Monday, January 28, 2008
Last VFW In St. Paul To Close
For St. Paul's last VFW hall, it's closing time.
On one recent afternoon, 84-year-old Gordon Kirk, commander of VFW Post 8854, was the only veteran in the place.
Minnesota is losing about six VFW posts a year and now has 268 - down by one-third from the peak.
The exceptions are VFW clubs that successfully recruit veterans of Vietnam and the Middle East conflicts, and the American Legion posts.
"The recent smoking ban hurt the [VFW] clubs, as did changing attitudes about drinking."
The closing of the last St. Paul VFW hall upsets Zenus Bell, who has volunteered to work in the post kitchen up to 20 hours a week for the past 10 years.
"There are some old men who come here, and this is all they have," said Bell, wiping a counter-top.
[Bell said], "These men deserve more. They get no grants, no nothing. They fight for their country and they have nothing?"
We can only look at the closing of VFW Clubs as being another victim of the militant non-smoking crowd. A victim of the Jeanne Weigums, the Brittany McFaddens and the Maureen Busalacchis of the world. Along with militant non-smokers, the holier-than-thou teetotalers of MADD are also to blame. (Read about how MADD has abandoned its original goal and has become the "neo-prohibitionist" movement).
The militant non-smokers told us they would go out more often, they would patronize bars and restaurants, nightclubs and taverns - and maybe even a trip to the local VFW Club - if only these places were all mandatorily non-smoking. Yet every week we read of another private property owner of a bar or restaurant going out of business due to a lack of customer base.
When the threshold of operating a motor vehicle under any influence of alcohol is basically reduced to zero with "buzzed driving is drunk diving", well...who's going out for dinner and drink? No one. Or considerably less people. And we see the result with businesses closing their doors.
Now, the zealotry of the militant non-smokers is closing what , for some, is their only place for social gathering; the VFW Clubs.
The "Anti-Everything Crowd" must be sitting alone at home, in the dark, pleased that their anti-social behavior is having such devastating effects on private property and private businesses of which they never set foot in.
Smoke Out Gary
Labels: No Smoking
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