From:  Ken Kalish 

     Date:  September 4, 2020

Subject:  The Pentagon has ordered Stars and Stripes to shut down for no good reason

Unfortunately, Mark, this column does have a political slant and therefore is not appropriate to this forum. 
Ken


    From:  Preston Cluff 

     Date:  February 18, 2020

Subject:  Esper Defends Move to Defund Stars and Stripes, Says News Org. Not a Priority

Exactly where I got it, Jim, as I reply to you on same.  Maybe I'm missing something; hope not.  afvn@groups.io is the only site I've used in months (send/receive). 

Preston

    From:  Ken Kalish 

     Date:  February 18, 2020

Subject:  Esper Defends Move to Defund Stars and Stripes, Says News Org. Not a Priority

I did not receive this through the AFVN site, and I responded personally to Randy.  I did not intend it to be posted on the AFVN site, nor did I intend to ruffle any feathers. 
Ken

AFVN Group Conversations

    From:  Randy Kafka

     Date:  February 18, 2020

Subject:  Esper Defends Move to Defund Stars and Stripes, Says News Org. Not a Priority

​​Stars and Stripes Article - February 14, 2020

WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Thursday defended the Pentagon's effort to strip Stars and Stripes of all of its federal funding as part of its fiscal year 2021 budget request, telling reporters in Brussels that the independent news organization is not a priority. "So, we trimmed the support for Stars and Stripes because we need to invest that money, as we did with many, many other programs, into higher-priority issues," Esper said during a news conference at NATO headquarters. He listed space, nuclear programs, hypersonic missiles and "a variety of systems" as places the money -- slightly more than $15.5 million -- could be reinvested in the $705.4 billion Defense Department spending proposal. Pentagon officials acknowledged Wednesday for the first time that the budget proposal completely cuts the subsidy that the department provides Stars and Stripes to print and distribute newspapers to troops deployed around the world, including remote and often-dangerous locations in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Stars and Stripes receives about $8.7 million annually in operations and maintenance funds and about $6.9 million in contingency operations funds, said Marine Lt. Col. Chris Logan, a spokesman for Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist. The cut to Stars and Stripes' annual Pentagon subsidy equals about half of the news organization's annual funds to pay expenses. Stars and Stripes' remaining money comes from sales, subscriptions and advertising. Pentagon officials confirmed Monday that the budget request would cut at least some funding to Stars and Stripes, but they declined to provide monetary figures attached to the proposal. Stars and Stripes' leadership was informed of the proposed cuts by Pentagon leadership also Monday, after The Wall Street Journal reported the news organization was eyed for a funding reduction. Stars and Stripes first appeared during the Civil War, and it has been published continuously since World War II. It produces daily newspapers for U.S. military troops around the world and operates a website that is updated with news 24 hours per day. Though it is part of the Pentagon's Defense Media Agency, Stripes retains its editorial independence and is congressionally mandated to be governed by First Amendment principles. In Logan's statement Wednesday, he acknowledged Stars and Stripes' value during its seven decades of continuous service to the U.S. military community. "Their hard work and dedication in reporting on issues that matter the most to the military community continues to be of value," he said. "However, as we look forward to the current budget proposal and beyond, the DOD must prioritize spending to support our warfighters in the most critical areas of need. Therefore, the department has made the difficult decision that, beginning in fiscal year 2021, it will no longer provide appropriated funds to Stars and Stripes." Related: DoD Budget Proposal Cuts All Funding to Stars And Stripes; Lawmakers Back Newspaper The news organization's value to American troops has been proven, said Ernie Gates, Stars and Stripes' ombudsman. He said the newspaper not only provides service members "a little piece of home" or a "welcome diversion" from tough missions, but it also provides independent, free-flowing information that they need to exercise their rights as Americans. The proposal has received pushback from varying directions, including a former commander, lawmakers and a key journalism advocacy-and-education organization, the Society of Professional Journalists. SPJ called on Esper to rethink the funding cut to Stars and Stripes, which it said would be "a huge disservice to the men and women who serve our country" who rely on the physical newspaper in areas where they cannot access the internet. "Since it was first published during the Civil War, Stars and Stripes has been a balanced and objective source of information for members of the military," SPJ National President Patricia Gallagher Newberry said Wednesday in the statement. "Its ability to inform troops about issues important to them must not be hindered." Military veteran lawmakers Rep. Gil Cisneros, D-Calif., and Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., tweeted their support for Stars and Stripes this week. "Stars & Stripes was a link to home when I was in Iraq and Okinawa," wrote Gallego, a Marine veteran. "It's an A+ indie take on everyday DoD news, f*** ups, and Administration & General Officer BS. No wonder this President wants to cut it. He's got a fight on his hands." Cisneros, a Navy veteran, wrote Stars and Stripes "provides a crucial voice on the DOD, VA, and other military matters." "We need their reporting," he tweeted. Other members of Congress reached this week for comment said they needed to take a close look at budget documents before speaking. One member expected to be briefed on the Stars and Stripes funding proposal this week. In an email, a former top commander of American and NATO troops in Europe defended Stars and Stripes. "Every day in my office as commander [of] U.S. European Command, I would read Stars and Stripes," said retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis, who served as EUCOM chief and NATO Supreme Allied Command from 2009 to 2013. "It was an invaluable, unbiased, and highly professional source of information which was critical to me in my role overseeing U.S. military throughout Europe."

​​

    From:  Marc Yablonka 

     Date:  February 25, 2020

Subject:  Publicizing the Dire Situation re: Stars and Stripes Funding

Al con, Received from Jim Martin of the Stars and Stripes Association my 
Dear Stars & Stripes Alumni, 
Please find below an article/guest editorial we'd love for you to submit to your local and or regional paper or other news media to encourage awareness of the fact that DoD is proposing eliminating any funds for Stars & Stripes in the coming fiscal year. 
And please encourage everyone you know... particularly in local veterans' organizations, etc. to go to our website or call us to get their name on record as supporting a restoration of funding for the Stars & Stripes. 
God Bless, Carpe Diem and Carpe Vitae! -  Jim 
For 159 years, since its first edition rolled off the presses in Bloomfield, Missouri in the early days of the Civil War, the Stars and Stripes has been the voice and watchdog for members of the U.S. armed forces. Now the Dept. of Defense is proposing to completely eliminate federal funding for an organization who’s sole purpose is to serve our fighting men and women. 
The significance of Stars and Stripes has long been recognized by some of our nation’s most respected military leaders.  Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing, a Missouri native who knew the impact the paper had on troop morale during the Civil War revived it as head of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower did the same during World War II, and also defended Stars and Stripes’ editorial independence. Gen. George Patton threatened to discipline cartoonist Bill Mauldin, who won the first of his two Pulitzer Prizes while at Stars and Stripes, for his scruffy and bedraggled caricatures of GIs “Willie and Joe.” Eisenhower intervened. “Stars and Stripes is the soldiers’ paper,” he told Patton. “We won’t interfere.” 
This story goes to the heart of what makes Stars and Stripes an important symbol of American exceptionalism. Though supported by the Pentagon, Stars and Stripes has never answered to the brass. DoD is now pretty much saying that the Stars & Stripes is obsolete. Far from it. 
1.      It publishes content on digital platforms in addition to producing a print edition that remains important at a time when troops on some of the most dangerous deployments are not permitted to carry cell phones or other personal electronic devices. 
2.      It has never been a government mouthpiece. It serves its readers, covering news and telling stories of concern to the rank and file that no other news organization provides. 
For more than a century and a half, wherever they have gone, America’s troops have brought with them the Stars and Stripes, a news organization unafraid to speak truth to power and a tangible sign of our nation’s commitment to our troops and to free speech. It is arguably one of the most potent weapons they’ve carried into battle. 
If you care about the Stars & Stripes and our young men and women in harm’s way, you can do something. You can contact your senator and/or representative yourself and you can make absolutely sure your voice is heard by contacting the repository of the history & heritage of the iconic Stars & Stripes, the not for profit  National Stars & Stripes Museum & Library at 573-568-2055 or their website at
http://www.stars&stripesmuseum/libraryand they will add your name to a growing list, to petition Congress and the Department of Defense demanding that Stars & Stripes funding at the very least be restored, if not increased to reflect increasing operational costs in ensuring its printing and distribution at 14 sites worldwide to our troops in the field. 
It’s time to step up and support our young men and women who step up every day for us. 
Marc Phillip Yablonka


    From:  Ken Kalish

     Date:  February 18, 2020

Subject:  Esper Defends Move to Defund Stars and Stripes, Says News Org. Not a Priority

And of course the reallocation of funds to a wall isn’t part of the rationale. 
Ken

    From:  Marc Yablonka 

     Date:  September 4, 2020

Subject:  The Pentagon has ordered Stars and Stripes to shut down for no good reason

The Pentagon has ordered Stars and Stripes to shut down for no good reason​

Marc

   From:  Dick Ellis 

     Date:  September 7, 2020

Subject:  The Pentagon has Ordered Stars and Stripes to Shut Down for No Good Reason

(Dateline Washington)  An anonymous source at the White House has ordered the Pentagon to restore funding for the historic Stars&Stripes newspaper!  Thank you Mr. un-named, us old soldiers sure appreciate your support!  (Sports and weather coming up).

    From:  Marc Yablonka 

     Date:  September 5, 2020

Subject:  The Pentagon has ordered Stars and Stripes to shut down for no good reason

Ken, 
Thanks! I completely didn't think of the story as being political to be honest. My purpose in posting it had only to do with the fact that the newspaper that has been the lifeline for our veterans in the field and on base dating back to the Civil War may very well be forced to shutter its doors. I, as someone who freelanced for the Pacific edition in past years, think that is very sad! Maybe it's fitting then that I also posted a piece below from Stars and Stripes itself which quotes the President as saying he will not allow Stars and Stripes to fold!  BTW: I had no idea that both posts would run in the same blog! 
Marc Phillip Yablonka

​​

    From:  Preston Cluff 

     Date:  February 18, 2020

Subject:  Esper Defends Move to Defund Stars and Stripes, Says News Org. Not a Priority

The AFVN site is how I got it, Ken, and was concerned only about ruffling Bob's feathers.  You certainly didn't ruffle mine; just wanted you to know our opinions definitely differ. 

Preston ​

   Article on Defunding the Stars and Stripes

​By Ernie Gates, Ombudsman, March 18, 2020


    From:  Dick Ellis 

     Date:  September 5, 2020

Subject:  The Pentagon has Ordered Stars and Stripes to Shut Down for No Good Reason

I feel that Stars and Stripes is a legit part of this site which is made up of fellow journalists.  Yes, political people are deciding its future....but I think we are all big boys and capable of sorting out politics to follow the future of our brothers and sisters with the S&S! 

Dickie in Dixie...(I assume I am still allowed to say Dixie)????


    From:  Preston Cluff 

     Date:  February 18, 2020

Subject:  Esper Defends Move to Defund Stars and Stripes, Says News Org. Not a Priority

Just going where it's more useful, Ken, to include your example, if correct.  Sorry, Bob, for both of us being slightly "political", but Ken knows his comment would ruffle some feathers. 

Preston

    From:  Bob Peetz 

     Date:  February 28, 2020

Subject:  Stars and Stripes Funding

Start here: https://www.starsandstripesmuseumlibrary.org/ 
Winds, Bob

​​

    From:  Marc Yablonka 

     Date:  February 28, 2020

Subject:  Stars and Stripes Funding

Preston and Frank, 
Sorry about the link re: loss of funding for Stars and Stripes not opening for you. Might've have been my SNAFU. Regardless, I found this piece on the subject dated 2/14. Hope it works! 
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/military-newspaper-stars-and-stripes-set-to-lose-half-its-funding-as-pentagon-shifts-budget-priorities-2020-02-14 
Marc Phillip Yablonka


   From:  Randy Kafka 

     Date:  September 11, 2020

Subject:  Pentagon Rescinding Order To Shutter Stars and Stripes Paper

Pentagon Rescinding Order To Shutter Stars And Stripes Paper 
(ASSOCIATED PRESS 10 SEP 20) ... Lolita C. Baldor 
WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is rescinding its order to shut down the military’s independent newspaper, Stars and Stripes, in the wake of a tweet late last week by President Donald Trump vowing to continue funding the paper. In an email to Stripes' publisher Max Lederer, Army Col. Paul Haverstick said the paper does not have to submit a plan to close. Haverstick, acting director of the Pentagon’s Defense Media Activity, said a formal memo is being drafted that will rescind the order to halt publication by Sept. 30, and dissolve the organization by the end of January. The email was obtained by The Associated Press. “The memo will be provided once it is completed and properly vetted and approved within the Department,” said Haverstick’s email. “We are trying to get this completed by the weekend, but this timeline may shift based on vetting.” The Defense Department had ordered the paper to shut down following the Pentagon’s move earlier this year to cut the $15.5 million in funding for Stars and Stripes from the budget. Last Friday, as news of the shutdown order trickled out, Trump abruptly tweeted his opposition to the plan. “The United States of America will NOT be cutting funding to @starsandstripes magazine under my watch,” Trump tweeted. “It will continue to be a wonderful source of information to our Great Military!” Trump’s tweet came as he fought off accusations that he called service members killed in World War I “losers” and “suckers” during an event in France in 2018. The comments, first reported by The Atlantic and confirmed by The Associated Press, shined a fresh light on Trump’s previous public disparaging of American troops and military families and they delivered a new campaign issue to his Democratic rival Joe Biden, less than two months from Election Day. Trump was alleged to have made the comments about the war dead as he was set to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery during a trip to France in November 2018. The Trump White House hadn’t spoken out against the Pentagon plan to close the paper before last Friday, even though it’s been in the works and publicly written about for months and was in the president’s budget request. Friday afternoon, however, Trump worked to shore up his reputation as a staunch supporter of the nation’s armed services. Members of Congress have objected to the defunding move for months. And senators sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper last week urging him to reinstate the money. The letter, signed by 15 senators — including Republicans and Democrats — also warned Esper that the department is legally prohibited from canceling a budget program while a temporary continuing resolution to fund the federal government is in effect. The House-passed version of the Pentagon’s 2021 budget contains funding for the paper’s publication, but the Senate has not yet finalized a defense funding bill. “Stars and Stripes is an essential part of our nation’s freedom of the press that serves the very population charged with defending that freedom,” the senators said in the letter. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in a separate letter to Esper in late August, also voiced opposition to the move, calling Stripes “a valued ‘hometown newspaper’ for the members of the Armed Forces, their families, and civilian employees across the globe.” He added that “as a veteran who has served overseas, I know the value that the Stars and Stripes brings to its readers.” Haverstick, in his new email, also said the department is looking into how it will fund Stripes for the next year, since it was not budgeted. And he said the paper will be required to submit a budget plan for the next year. The first newspaper called Stars and Stripes was very briefly produced in 1861 during the Civil War, but the paper began consistent publication during World War I. When the war was over, publication ended, only to restart in 1942 during World War II, providing wartime news written by troops specifically for troops in battle. Although the paper gets funding from the Defense Department, it is editorially independent and is delivered in print and digitally to troops all over the world.         
(Link to original article.)


Stars and Stripes Funding is in Doubt

February and September 2020

    From:  Bob Morecook 

     Date:  September 7, 2020

Subject:  The Pentagon has Ordered Stars and Stripes to Shut Down for No Good Reason

Hi Gang,

We should leave Mr. T out and Mr. B out while talking about the Stars and Stripes.

Thanks,

Bob M

   From:  Terry Oliver 

     Date:  September 7, 2020

Subject:  Stars and Stripes Touch letter from Fred

Friends, 
I don’t know what’s wrong with me. You may have your own ideas and my wife could lead any discussion, but I have a real fondness for news publications and the print world in general. 
I have a vision of myself, years from now, after every printing plant in the world has gone the way of still camera film factories. Everyone gets all information from Google Omni Glass v. 10, and somehow even the blind can use it. Yet I am in a slash pine forest in Georgia, looking like Nick Nolte on a really bad day. I’m hacking on a tree with a hatchet, mumbling “Pulp! We need more pulp!” 
But that’s the future. For now I’m trying to save “Stars and Stripes,” and its legacy, the Stars and Stripes Museum, located where the first edition was published during the Civil War. 
The budget for Stripes was crippled by Trump’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act. I believe Congress is to vote on the NDAA the week of July 27. I’m not sure of the latest mark-up of the bill, but I know a few members of Congress took up the fight to save the paper. 
Also needing help is the Stars and Stripes Museum in Bloomfield, MO. Please take a few minutes to read the attached brochure and the following message from Jim Martin. I hope you fellow veterans and good citizens will join at the $50 individual level. My wife Terry Hinners and I will be joining at the Educator level. 
So I hope you will help save the museum (for less than the cost of a steak dinner you can’t get to now anyway). The museum is the result of very hard work and continuing dedication by several former Stripers and locals in Bloomfield. I’ll bet you will feel patriotic and good about yourselves all day! If you know another person who might want to help, please forward.


    From:  Jim White 

     Date:  February 18, 2020

Subject:  Esper Defends Move to Defund Stars and Stripes, Says News Org. Not a Priority

Preston and Ken, Neither of you got nor sent got this from the "AFVN site" because that would  be AFVNVETS.net web site.  I know it is not there because neither Jerry Nelson nor I add anything political to that site (with, perhaps,items related to AFVN).  You must have gotten it from the AFVN group at afvn@groups.io. Either way, telling someone something which is already well known is not all that helpful.  All  of us need to keep our "feathers" smooth--in my case that would be "fur" because I was born in the Year of the Dog according to the Oriental Zodiac.

Jim W

    From:  Bob Morecook 

     Date:  September 7, 2020

Subject:  The Pentagon has Ordered Stars and Stripes to Shut Down for No Good Reason

Retired pay has a COLA cost of living adjustment to help with that.


    From:  Ken Gilder 

     Date:  September 4, 2020

Subject:  The Pentagon has ordered Stars and Stripes to shut down for no good reason

The Pentagon is always looking for way to "save money," probably one reason for this action.  Another way, is to tie retiree pensions to the cost of living, rather than the military pay scale.  When you retire after 20 years, yeah, you get the 50%.  But ten years down the road, your retirement pension is something like 41% of your active duty counterpart.  Your government lied to you, just like they lied when they promised retirees free medical and dental care for themselves, and their eligible dependents for life.  That benefit was stolen in 1994. 
Ken G


   From:  Terry Oliver 

     Date:  September 7, 2020

Subject:  Stars and Stripes Touch letter from Fred

Friends, 
I don’t know what’s wrong with me. You may have your own ideas and my wife could lead any discussion, but I have a real fondness for news publications and the print world in general. 
I have a vision of myself, years from now, after every printing plant in the world has gone the way of still camera film factories. Everyone gets all information from Google Omni Glass v. 10, and somehow even the blind can use it. Yet I am in a slash pine forest in Georgia, looking like Nick Nolte on a really bad day. I’m hacking on a tree with a hatchet, mumbling “Pulp! We need more pulp!” 
But that’s the future. For now I’m trying to save “Stars and Stripes,” and its legacy, the Stars and Stripes Museum, located where the first edition was published during the Civil War. 
The budget for Stripes was crippled by Trump’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act. I believe Congress is to vote on the NDAA the week of July 27. I’m not sure of the latest mark-up of the bill, but I know a few members of Congress took up the fight to save the paper. 
Also needing help is the Stars and Stripes Museum in Bloomfield, MO. Please take a few minutes to read the attached brochure and the following message from Jim Martin. I hope you fellow veterans and good citizens will join at the $50 individual level. My wife Terry Hinners and I will be joining at the Educator level. 
So I hope you will help save the museum (for less than the cost of a steak dinner you can’t get to now anyway). The museum is the result of very hard work and continuing dedication by several former Stripers and locals in Bloomfield. I’ll bet you will feel patriotic and good about yourselves all day! If you know another person who might want to help, please forward.


    From:  Preston Cluff 

     Date:  September 5, 2020

Subject:  The Pentagon has ordered Stars and Stripes to shut down for no good reason

Ken, 
Time for me to chime in with my opinion, it being -- in this case -- that it's getting really picky if anyone considers this particular story overly political.  I was happy to see/read it, Marc, and didn't even think "That's my man (Trump)" while reading. 

For what it's worth,

Preston

​​

   From:  Jim Martin 

     Date:  September 6, 2020

Subject:  Stars and Stripes Touch letter from Fred

Here’s Jim Martin, longtime volunteer: 
Dear Fellow Stars & Stripes Dedicated Alumni, 
We're at a point in our growth as an institution where we need to, as the saying goes, either put up or shut up. 
1. We have a terrific, dedicated, passionate young staff. 
2. We have a vastly increasing influx of historically relevant materials. 
3. We have a mission, plan and curricula to do significant educational outreach to communicate the importance of commitment, service & freedom of speech not only within the state of Missouri, but beyond in the coming months and years. 
4. We're committed to traveling anywhere and advocating everywhere to assure the future of our iconic Stars & Stripes newspaper. 
All we need is the funding to accomplish it. You can help! Please reach out to at least 10 individuals, organizations or businesses you may know well and ask them if they can come aboard as members, at whatever level they're comfortable with. Any portion of their contributions can be dedicated to either our operations or an endowment fund to guarantee our future efforts. 
I've attached a terrific membership brochure (Unable to view, Webmaster) which gives everyone an ample opportunity to commit. We all care about our youth, our future & our democracy. Please do what you can to help and reach out to 10 others to do likewise! 
God Bless, Carpe Diem & Carpe Vitae, 
-  Jim