[MV] Some interesting correspondence from the MVPA

JOHN SEIDTS (john@astory.com)
Fri, 22 Oct 1999 21:21:36 -0400

My webmaster saw that our website was not listed on the links page of the
MVPA. He emailed the address given on the links page soliciting suggestions
for links. The following is the exchange as received. (some commentary

----- Original Message -----
From: Jerry Cleveland <zephyr@qadas.com>
To: Steven Reese <steve@astory.com>; Kay Willard-Hinga <mvpa@aol.com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 1999 9:19 AM
Subject: Re: suggested web link

> Steven Reese wrote:
> >My name is Steven Reese. I run a company that restores military
> >and I have very many parts for others who are restoring vehicles.
> >
> >Would you please list my site, http://www.astory.com on your list of
> -----
> Dear Mr. Reese;
> We elected to drop The American Story, Inc. from our list of Internet
> links because of public remarks by your associate, John Seidts.
> Among other things, his statements included: "The MVPA has had a long
> standing tradition of problems or 'trouble at the top,' which have left
> it little more than an old men's marching and chowder club with a very
> elitist method of approaching its membership," and "I don't know how long
> you've been in the MVPA, but the old MVCC was like this back in the
> 1980's. It was bad news then, and is bad news today."
> Additionally, even though MVPA ONLINE carried a link to The American
> Story from 11/97 to 8/99, The American Story never reciprocated with a
> link back to MVPA ONLINE.
> As I am no longer associated with MVPA ONLINE, you may want to take this
> matter up with the MVPA National Office.
> Sincerely,
> Jerry Cleveland
> Boulder, Colorado
> "Member, Old Men's Marching and Chowder Club"

Just thought that the list might want to know about this. I was glad to
have the link from the MVPA page- I am sure that it brought some business,
and am sad that it is not there anymore. But I am most sad that my comments
(which I will admit could have been less acerbic), were not addressed
directly by any of the officials of the MVPA, and the company link was just
unceremoniously shoved off of their website.

On further reflection about this, I am getting more and more steamed. It
could be argued that this organization is acting against its declared
practices "dedicated to the collection, preservation, and restoration of
historic military vehicles." The site is dedicated to this end, and
excluding The American Story from links on the site is certainly not being
dedicated to the established principles of the organization. This then
brings to question what the actual goals of the organization are.
It is also ethically questionable for a tax exempt organization to engage
in this type of behavior.

I spent twelve years in the military, ten of them in a special operations
unit. I risked my life many times in the execution of my duties, which
involved an oath to uphold The Constitution of the United States. I feel
that I have earned my rights (which by the way, supposedly are inalienable,
not earned) to express myself in a public forum without fear of any type of
public or private retribution directed against my expression. Any
organization which surrounds itself with a culture of this prejudice and
arbitrary exercise of suppression of free thought is not going to be an
effective public organ for furthering the hobby which many of us hold dear,
the private ownership of military vehicles. This is because there is much
prejudice against us, due to lack of public knowledge, and probably a little
suppression of the real facts surrounding the peaceful and positive
purposeful use of the historic military vehicle by private owners.

I'll quote Jerry Cleveland's message again. I don't know him, by the way.
I have heard his name mentioned at meets, but have never met him personally.

We elected to drop The American Story, Inc. from our list of Internet
> links because of public remarks by your associate, John Seidts.

I am very sad that this has happened. But I guess I should have expected
it, knowing of Jim Gilmore's trials.

Anybody for starting a new organization?


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