Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wounded Warrior Project May 2015 Giveaway Winners

Here we go (winners brought to you by Random.org when appropriate):

a) EDC Kit #1: chosen at random.

--James Chapter Knife, Storm Trooper Colorway (courtesy of the blog)
--Prometheus Beta QR v2 (Scout Leather Polished Brass Edition)(courtesy of Prometheus)
--RC Fibers D15 Wallet and CF Clip (courtesy of RC Fibers)
--TT Keeper OPMT (courtesy of TT PockeTTools)
--Karas Kustoms Ink (courtesy of Karas Kustoms)
--Mini Mechanics chest EDC storage (courtesy of the blog)



WINNER: Ryan Morris


b) EDC Kit #2: chosen at random.  Kit #2 includes:

--Zero Tolerance ZT770CF (courtesy of www.knivesshipfree.com)
--Malkoff MDC (courtesy of the blog)
--Bellroy  Elements Pocket (courtesy of Bellroy)
--Prometheus EKO OMPT (courtesy of Prometheus)


WINNER: Adam Sullivan


c) Big Heart, awarded to the person with the single largest donation:
--One of a kind, Smock Knives modded Boker Kwaiken with Dietz Flipper (courtesy of the blog)
 
WINNER: John Bengino (who not only gave a lot, but also used the Price is Right Trick--you clever bastard you).
 
d) Big Heart, runner up 
 
--Customized Emerson Mini CQC7 (courtesy of Attorney Adrian)
 
WINNER: Duane Kuykendall
 
e) Big Heart, second runner up
 
--CRKT No Time Off (courtesy of CRKT)
 
WINNER: Matt Distefano
 
Weekly Big Giver:
 
Week 1: Kershaw Amplitude: John Bengino
Week 2: Spyderco Cat: Gary Morrison
Week 3: Lynch Paramilitary Upgrade Kit: Duane Kuykendall

Vet: 
 
--Zero Tolerance ZT0562 (courtesy of Knives Ship Free)
--Arno Bernard Bush Baby (courtesy of Knives Ship Free)
 
WINNER: Emily Domeyer (technically Jacob Domeyer on behalf of his wife Emily who is currently in the Middle East).  I will pay for shipping to wherever Emily is stationed.
 
Cheap Skate: 
 
--Buck Mini Spitfire
 
WINNER: Daniel Van Natta

So there you have it, all of the winners.  By the way here is some of the data:

We had 27 entries.  The quite a few gave $100 or more--5 to be precise.  The total raised was $1141, making the average donation around $42...pretty fucking amazing.  We have raised almost $3,000 thus far--$1800 plus $1141.  And if you didn't win anything you still won because you helped those that keep us safe.  And be ready for next time.  I have something HUGE planned.   

All of these folks please contact me and send your addresses.  Email is everydaycommentary at gmail dot com (in the usual format).  I'd like to mail out everything at once, probably on Friday or Saturday, so don't delay.  

One last piece of WWP Giveaway business--why I still support WWP.  

So a reader sent me a link to this post over at ITS as to why they no longer support the WWP.  I myself have had issues with the WWP (see below), but I continue to run the giveaways to support this charity because, as of 2015, there is no charity that does more for veterans than they do.  It is a purely utilitarian calculus--they are the biggest, they have the most resources, they have the most money.  They may not be the best run and they certainly could do better, but if I waited for the perfect charity, I'd be waiting forever.

That said I want your input.  What other charity should I support with the giveaways (don't bother with pet or animal charities...they'll get my attention when all of the people problems are solved)?

For your benefit here is the ITS post and my responses to the reader who sent me the link:

I did some further digging and here is what I found with regard to ITS objections to the WWP:

1.  The CEO is paid too much.

Based on reviews on Charity Navigator, he is paid quite a bit, but not that much more, on either a percentage basis or in real terms, compared to CEOs at similarly sized charities.  I guess this means that it takes money to make money. 

On a personal note I have been involved with a few charities--fund raising, boards, and strategic plans and I can tell you that the successful ones are the ones that have charismatic or well-connected CEOs.  Those that don't do very poorly in fundraising.  My Dad runs a charity for a living, his second job after leaving the Air Force, and while he makes nothing like what the CEO for WWP does, he works hard and earns his money.  Finding hard working, charismatic, and well-connected people doesn't come cheap.

As far as this is concerned, I am okay with the CEO's pay.

2.  Too much of the money goes to overhead.

The percentage of money that goes to the cause is around 58%.  ITS highlights other vet charities that do much better, but its not really comparing apples to apples.  ITS's vet charities are tiny compared to WWP.  After digging through the numbers on Charity Navigator I found that almost all large charities, say those with revenue over $200,000,000 have more overhead, as a percentage of their total operating budget, than small charities.  The Smithsonian has 70% going to the cause and the Nature Conservancy has about the same.  Both are much larger than WWP and both can off set normal charity revenue streams with government aid.  In fact, all of the big charities, American Red Cross, St. Judes, the Jimmy Fund, Smithsonian, and NC all get direct or indirect government aid.  That money is basically free, from a charity's perspective, and requires little or no overhead, maybe one or two people to do grant writing.  Without that revenue stream, charities as big as WWP, have similarly sized overhead expenses percentages.

3.  WWP is suing small charities.

ITS specious legal analysis aside, this is one thing that really irks me.  This is some seriously petty shit, but it is not out of line with the stupid thinking I encountered when I dealt with WWP directly.  I contacted WWP when I originally started the giveaways and they were not helpful.  They wanted me to pay $750 to them so they could "advertise" the giveaway on their site and send me a packet of stickers and the like.  I explained to them what I was planning on doing and how that much money would eat away all of the profits and after some back and forth, they gave me their blessing but told me I wouldn't get any visibility or their "fundraiser" packet.  I said okay and I have  been doing the giveaway ever since.  They operate like jerks, but, and this is a big off set for me, my vet buddy that inspired the giveaway, they did real good for him and his family, good I saw firsthand.  In that way I take their behavior like the arrogant surgeon who saved my life--you can be a jerk if you get the job done well.  Still this one bothers me, though.

4.  The Gun Thing

I am a supporter of the Second Amendment.  Unlike quite a few people that are, I have actually tested and used the Second Amendment in legal proceedings on a few occasions.   The Second Amendment is important to my clients and it is important to me.  But I know there are people that have different points of view on this issue and I am not going to base my associations or affiliations on where folks, or charities, stand on guns, abortion, religion, vaccines, school testing, or any political hot button issue.  


Frankly, politicians and special interests love these issues.  Politicians and special interests stoke the fires and keep the fights going because it means money and votes.  If folks want to be part of that, that's fine, but I refuse to be so crassly treated by those in power.  In the end I can get along with someone that has diametrically opposing political views, so long as that person is a decent person, because: 1) I realize that these "fundamental" issues are manufactured by elected officials and lobbying groups; 2) they are, generally speaking, historical accidents (in the 60s the NRA was supportive of gun control measures sponsored by Ronald Reagan after Black Panthers brought guns into the California legislature--positions on these so-called fundamental issues change as political expediency dictates); and 3) many of these issue don't relate to what makes a person or group good--I know lots of folks that hate guns that are decent people and I know a lot of folks that love guns that are decent people.  WWP position on taking money from firearms companies is fine with me so long as they help vets out and as I indicated before, I saw that help firsthand.  

In the end, the choice of WWP comes down to this--they are the single largest vet charity in the US.  They aren't perfect, they aren't even the best charity, but giving money to them helps the highest impact charity for vets.  I wish they were better, but waiting for perfect is always a problem.  ITS disagrees and he has reasons for doing so.  But for me, when I can direct my money some place, I want it to go where it will have the most impact. 






Now that the giveaway is over, toss out some suggestions for a replacement charity and I will do the due diligence on them. 
 

12 comments:

  1. Great GAW Tony! Can't wait to see what you have in store for the next one!

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  2. People who want gun control want it because guns are used to kill people. In the US, lots, and lots of people. We think there should be something done to curtail this level of violence that is unparalleled in every other western nation.

    People who don't want gun control don't want it because... why? Seriously, why? There are ten million types of guns that are available to you, that would all still be totally legal and completely reasonable with common sense gun control laws. Why the hell do you need rifles that will shoot through the side of a tank? Why the hell do you need bullets that turn the inside of a human body into a bag of hamburger? Why the hell do you need magazines that hold more rounds of ammunition than were put in Bonnie and Clyde? Why? Because freedom? Where does it stop? What about C4? How can we be sure the framers didn't think that easy and legal access to high explosive would be necessary for a "well armed and well regulated militia"? Why doesn't the NRA like the idea of poor black men having easy access to guns? Why is it that a white gun with an AR-15 strapped to his back can walk through an airport unmolested, but a 12 year old black kid with a BB gun is blown away within 30 seconds of an officer arriving on the scene?

    I could go on and on. The culture of guns in this country is inextricably bound with its socioeconomic, racial, and political history. You can't pretend these things don't matter. A "good person" that's a member of the NRA is still a person that is directly funding a group that wants to make it easier for more Auroras, more Newtowns.

    Tony, you're from Massachusetts. The numbers are right there on the side of Fenway Park. Over 70,000 kids under the age of 18 dead by guns since Newtown. What does it take?

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    1. A constitutional amendment.

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    2. Oh boy, this might start a very heated discussion thread, so I'll try to get my level-headed answer in before the chaos ensues.

      Before I proceed, please note that I am not trying to preach an anti- or pro- gun control stance. The truth is, my opinion on this issue is ever-shifting and my thoughts on politics are much like Tony's - I like to have an informed opinion on political issues, but I try to remain aware that these issues are mostly manufactured and that a person on the opposite end of the spectrum on an issue from me can still be a close friend (and, even though we have different views on certain issues, those opposing views can both come from informed places).

      At one time, my stance on gun control would have been pretty close to yours. But after getting into knives and having candid, honest conversations with people who are into guns, my views have shifted. A lot of what you're saying actually doesn't have much to do with gun control - the racial/police issue you mention is real and complicated, and there is no way you narrow that issue down to a stance on gun control.

      When it comes to your thoughts on gun control itself - try replacing "gun" with "knife." Here's an example: "There are ten million types of knives that are available to you, that would all still be totally legal and completely reasonable with common sense knife control laws. Why the hell do you need 3.5 '' automatic pocket knives that will cut through steel?"

      I just want you to see that gun control can quickly become an arbitrary rabbit hole. What is more dangerous - the tiny hand gun that holds six rounds and can be sneaked into a crowded room, or the giant rifle that holds a 500 round magazine, can shoot through a tank, but can be seen being carried from a mile away? I don't know the answer to that question. They're both dangerous in the wrong hands. Does owning one of those make a person MORE likely to use it in a deadly way? I don't know. I can be convinced, but it better be with real data and not rhetoric.

      And gun control can get even more arbitrary and complicated than that extreme example. You can start comparing so-called "assault rifles" to "hunting rifles" that have very similar capacities and firing rates. "Gun control" would make one of those illegal, but not the other.

      So just be careful when you start saying things like "common sense gun control laws." That statement is WAY more complicated than it sounds. And it sounds like much of your stance is "some guns should be illegal, some shouldn't." REALLY think that one through. Just as $400 Hinderers are usually owned by knife hobbyists, the "more dangerous" guns you're talking about are almost always owned by gun hobbyists who, either admire it in their gun case, or take it to the range a few times a year.

      So does there seem to be some kind of gun violence problem in this country? Yeah, I think it would be hard to argue with that. Can it be solved by creating legislation to make some guns legal, and some illegal? I don't think that's a clear stance at all. Anyone who is pro- this time of gun control should be DEMANDING real data and reasoning to convince them this is the answer. Otherwise a lot of effort and conflict is going to go into creating arbitrary legislation.

      Again, honestly, I am not a gun person. I've never even fired one. But there is another side to this issue than the one you're presenting, and I think both sides have made strong enough arguments that the answer isn't as clear as we'd like it to be.

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    3. GOOD GOD I hate the grey on white reply style on this website.

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