weren&#39;t paying attention to the facts have spread a totally inaccurate tale of VA
    spending cuts. They are wrong: there are no cuts. President Bush has requested record
    increases in VA&#39;s budget and Congress has approved his request. No matter how one
    looks at the figures, VA&#39;s budget has been rising continuously and there is no scenario
    being advocated by the Administration or in Congress to reduce funding from existing
    levels. In fact, the debate in Washington generally focuses on the rate of growth in
    future spending.

    What was the congressional action that started a rumor about VA having a &#036;15
    billion cut? What was the outcome?
    At one point in mid-March, lawmakers considered a 1 percent, across-the-board cut in
    the budgets of federal departments, but VA was quickly eliminated as a potential
    candidate for a cut because of the absurdity of cutting VA&#39;s budget during a war. For
    next year alone, lawmakers have agreed on a 12.9 percent increase (&#036;3.4 billion) over
    the 2003 level for veteran&#39;s health care and similar “discretionary” accounts.

    Have Congress and the Administration agreed to cuts in future VA budgets?
    No. Each year, Congress enacts a budget resolution that lays out an economic
    framework for the next 10 years. Those 10-year projections call for ever-increasing
    budgets that keep pace with the needs of America&#39;s veterans. The resolution&#39;s level for
    VA&#39;s total budget next year is &#036;63.8 billion, which is &#036;6.2 billion higher than the 2003
    level.

    What has been VA&#39;s track record with its budget?
    The VA&#39;s &#036;60.3 billion spending for the current fiscal year was enacted in February and
    Congress recently provided &#036;100 million in additional funds that will be available for
    disability claims and other services for veterans returning from combat in Iraq.

    What is the VA asking for in appropriations for next year?
    The president’s fiscal year 2004 budget requests a record &#036;63.6 billion for our nation’s
    veterans, including a nearly 8 percent increase in discretionary funding over the 2003
    budget and a 32 percent increase in overall funding since fiscal year 2001. This will
    allow the department to improve health care delivery to its core constituency – veterans
    with service-connected disabilities, lower incomes or special medical needs.
    The president&#39;s proposal will help disabled veterans, provide annuities for widows, offset
    the educational and housing expenses of veterans, honor veterans when they die and
    operate the nation’s largest health care system. The budget proposal supports the
    president’s goal of continuing our progress in reducing the time veterans must wait to
    get decisions on their claims for financial benefits and it will allow the department to
    continue to lead the nation in many important health care areas like patient safety,
    computerized patient records, telemedicine, rehabilitation and research.

    Are veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom going to receive fewer VA benefits
    than veterans of other conflicts?
    The men and women discharged after Iraqi Freedom will receive the same veterans
    benefits usually associated with VA – GI Bill home loan guarantees, educational
    assistance, disability compensation if they qualify and survivors benefits.
    Iraqi Freedom veterans will also receive one important benefit not available at the time
    of Desert Storm. Under rules that went into effect last year, everyone who served in the
    combat zone will be eligible for two years of free health care from VA, without having
    to prove that a medical problem is connected to military service.
    This new benefit is an outgrowth of VA&#39;s experience with Gulf War illnesses after the
    first Gulf War and Agent Orange after the Vietnam War. It will increase the chances that
    VA health care workers can detect early any unusual health care problems that develop
    among Iraqi Freedom veterans.

    Will VA be able to restore enrollment of Category 8 veterans?
    Actions by Congress to date on the current year&#39;s appropriations, including the recent
    emergency wartime supplemental, maintain VA&#39;s ability to care for its core constituency
    of service-disabled and lower-income veterans. Until the waiting time for medical
    appointments can be reduced to an acceptable standard, it would not be in the best
    interest of those most in need of care for VA to enroll additional priority group 8
    veterans.
    Priority 8 veterans are those with incomes above &#036;24,644 per year (for a single veteran)
    and above a geographic means test. In the months ahead, Congress will be debating the
    appropriate level of spending for next year and future enrollment decisions cannot be
    forecast with certainty at this time.

    What are the budget steps VA is taking to ensure as many veterans as possible
    get timely service?
    VA is proposing management savings through competitive sourcing and
    performance-based private-sector contracts, continuing its procurement reforms, and
    taking advantage of efficiencies as it redirects resources from inpatient to outpatient
    care. In addition, VA is working with the Department of Health and Human Services
    (HHS) to develop a plan that will provide non-enrolled priority group 8 veterans the
    option of using their Medicare benefits to obtain their care from VA. Further, to ensure
    VA&#39;s core constituency can receive timely medical services, VA has proposed in its
    2004 budget new fees to raise revenue from those veterans who can afford it and who
    are not receiving care for a service-related disability. It would assess an annual
    enrollment fee of &#036;250 for nonservice-connected priority group 7 veterans and all
    priority 8 veterans.
    Priority group 7 veterans are those whose income falls between the &#036;24,644 annual
    income test (for a single veteran) but are below a geographic means test. In addition,
    modest new copayments are proposed for these higher-income veterans to contribute to
    the cost of pharmaceuticals and for outpatient primary care visits.[/b][/quote] [/b][/quote]
    Of course they are not going to slash benefits. We are at War. That budget that you looked up on the web was fabulous intelligence. However, do you really think that will be sufficient to handle the claims from the growing combat related injuries. which are running at 3000+ not to mention death benefits for the 500+ vets that have been killed in combat. Furthermore, have any of you guys tried to collect or use your VA benefits. Iwould like to hear how wonderful and easy it was to use your VA benefit that you earned and are entitled to.

    What I find very amusing about this conversation is that the tone of voice and attitude from some of you guys is that our Vets don&#39;t have it so bad. Or these are just lies that the left wingers are promoting. How convenient for some of you.

  11. #11
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by outsider+Feb 9 2004, 11:26 AM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (outsider @ Feb 9 2004, 11:26 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> [quote]Originally posted by -shakin318@Feb 8 2004, 11:04 PM
    [b] <!--QuoteBegin--outsider[/i]@Feb 8 2004, 08:56 PM
    [b] I guess those vets are glad to know that their VA benefits will be cut as the VA budget is getting slashed by God&#39;s Patriotic President. [/b][/quote]
    outsider, you don&#39;t know what you&#39;re talking about. You&#39;re simply repeating a lie tossed about by ignoramuses on the Left.

    [url=http://wilson.house.gov/NewsAction.asp?FormMode=neighbors&ID=117]VA Secretary Decries Budget Slash Myth[/url]

    [url=http://www.gla.med.va.gov/pages/documents/VAFunding.htm]Dept. of Veterans Affairs Decries Slash Myth[/url]

    The above links are in response to lies about Bush&#39;s fiscal year 2004 budget: Bush&#39;s recently released fiscal year 2005 budget for VA medical care is over 40% larger than when he took office.

    [quote][b]

    VA Secretary Principi decries myth of budget slash
    *
    WASHINGTON (April 24, 2003) - The statement below was issued today by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi:

    One of the byproducts of the Internet Age is the blinding speed with which rumor becomes accepted "fact" among those willing to believe. More than a century ago, a wise man wrote, "A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on." Today, lies can rocket around the world before the truth can even find its socks. Only prompt intervention can squelch rumors before they are widely accepted as truth.

    Here`s a rumor that desperately needs squelching -- On the eve of our battle to liberate the Iraqi people, Congress slashed funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the organization I am privileged to lead. This rumor has the potential to frighten America`s veterans, and to undermine morale among our brave troops in the field.

    The rumor has already surfaced on the Internet, in Hollywood, and on the op-ed pages of the venerable New York Times. Even a member of Congress, in a Chicago Sun-Times op-ed published April 13, wrote of a "&#036;28 billion cut in veterans` benefits and health care."

    If any such cut in veterans` benefits were made, veterans and their families would be justifiably concerned. But there is no truth to any suggestion or assertion that VA`s budget will be "cut" or "slashed" next year. In fact, funding for veterans programs will increase in fiscal year 2004, probably by record levels.

    President Bush`s fiscal year 2004 budget requests a record &#036;63.6 billion for our nation`s veterans, including a nearly 8-percent increase over the fiscal year 2003 budget for discretionary funding - which mostly pays for VA`s health care system -- and a 32-percent increase in overall funding since fiscal year 2001. And the Budget Conference report the House and Senate agreed to on April 11 raises the suggested levels of discretionary funding for veterans by an additional &#036;1.8 billion.

    This rumor may have been fueled by a parliamentary maneuver that escaped even the most die-hard C-Span viewers. At about the time the Iraq war began, the House of Representatives passed a resolution requesting House and Senate Appropriations Committee members to reduce most federal agencies` funding, including VA`s, by 1 percent in fiscal year 2004, a reduction they believed could be made up by reducing waste, fraud and abuse at each department.

    If that measure had passed, it would have lowered the amount of the record increase in funding President Bush proposed for veterans, but it would not have cut VA`s funding. Lawmakers, however, quickly recognized the impact upon veterans and exempted VA from the across-the-board reductions.

    So, despite rumors they may hear to the contrary, veterans and their families, including our newest generation of veterans, should rest secure in the knowledge that a grateful nation honors their service to America. These days, the only cuts at VA are to the waiting lists for medical care and the backlog of compensation claims. While VA can always use more money, the interests of America`s veterans and their families will continue to be protected by Congress, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the President.

    [/b][/quote]

    [quote][b]Department of Veterans Affairs

    VA Office of Public Affairs / Media Relations
    VA White Paper:
    4/24/03


    The Truth About VA Funding

    Has VA&#39;s budget been cut?
    Rumors on the Internet, Hollywood stars with political agendas and a few columnists
    who weren&#39;t paying attention to the facts have spread a totally inaccurate tale of VA
    spending cuts. They are wrong: there are no cuts. President Bush has requested record
    increases in VA&#39;s budget and Congress has approved his request. No matter how one
    looks at the figures, VA&#39;s budget has been rising continuously and there is no scenario
    being advocated by the Administration or in Congress to reduce funding from existing
    levels. In fact, the debate in Washington generally focuses on the rate of growth in
    future spending.

    What was the congressional action that started a rumor about VA having a &#036;15
    billion cut? What was the outcome?
    At one point in mid-March, lawmakers considered a 1 percent, across-the-board cut in
    the budgets of federal departments, but VA was quickly eliminated as a potential
    candidate for a cut because of the absurdity of cutting VA&#39;s budget during a war. For
    next year alone, lawmakers have agreed on a 12.9 percent increase (&#036;3.4 billion) over
    the 2003 level for veteran&#39;s health care and similar “discretionary” accounts.

    Have Congress and the Administration agreed to cuts in future VA budgets?
    No. Each year, Congress enacts a budget resolution that lays out an economic
    framework for the next 10 years. Those 10-year projections call for ever-increasing
    budgets that keep pace with the needs of America&#39;s veterans. The resolution&#39;s level for
    VA&#39;s total budget next year is &#036;63.8 billion, which is &#036;6.2 billion higher than the 2003
    level.

    What has been VA&#39;s track record with its budget?
    The VA&#39;s &#036;60.3 billion spending for the current fiscal year was enacted in February and
    Congress recently provided &#036;100 million in additional funds that will be available for
    disability claims and other services for veterans returning from combat in Iraq.

    What is the VA asking for in appropriations for next year?
    The president’s fiscal year 2004 budget requests a record &#036;63.6 billion for our nation’s
    veterans, including a nearly 8 percent increase in discretionary funding over the 2003
    budget and a 32 percent increase in overall funding since fiscal year 2001. This will
    allow the department to improve health care delivery to its core constituency – veterans
    with service-connected disabilities, lower incomes or special medical needs.
    The president&#39;s proposal will help disabled veterans, provide annuities for widows, offset
    the educational and housing expenses of veterans, honor veterans when they die and
    operate the nation’s largest health care system. The budget proposal supports the
    president’s goal of continuing our progress in reducing the time veterans must wait to
    get decisions on their claims for financial benefits and it will allow the department to
    continue to lead the nation in many important health care areas like patient safety,
    computerized patient records, telemedicine, rehabilitation and research.

    Are veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom going to receive fewer VA benefits
    than veterans of other conflicts?
    The men and women discharged after Iraqi Freedom will receive the same veterans
    benefits usually associated with VA – GI Bill home loan guarantees, educational
    assistance, disability compensation if they qualify and survivors benefits.
    Iraqi Freedom veterans will also receive one important benefit not available at the time
    of Desert Storm. Under rules that went into effect last year, everyone who served in the
    combat zone will be eligible for two years of free health care from VA, without having
    to prove that a medical problem is connected to military service.
    This new benefit is an outgrowth of VA&#39;s experience with Gulf War illnesses after the
    first Gulf War and Agent Orange after the Vietnam War. It will increase the chances that
    VA health care workers can detect early any unusual health care problems that develop
    among Iraqi Freedom veterans.

    Will VA be able to restore enrollment of Category 8 veterans?
    Actions by Congress to date on the current year&#39;s appropriations, including the recent
    emergency wartime supplemental, maintain VA&#39;s ability to care for its core constituency
    of service-disabled and lower-income veterans. Until the waiting time for medical
    appointments can be reduced to an acceptable standard, it would not be in the best
    interest of those most in need of care for VA to enroll additional priority group 8
    veterans.
    Priority 8 veterans are those with incomes above &#036;24,644 per year (for a single veteran)
    and above a geographic means test. In the months ahead, Congress will be debating the
    appropriate level of spending for next year and future enrollment decisions cannot be
    forecast with certainty at this time.

    What are the budget steps VA is taking to ensure as many veterans as possible
    get timely service?
    VA is proposing management savings through competitive sourcing and
    performance-based private-sector contracts, continuing its procurement reforms, and
    taking advantage of efficiencies as it redirects resources from inpatient to outpatient
    care. In addition, VA is working with the Department of Health and Human Services
    (HHS) to develop a plan that will provide non-enrolled priority group 8 veterans the
    option of using their Medicare benefits to obtain their care from VA. Further, to ensure
    VA&#39;s core constituency can receive timely medical services, VA has proposed in its
    2004 budget new fees to raise revenue from those veterans who can afford it and who
    are not receiving care for a service-related disability. It would assess an annual
    enrollment fee of &#036;250 for nonservice-connected priority group 7 veterans and all
    priority 8 veterans.
    Priority group 7 veterans are those whose income falls between the &#036;24,644 annual
    income test (for a single veteran) but are below a geographic means test. In addition,
    modest new copayments are proposed for these higher-income veterans to contribute to
    the cost of pharmaceuticals and for outpatient primary care visits.[/b][/quote] [/b][/quote]
    Of course they are not going to slash benefits. We are at War. That budget that you looked up on the web was fabulous intelligence. However, do you really think that will be sufficient to handle the claims from the growing combat related injuries. which are running at 3000+ not to mention death benefits for the 500+ vets that have been killed in combat. Furthermore, have any of you guys tried to collect or use your VA benefits. Iwould like to hear how wonderful and easy it was to use your VA benefit that you earned and are entitled to.

    What I find very amusing about this conversation is that the tone of voice and attitude from some of you guys is that our Vets don&#39;t have it so bad. Or these are just lies that the left wingers are promoting. How convenient for some of you. [/b][/quote]
    Your exact words in your initial post:

    "I guess those vets are glad to know that their VA benefits will be cut [b]as the VA budget is getting slashed [/b]by God&#39;s Patriotic President."


    Your exact words in your last post:

    "[b]Of course they are not going to slash benefits[/b]."



    And we&#39;re supposed to take you seriously?



    The "intelligence" I posted in response to the lies you are perpetuating are direct comments from Secretary of Veterans&#39; Affairs Anthony J. Principi, as well as a white paper released by the Department of Veterans Affairs: VA Office of Public Affairs / Media Relations.

    One can only assume that your unsubstantiated "intelligence" was drawn from the likes of Michael Moore.

  12. #12
    [quote][i]Originally posted by shakin318[/i]@Feb 9 2004, 11:35 AM
    [b] Of course they are not going to slash benefits



    And we&#39;re supposed to take you seriously?



    The "intelligence" I posted in response to the lies you are perpetuating are direct comments from Secretary of Veterans&#39; Affairs Anthony J. Principi, as well as a white paper released by the Department of Veterans Affairs: VA Office of Public Affairs / Media Relations.

    One can only assume that your unsubstantiated "intelligence" was drawn from the likes of Michael Moore. [/b][/quote]
    Dude look up the word sarcasm&#33;

  13. #13
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by outsider+Feb 9 2004, 11:43 AM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (outsider @ Feb 9 2004, 11:43 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--shakin318[/i]@Feb 9 2004, 11:35 AM
    [b] Of course they are not going to slash benefits



    And we&#39;re supposed to take you seriously?



    The "intelligence" I posted in response to the lies you are perpetuating are direct comments from Secretary of Veterans&#39; Affairs Anthony J. Principi, as well as a white paper released by the Department of Veterans Affairs: VA Office of Public Affairs / Media Relations.

    One can only assume that your unsubstantiated "intelligence" was drawn from the likes of Michael Moore. [/b][/quote]
    Dude look up the word sarcasm&#33; [/b][/quote]
    Dude, look up the word "exposed."

  14. #14
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    This is from johnkerry.com

    "The Bush Administration chronically under-funds VA health care. There are nearly 90,000 veterans waiting for healthcare appointments. Instead of adding sufficient resources to a system desperately in need of them, President Bush has frozen whole classes out of the VA system. By the Bush Administration’s own estimate, their policies will exclude approximately 500,000 veterans from the VA healthcare system by 2005. President Bush also proposed increasing fees and co-payments in an effort to shift the burden for care onto the backs of veterans and drive an additional million veterans from the system. John Kerry will end the game of playing politics with funding for veterans health care. He will insist on mandatory funding for veterans health care. In a Kerry Administration, veterans will get the appointments they need with VA doctors and the federal government will invest the resources necessary to make sure that no veteran has an unmet health care need."

    Sounds good to me. It&#39;s important to keep faith with the veterans. John Kerry will do this without trying to slip in the sick tax like the one Bush proposes to pass on to our Veterans.

  15. #15
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by shakin318+Feb 9 2004, 10:49 AM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (shakin318 @ Feb 9 2004, 10:49 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> [quote]Originally posted by -outsider@Feb 9 2004, 11:43 AM
    [b] <!--QuoteBegin--shakin318[/i]@Feb 9 2004, 11:35 AM
    [b] Of course they are not going to slash benefits



    And we&#39;re supposed to take you seriously?



    The "intelligence" I posted in response to the lies you are perpetuating are direct comments from Secretary of Veterans&#39; Affairs Anthony J. Principi, as well as a white paper released by the Department of Veterans Affairs: VA Office of Public Affairs / Media Relations.

    One can only assume that your unsubstantiated "intelligence" was drawn from the likes of Michael Moore. [/b][/quote]
    Dude look up the word sarcasm&#33; [/b][/quote]
    Dude, look up the word "exposed." [/b][/quote]
    Hilarious.

  16. #16
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by outsider[/i]@Feb 9 2004, 11:13 AM
    [b]Jetfan transplant did you really stick your head up your ass?

    Just f*** with ya&#39;&#33; ([b]Watch your language bro... it doesn&#39;t help your point[/b])

    First of all your legal stuff is right on. By law employers can not discriminate as you mentioned and documented. However, right to work states can and do fire people and can do so without reason at any time. Now you can try to argue your case and that is fine but lot&#39;s of luck. You and I both know that by the time the employee gets his day in court his ability to get a job would be drastically hindered as the employee would not get positive refences from his previous employer while seeking employment during the process. You might get your payday in a few years but I doubt you would pay the guys mortgage and monthly living expenses along the way.

    Furthermore, I invite you to go down to your local unemployment office and see what those workforce workshops really are all about especially in Florida. You might be unpleasantly surprised at what you find.

    ([b]Been there. Done that. Spent 5 weeks unemployed this past year when I was laid off, the people there were both helpful and respectful[/b].)

    I would talk to a few of the guys and ask them if they would take legal action. However, before I do so I would like to know a little more about your practice and how you might be able to actually fight their case.[/b][/quote]
    First off, I am not an attorney, but I play one on message boards...

    Seriously now, I have a 1/2 dozen attorneys in my office, but that&#39;s not even the real authority here. We are talking about labor law. Your best source should be the Director of H.R. for whatever company they worked for. If there isn&#39;t one, well then, here you go. Everything you need to know.

    The info is going to come fast and furious, so read it, share it and DO IT for your "friends and clients" sake.


    Lets discuss what "Right to work" means:

    Right to Work Laws


    FLORIDA

    Fla. Const. Article 1, § 6

    § 6. Right to Work

    The right of persons to work shall not be denied or abridged on account of membership or non-membership in any labor union or labor organization. The right of employees, by and through a labor organization, to bargain collectively shall not be denied or abridged. Public employees shall not have the right to strike. (Adopted at General Election November 5, 1968.)

    Fla. Stat. Ann. § 447.17

    § 447.17 Civil remedy; injunctive relief

    (1) Any person who may be denied employment or discriminated against in his employment on account of membership or nonmembership in any labor union or labor organization shall be entitled to recover from the discriminating employer, other person, firm, corporation, labor union, labor organization, or association, acting separately or in concert, in the courts of this state, such damages as he may have sustained and the costs of suit, including reasonable attorney&#39;s fees. If such employer, other person, firm, corporation, labor union, labor organization, or association acted willfully and with malice or reckless indifference to the rights of others, punitive damages may be assessed against such employer, other person, firm, corporation, labor union, labor organization, or association.

    (2) Any person sustaining injury as a result of any violation or threatened violation of the provisions of this section shall be entitled to injunctive relief against any and all violators or persons threatening violation.

    (3) The remedy and relief provided for by this section shall not be available to public employees as defined in part II of this chapter. (Enacted 1974; amended 1977.)


    A right-to-work state does not mean that employers have the right to circumvent federal law, or provide an employer with the "right-to-fire."


    ------------------------------------------

    So to correct you right from the beginning, what you are trying so diligently to represent is actually an "at-will" employment agreement.

    -------------------------------------------

    What does it mean to be an "at will" employee?

    A: In Florida, the general rule is that any employee may be discharged by the employer, or may leave the job, for any reason whatsoever, or for no reason. [b]Unless the termination violates federal or state law[/b], company policies, or an implied contract.

    Likewise, the employee is free to quit a job at any time without any reason and without any notice. This is referred to in the law as the "Employment at Will" doctrine.


    [b]Federal law. No law, policy, practice, etc. that would diminish the rights established in USERRA takes precedence over the provisions of USERRA. Conversely, USERRA does not supersede, nullify, or diminish any federal or state law, or company policy, union agreement, practice or contract that provides greater rights or benefits to service members.[/b]



    I suggest you point your friends and clients in the direction of this link:

    [url=http://www.esgr.com/members/default.asp]Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve[/url]


    Now lets go over this again...

    USERRA Covers All Civilian Employers

    The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), 38 U.S.C. §4301 et seq., enacted in 1994, covers all civilian employers and prohibits employment discrimination against members of the "Uniformed Services." The term Uniformed Services means the Armed Forces, the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard when engaged in active duty for training, inactive duty training, or full-time National Guard duty, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and any other category of persons designated by the President in time of war or emergency. Particularly important for employers to understand during this current crisis, is that USERRA provides Uniformed Service members with significantly enhanced job security. USERRA is comprehensive and quite detailed.

    The term "employer" includes any person or entity that pays salary or wages to employees. Employers include the federal or a state government and other governmental agencies. It also includes a successor in interest to a person or entity covered by USERRA. Coverage by USERRA is not dependent on an employer having a minimum number of employees. A single employee can subject the employer to USERRA.

    State Laws May Apply In Addition to USERRA

    In addition to USERRA, a number of states have enacted laws protecting employees who serve in the Uniformed Services. These state laws address a number of issues, including reemployment rights, discrimination against members of the military and preservation of benefits while on leave due to military service. Although USERRA preempts state law, it does not preempt any state law that provides better protection or increases the rights of Uniformed Service members. In other words, USERRA provides minimum protections to individuals who serve their country.



    Notice from Departing Employees

    USERRA and most state laws require employees to give their employers some advance notice, written or oral, of their military service. How much advance notice is not specified. In fact, the employees’ notice obligation under USERRA can be waived entirely based upon military necessity or if notice is unreasonable under the circumstances. Some states, such as Massachusetts, require employees embarking on military training or other exercises of limited duration to advise their employers of their expected dates of departure and return.

    Notice to Departing Employees

    Federal law does not require employers to give any particular notice or information to employees departing on military leave. State laws may be more stringent. To avoid any confusion, however, it makes sense to give copies of the employer’s military leave policy to all employees departing on military leave. A description of how an employee&#39;s participation in various employer-sponsored benefit plans and programs is affected should also be provided. In particular, employers should notify such persons about their right under USERRA (or applicable state law) to elect to continue their health insurance, and if applicable, other benefits such as life insurance.

    Compensation During Military Leave

    Military leave may be with or without pay, at the employer’s discretion. Some employers may choose to make up any deficiency between an employee’s military pay and his regular wage, but there is no federal obligation to do so. Some states, however, do have pay requirements for military leave.

    Vacation Time

    Uniformed Service members may, but cannot be required, to use paid vacation or similar leave while on duty. An employee may wish to use vacation time during a military leave when his military pay is less than his regular pay and the difference is not made up by the employer. Upon reemployment (as more fully discussed below), the employee is entitled to be credited with service credit for the period he or she was on military leave. This service will result in the accrual of vacation days under most employers&#39; vacation policies. An employer should review the company&#39;s vacation policy and determine how unused vacation time is treated when the Uniformed Service member&#39;s military leave extends beyond the end of the period in which vacation must be used. In particular, this is an issue when the employer has a "use it or lose it" policy. Employers may want to consider adding an exception for employees called to military service.





    Health Plan Continuation

    Uniformed Service members have the right to elect to continue their health plan participation under the COBRA-like terms of 38 U.S.C. § 4317. Unlike COBRA, however, the employer need not employ 20 individuals for USERRA to apply. This means that employers who are otherwise exempt from COBRA are not exempt from USERRA.

    To comply, the health plan must permit an employee to elect continued coverage for himself and covered dependents for up to 18 months, or if earlier, the day after the employee fails to apply for or return to employment. Like COBRA, the Uniformed Service member can be required to pay up to 102% of the cost of coverage, unless the period of military service is less than 31 days or state law provides otherwise. In that case, only the normal employee payment can be charged. The 18-month continuation period under COBRA runs concurrently with the 18-month continuation period required by USERRA.

    In Wyoming, and possibly other states, an employee on military leave cannot be charged more than what he or she would have paid for coverage in the employer&#39;s health plan. As such, employers in this state must pay what they would otherwise have paid for health care coverage for these employees. Employers who have Uniformed Service members should check their state law and determine what, if any, health care continuation coverage requirements apply.

    An employer&#39;s health plan is not required to cover injuries or illnesses that are the result of a Uniformed Service member&#39;s military service. These injuries or illness are covered by the medical care provided by the Uniformed Service. When an employee&#39;s medical coverage is terminated due to a military leave, any waiting periods or preexisting condition provisions that apply upon a return to active employment with that employer must be waived when the Uniformed Service member returns to work. Of course, employers should check their medical plans to determine the coverage for military-related injuries and illnesses.



    Continuation in Other Benefit Plans

    In Wyoming, and possibly other states, Uniformed Service members must be given the opportunity to continue their life insurance coverage while on military leave. The Uniformed Service member must pay for his or her coverage during the leave period, in the same amount as he or she would have paid for this coverage if employed by the sponsoring employer. Any other benefit that may be continued during a paid or unpaid leave of absence must also permit for continuation during a military leave. For instance, an employer may provide for an employee on leave to continue his or her spousal and/or dependent life insurance coverage. When this is the case, the employer must permit Uniformed Service members to keep this coverage in place during the military leave period, subject to any payment obligations that apply.



    No Discrimination

    USERRA and some state laws specifically prohibit employers from denying initial employment, retention, reemployment, promotion or any employment benefit on the basis of military membership or obligation. The test for discrimination under USERRA is weighted in favor of the employee. Discrimination is presumed where a person’s military membership or obligation is a "motivating factor" in an employment action, unless the employer can prove that the action would have been taken in the absence of such military membership or obligation.

    Reemployment

    With very few exceptions, Uniformed Service members who have missed less than five years of employment due to military service are generally entitled to reemployment with full benefits, provided they comply with certain notification obligations discussed below. They also are entitled to the additional seniority rights and benefits they normally would have received if continuously employed during the time of their military service, as more fully discussed below. An employer, however, is not required to reemploy Uniformed Service members where reemployment would impose an undue hardship on the employer, the employer’s circumstances have so changed as to make reemployment impossible or unreasonable, or where the job was a nonrecurrent, temporary position.

    Employees returning from military leave must notify their employer of their intent to return to work. Under USERRA, the length of service determines how much notice returning employees must provide. If an employee’s service was 181 days or more, then the employee must submit an application for reemployment within 90 days after active military service ceases. If the military leave was between 31 and 180 days, an application for reemployment must be made within 14 days after active military service ceases. No reemployment application is required if the military leave is less than 31 days. In that case, generally the employee need only report for work on the next regularly scheduled workday after a reasonable period for travel and rest. Uniformed Service members who are unable to report back to work because they are in the hospital or recovering from an injury or illness suffered during active duty have up to two years to apply for reemployment.

    The job to which a Uniformed Service member may be reemployed depends to some extent on the number of days he or she was absent from civilian employment due to military service. For example, if an employee’s military service was less than 91 days, the employee must be reemployed in the position he or she would have had without the military service interruption unless the person is not qualified to perform the duties of that position after reasonable efforts by the employer to qualify the employee for that position. If military service was for more than 90 days, the employer may substitute a position of like seniority, status and pay.

    Persons disabled during military service are also granted reemployment protection. Such persons should be granted, at a minimum, a position that is the nearest approximation to his or her former position in terms of seniority, status and pay, consistent with the person’s ability to perform the job duties with reasonable accommodation efforts by the employer. If the employee, after reasonable training and reasonable accommodation efforts by the employer, is still unable to perform his or her job duties, the employer must employ that person in any position that provides similar pay and status, with full seniority, that is consistent with the person&#39;s current circumstances.

    USERRA and some state laws restrict an employer&#39;s ability to discharge a returning Uniformed Service member. Under USERRA, a reemployed Uniformed Service member cannot be discharged, except for cause, within one year of his or her return to work if the employee&#39;s period of service was more than 180 days before the military leave began. If the returning employee&#39;s period of employment before his or her leave began was more than 30 days but less than 180 days, the returning employee cannot be terminated, except for cause, within 180 days of his or her return to employment. In at least three states, returning Uniformed Service members cannot be terminated, without cause, for at least one year after they return to work. This reemployment protection period is not dependent on the length of the employee&#39;s military leave.

    Retirement Benefits Upon Reemployment

    Employee pension plans are governed by 38 U.S.C. § 4318, which generally deems reemployed Uniformed Service members as not having incurred a break in employment for purposes of calculating pension benefits. Among the plans covered by USERRA are Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 401(a) tax-qualified defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Also covered are Code Section 403(B) plans sponsored by tax-exempt organizations and Code Section 457 tax-deferred compensation plans, which are sponsored by tax-exempt organizations and governmental entities.

    USERRA requires that the period of military leave be counted for plan purposes when the Uniformed Service member returns to active employment. Upon reemployment, the employer must count the military leave period when determining the employee&#39;s accrued benefit and vested status. The employer is required to contribute to the plan the amount needed to fund the returning Uniformed Service members benefit for this period of service. If the plan is a multiemployer plan, the terms of the plan will determine which employer bears the funding liability. If the plan document is silent, the employee&#39;s employer at the time his or her leave began is liable. If that employer is no longer in business, the plan itself becomes liable for funding the benefit.

    When the retirement plan is a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k) plan, the returning Uniformed Service member&#39;s plan account must be credited with employer contributions using the same allocation formula used to determine employer contributions for those employees not on leave. If the plan provides for employee elective deferrals, the returning Uniformed Service member must be given the opportunity to make up lost contributions. The period of time during which he or she may make-up contributions is either three times the length of the Uniformed Service member&#39;s military service, or if less, five years. The maximum amount the employee may contribute is the amount he or she could have contributed if not on leave. Employer matching contributions or other contributions based on plan participation must also be made by the employer on the employee&#39;s make-up contributions. Earnings and forfeitures do not have to be allocated to returning employees, irrespective of the type of contribution being made to the plan on his or her behalf.

    For purposes of determining a returning Uniformed Service member&#39;s compensation for restoration purposes, his or her compensation is the amount he or she would have received if the employee had not been on a military leave. If this is not determinable, then generally the average rate of compensation paid to the employee for the 12-month period (or if shorter, his or her actual period of employment) immediately preceding his or her leave is used.

    Contributions required or permitted by USERRA are not subject to the applicable limits imposed by the Code. For instance, make-up contributions are not subject to the annual deferral limit of &#036;10,500 (as adjusted for cost-of-living in 2001) in the year in which it is made. The make-up contribution is subject, however, to the annual limit for the year in which the elective contribution would have been made but for the military leave.



    If the defined contribution plan in which the Uniformed Service member participates permits participant loans, the plan may provide that loan repayments are suspended during a military leave. The suspension period may exceed one year and this suspension period does not count towards the five-year limit on loans. Although loan repayments are suspended, interest on the loan continues to accrue. Loan repayments must begin when the Uniformed Service member returns to active employment with the sponsoring employer in an amount that is not less than what the employee was paying at the time his or her military leave began. In many cases, loan repayments are recalculated to take into account the interest that accrued during the period loan repayments were suspended. Alternatively, a single payment of the additional accrued interest may be required to be paid when the loan is otherwise due to be paid in full.

    The period of a Uniformed Service member&#39;s military service must be counted for vesting purposes. A retirement plan subject to USERRA could provide that an employee&#39;s military leave be counted for eligibility purposes, but is not required to.

    An employer should review the plan documents to determine how a military leave is treated by the plan for eligibility, vesting, benefit accruals, loans and other plan purposes. An employer who has questions concerning the plan and military leaves should direct these inquiries to a benefits attorney.

    Compensation, Vacation and Other Benefits Upon Reemployment

    USERRA generally requires a returning Uniformed Service member to be restored to the position he or she would have been in but for the interruption for military service. This means that all seniority related benefits include the period of his or her military leave. For example, the returning employee&#39;s compensation should reflect any pay adjustments he or she would have received during this leave period. Likewise, vacation time must reflect the employee&#39;s period of military leave. The same applies to year-end bonus payments, hourly rates, commissions, job promotions and similar employment related items. If a wage increase is based upon the employee&#39;s job performance, ability or qualifications, an automatic increase upon return to employment is not required. Instead, the increase is required after a reasonable time during which the returning Uniformed Service member demonstrates his or her eligibility for the increase.

    An employer should keep in mind that a military leave, to the extent not otherwise required by USERRA or state law, is treated like any other paid or unpaid leave provided to employees. As such, the employer should treat a Uniformed Service member and the benefits to which he or she is entitled in accordance with the employer&#39;s other policies for paid or unpaid leave.



    [b]Enforcement and Penalties

    USERRA and most state laws contain a number of enforcement and penalty provisions. Employers also should be aware of retaliatory discharge claims. USERRA and many state laws contain strict no-retaliation provisions. As noted above, under USERRA and in some states, an employer&#39;s ability to discharge an employee for other than cause is limited for a specified period of time after a Uniformed Service member returns to work.

    Uniformed Services members may seek enforcement of their rights under USERRA by petitioning the Secretary of Labor or by bringing suit in federal court. Petitioning the Secretary of Labor is not required before a federal court action can be brought. The Secretary of Veteran Affairs must provide, upon request, assistance to Uniformed Service members with a claim. Additionally, the Secretary must conduct an investigation to determine if a violation has occurred. If it has, the Secretary is required to make a reasonable effort to get the employer to comply with USERRA. If those attempts fail, the complaining Uniformed Service member may request that the complaint be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Justice. The Department of Justice may institute action against the employer and appear in that lawsuit on behalf of the Uniformed Service member. Or, the Department of Justice may act as the attorney for that person.

    Employers may be held liable for back wages and benefits, costs, attorneys’ fees and limited punitive damages. Courts are also authorized to order an employer to reemploy a Uniformed Service member or otherwise to comply with the provisions of USERRA.[/b]

    A better understanding of these rights and responsibilities should ease the concerns of both Uniformed Service members and their civilian employers.


    -----------------------------------------


    OK, now either your friends and clients are full-of-crap, were on their way out anyway, really quit, or they work for the most RETARDED EMPLOYERS in the state of Florida.

    There is absolutely NO-WAY these people would have been let go because of their military obligation. There is WAY too much at stake for an employer to make that kind of mistake. Not just a legal one, but the P.R. disaster that would result is unthinkable.

    Like I said earlier, give me the names of these employers and I assure you, I will file the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of Labor on their behalf, whats more I have no problem starting the P.R. wrecking machine.

    My suggestion is that you make DANG SURE your friends and clients aren&#39;t full-of-crap before you / they / I / anyone destroys the careers of these employers.

    By-the-way, I live in Orlando.

  17. #17
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by JetFanTransplant[/i]@Feb 9 2004, 01:55 PM
    [b]
    OK, now either your friends and clients are full-of-crap, were on their way out anyway, really quit, or they work for the most RETARDED EMPLOYERS in the state of Florida.

    There is absolutely NO-WAY these people would have been let go because of their military obligation. There is WAY too much at stake for an employer to make that kind of mistake. Not just a legal one, but the P.R. disaster that would result is unthinkable.

    Like I said earlier, give me the names of these employers and I assure you, I will file the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of Labor on their behalf, whats more I have no problem starting the P.R. wrecking machine.

    My suggestion is that you make DANG SURE your friends and clients aren&#39;t full-of-crap before you / they / I / anyone destroys the careers of these employers.

    By-the-way, I live in Orlando. [/b][/quote]
    outsider, you&#39;re being exposed more than a teat at a halftime show

  18. #18
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    Forget the most important part:


    [b]Assistance and enforcement. [/b]If you are a Reserve component member and experience employment problems because of your military obligations, you should first notify your command. Often a commander or legal officer can provide prompt and effective assistance in resolving disputes between you and your civilian employer. If local efforts fail, contact Ombudsmen Services at ESGR National Headquarters (telephone: 1-800-336-4590 or DSN 426-1390/91; Web site - [url]www.esgr.org[/url].) Ombudsmen are trained to provide information and informal mediation assistance. Of those situations that are brought to the Ombudsmen, they have been able to resolve greater than 95 percent. Situations that are complex or beyond the scope of informal resolution will be immediately referred to the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans&#39; Employment and Training Service (VETS), or you can contact them at your local listing.

    Offices of Directors, Veterans&#39; Employment and Training Service (DVETs) U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

    Florida, Tallahassee 850/877-4164

  19. #19
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Come Back to NY[/i]@Feb 7 2004, 06:24 PM
    [b] VIETNAM VETERANS AGAINST JOHN KERRY

    P.O. Box 246, Kinston, N.C. 28502

    [/b][/quote]
    I wonder what this group&#39;s primary source of funding is?

    Perhaps the RNC is.

    Would anyone really be surprised?

  20. #20
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    [color=blue][b]“If You Don’t Believe Saddam Hussein Is A Threat With Nuclear Weapons, Then You Shouldn’t Vote For Me.” [/b][/color]-- [b]Sen. John F. Kerry, April 31, 2003[/b]

    [i](Ronald Brownstein, “On Iraq, Kerry Appears Either Torn Or Shrewd,” Los Angeles Times, 1/31/03)[/i]

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