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Ernie's House of Whoopass! November 11, 2011
November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day.

TEN years ago I asked some of you folks for help with an idea I had. My idea was to gather up a few dollars and buy some plane tickets to allow some deserving young soldiers the opportunity to spend Christmas with their families. To say that I underestimated the response I would get, would indeed be an understatement itself. Rising to the challenge in grand EHOWA Army fashion, you folks dug through your couch cushions and sent in over $14,000 dollars in just a few short days. Indeed, your generosity cemented the fact that our annual ticket drive would not be a one time shot, but an annual tradition. And hence the phrase, "Let's Bring Em Home" was coined. For the next ten years following that otherwise uneventful Friday afternoon in December of 2001, I have put forth the call for your help. Where upon I throw myself on my knees and humbly beg that you, fair reader, will help me help our country's young soldiers. To show them that we understand they're people and not just statistics we see on our evening news, or blurry images that dance across our television screens. That we understand how they'd rather be with their families than any other place in the world, especially during this time of the year.

Remember about four or five years ago, when I compared LBEH with a much bigger veteran's charity, Help Hospitalized Veterans, and how the executive director Roger Chapin was paying himself over $500,000? Well, there's good news and bad news in that department. On the plus side, Roger Chapin has since retired and is no longer drawing said $500,000 salary. The bad news is he's pulling a 2.1 million dollar pension instead. In fact, last year Help Hospitalized Veterans managed to solicit some $37 million in donations, yet managed to spend $37.8 million -- including Chapin's $2.1 million dollar nest egg. Now if that's not a scam, I don't know what is.

With that in mind, I'd like to refer you to the last five years worth of LBEH tax returns -- I'm still playing the hit-the-scanner-until-it-works game with the 2010 return, but the figures are below and I should have the scans posted this afternoon...

Tax Year Total Donations Administrative Fees % Admin fees
2005 $91,891 $4,205 4.45%
2006 $75,087 $3,060 4.08%
2007 $87,067 $3,622 4.16%
2008 $62,901 $5,425 8.62%
2009 $97,270 $5,028 5.17%
2010 $161,922 $5,922 3.66%

Generally speaking, our administrative costs -- bank fees, Paypal fees, accountant fees, frequent flier fees, postage, PO box fee, reimbursing for phone/internet, and equipment purchases -- remain pretrty stable, plus or minus a few hundred dollars. So the more donations we take in, the lower our administrative fees end up being -- which is why they were the highest in 2008 when we only took in $62,901 and had 8.62% admin fees, versus last year when we got scooped of by Fox News, pulled in $161,922 in donations and only 3.66% admin fees. Since we've been up and running as a real life bona fide charity, we've kept our admin costs averaging 5.04% -- I'll gladly compare that to any other military charity out there -- even the best ones.

And of that $5,922 spent on admin fees last year, how much wound up in my pocket? Zero. Zip. How much in Kat's pocket? Nada. Zilch. In Bibi's? vacation fund? Not a penny. So to recap, for every dollar you donate to those other veterans charities, as little as $0.20 actually makes it to our guys in uniform. When you donate to LBEH, $0.95 makes gets through. Where is your donation doing the most good?

Ernie, longtime lurker here. I showed some of my buddies at work (veteran buddies) the lbeh page, as this is the first year in many that I have some spare cash that I can finally donate to a good cause. Three out of the four were skeptical, and stated "The army will fly you anywhere you want no problem, I never missed Christmas". The next part bothered me though. "It's got to be some sort of scam" they replied. "It's legit" I argued. "It was even on the news last year. He went through the IRS, it's totally legit!" Yet they still didn't believe me. This bothers me terribly. I was never able to join in the military. (My leg was mangled the year before I was to sign up.) So I don't know first hand what they're saying is true. I know they're not completely lying, because they never really had any problems getting anywhere. But the fact that I couldn't convince them to donate as well bothered me more. Now Ernie, I haven't been able to donate since maybe the first or second year of LBEH. But this year I've been waiting for the site to open like a kid on Christmas. And when I wake up tomorrow, I'm throwing $10 towards the possibility of a member of our Military being able to see family at the time it sincerely matters. ( It's the best I can do...for now, I'm hoping to drop another $10 next pay ). I just wish I knew what to say to show them that LBEH is REALLY the one thing worth donating to this year. Any advice? Thanks man! CC

Dude, I wish I had a silver bullet answer for you, I really do. When I first started LBEH I used to spend a great deal of energy combatting the It's-Got-To-Be-Some-Sort-Of-Scam people, and I eventually gave up. I can put up news articles, and news clips and press releases, and thank-you notes, and tax returns, and IRS notices until my fucking face turns blue. In the end, people are either going to accept who we are and what we do, or they're not. But perhaps what really makes me shake my head is these same people will have no problem donating to another military charity with a more recognizable name, even though they keep between 42% and 66% of their donations for themselves. In the end, eh, I suppose just so long as do some reaearch and then actually donate to a reputable veteran's charity, that's all anyone can ask for.

So that's it. That's my schpeel. I tried to get everyone fired up with the collection of military welcome-home videos yesterday, and today, I slip the leash off you rabid son's'a'bitches! That's right fuckers: it's time to kick off Let's Bring Em Home!

Ernie, As always, I love the site. I was looking through the USMC Snopes page...saw this story. Did a little looking on Facebook and found the douche who got away with a simple fine after keying the Marine's car and cursing him out....so I sent him a message simply wishing him a happy USMC birthday. Maybe some others would like to do so (for Veteran's Day) as well! Be safe! Chunk

Our dog, Brody, a rescued pound puppy mix bread LOVES flying. He's been a priceless member of the family for over 5 year. Flying is a big part of who we are as a family and we're so lucky to have a dog as passionate as we are about it. - 801pilot

For the past 71 years the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota has been a huge gathering point for biker culture. And of course wherever there's a bunch of guys with motorcycles (along with a massive half million people strong party), there's going to be lots of hot, half naked women. Here are some of my favorites from the 72nd Sturgis Rally held this past summer.

Though born in Maryland in 1976, Anna Faris grew up in Washington near Seattle. She began acting while still in the single digits, participating in the Seattle Repertory Theater. As a college student, Anna majored in English Literature at the University of Washington. Anna's comic turn in the 2000 spoof "Scary Movie" established the normally reserved blonde as a rising comic performer. "Scary Movie 2," "The Hot Chick," "Winter Break," her over the top turn as the movie star in "What's My Number," and "Scary Movie 3" all showcased Anna's ability for comedy. Still, Anna has also chaptered her career with more serious fare. "Brokeback Mountain" and a horror films like "May" and "Lovers Lane" suggest that Anna may not always be content with hamming it up. At least for the next few years, Anna will be continuing to forge the comedic path that made her famous and got her to where she is today, but it's only a matter of time before she embraces the challenge of donning riskier roles.

Confucius was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period. The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. These values gained prominence in China over other doctrines, such as Legalism or Taoism during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 220). Confucius' principles had a basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong familial loyalty, ancestor worship, respect of elders by their children, and the family as a basis for an ideal government. Confucius' thoughts have been developed into a system of philosophy known as Confucianism. He expressed the well-known principle, "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself", one of the earlier versions of the Golden Rule.

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