Tag Archives: Politics of the United States

American Legion Says Veterans Denied "Christmas" Cards from School Children

27 Dec interstate 80 94 accident

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Handwritten Christmas cards
from schoolchildren were denied distribution to veterans at the Dallas VA Medical
Center this week because they referenced the holiday by name, and American Legion
National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger is not happy about it. Neither is the
Liberty Institute, which has sided with the Legion in opposing a number of other
attempts to prevent free expression of speech and religion.

Also this week, the VA hospital in Augusta, Ga., announced a new policy that turned
away high-school students who intended to sing Christmas carols to veterans, as they
traditionally have in past years. And in Iowa City, American Legion members were
told they could not hand out presents to veterans if the wrapping paper said Merry
Christmas, a problem they solved by filtering the gifts through the VA chaplain.

The American Legion has asked VA Central Office for an explanation of why it appears
that Christians are being singled out for restrictions, especially when the holiday
honors the birth of Jesus Christ.

“First of all, VA’s decision to prohibit the delivery of Christmas cards that
mention Christmas is ludicrous,” Dellinger said today after Texas teacher Susan
Chapman was told Monday that her students’ cards would not be delivered to veterans.
“Second of all, VA has been down this road before, and recently. VA has been warned
through a federal court decree to stop denying freedom of religious expression at
its facilities. It’s pretty obvious the Dallas VA did not get that memo.”

When high school singers arrived last Friday at the Augusta, Ga., VA Medical Center,
officials reportedly gave them a list of 12 approved, secular holiday songs.
Unprepared to sing them, the students opted not to perform. “That’s censorship, pure
and simple,” Dellinger said of the rejected carolers. “Every Christmas, every
religious holiday, Christians are more and more often targeted for censorship and
restriction at VA facilities. Veterans in these hospitals fought to protect such
freedoms.”

Chapman, the wife of a U.S. military veteran, has requested that the Dallas VA
Medical Center immediately rescind its discriminatory policy and allow her and her
students – and any others in the future – to distribute Christmas cards
that say “Merry Christmas” or “God Bless You” or mention Jesus. Writing to VA
Secretary Eric Shinseki and VA North Texas Health System Director Jeffery L.
Milligan, Liberty Institute set a deadline of Friday, Dec. 27, for confirmation in
writing “that Mrs. Chapman and her students may distribute cards that contain the
phrase ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘God Bless You,’ or that contain other religious
references to veterans at the Medical Center and at all other VA hospitals, and that
the holiday card policies of the Department and the Medical Center (are) brought in
line with applicable law.”

“Of course, for this year’s schoolchildren, it’s a little late, and that’s really
disappointing,” said Dellinger, who leads the 2.4-million-member American Legion,
largest veterans organization in the country. “VA needs to let those children
deliver cards to the veterans now, and those who wrongly banned them owe an apology
to the children, the teacher and the veterans who were supposed to get them Monday.
This is a clear case of discrimination on the basis of religious expression; the
courts have already ruled that such policies are unconstitutional. The American
Legion fully concurs with that interpretation.”

Two Sentenced, One Pleads Guilty in Unrelated Firearms Cases

21 Nov

Gazette Staff

The office of United States Attorney David Capp has announced that two individuals have been sentenced in unrelated firearms charges this week.

George Black, 53, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano to 120 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of a stolen firearm. According to documents filed in this case, Black has 3 prior felony convictions for burglaries in Wisconsin and was on probation for the most recent conviction at the time of his arrest. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives HIDTA Task Force and the Indiana State Police. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.

Brittini Anderson, 27, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by Chief Judge Philip Simon to 24 months of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of making false statements in the acquisition of a firearm. According to documents filed in this case, Anderson straw purchased a firearm that has not been recovered by law enforcement. Based on her interview with ATF agents, Anderson admitted that she purchased a 9mm pistol for a person she knew could not buy a gun. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.

Additionally, Shamekka Thomas, 29, of Gary, Indiana, pled guilty before Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano to the felony offense of making false statements in the acquisition of a firearm. Sentencing has been set for 1/30/14. This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Libertarian Party of Lake County Meeting Thursday 11/21

20 Nov

Submitted by Beth Duensing, Lake County Libertarian Party Chair

Just a quick reminder that the LPLC meeting is tomorrow at 6:30 Pm. We
will meet in the back dining area of Amarillo Roadhouse in Schererville.

All are welcome to attend. If you’re not already a voting member consider
joining the National LP via this link. When you join the LP before the end
of the month you will receive a copy of Rex Bell’s book, Stinky Shorts. The
book is a very entertaining compilation of short stories with libertarian
viewpoints.

http://www.lp.org/join

The agenda will include determining when and where our county convention
will be held plus discussions regarding possible candidate training and
outreach opportunities. If you would like to be a candidate in 2014 now is
the time to start planning!

See you at the meeting.