Sunday, April 21, 2013

Veterans Courts Successful: With Your Help


Comedian George Carlin said the above in 1990 as part of a much longer routine, Euphemisms, on how we have taken the humanity out of words to make them sound softer and with less importance.

While I do not fully agree his assessment of the Vietnam war as “lies and deceits surrounding that war,” he does make a valid argument on Veterans in the past not having the help they would need in dealing with the horrors they might have been subjected to when they try to return to their previous lives.

As explained before, PTSD is very real and fortunately not every Veteran is afflicted with it. Of those that are, most have found the fortitude to face it and seek help offered. But as with virtually everything, some, only a few, either do not recognize they may have it or attempt to deal with it on their own for any variety of reasons.

All too often, those few turn to alcohol or drugs that only compounds the problems they are dealing with and all too often, lands them in legal trouble, facing a jail or prison term for DUI’s or domestic violence mostly.

In the past those few were treated like every day criminals and just locked up with no regard for the what or the why of their problems, completely ignoring how the very war society sent them too created their troubles. In turn, this treatment not only compounded their problem, it all too often resulted in homelessness or worse, suicide.

Whether or not we agreed with or disapproved of their being sent off to war, we as a society did send them into harm’s way and subjected them to the horrors and brutality of war. As a society we owe them much, not the least of which is assistance in dealing with the very demons we gave them.

Recognizing the failure of society in helping those Veterans, a Judge from Buffalo, New York, Judge Robert Russell, who was instrumental in creating that cities drug and mental health treatment court, created the “nation’s first veterans treatment court” where instead of jail time for minor infractions of the law, “the veterans [are] required to get mental health or addiction counseling, find jobs, stay clean and sober and get their lives back on track.”

Through a program of mentoring by other Veterans and directing the Veteran to the Veterans Healthcare facilities, treatment they either did not know about or were hesitant to seek, taxpayers are saved thousands of dollars from their incarceration and the Veteran receives the needed care, helping them to get their lives back in order, become productive members of society again and prevent a future suicides.

As news of Judge Russell’s successful efforts spread, we began seeing similar programs appear in cities across America. Results seen in community after community have shown a high success rate.

In Minnesota the Hennepin County Veterans Court is seeing “83 percent committed fewer offenses after six months in the program as compared with the six months before entering.” Of that success rate, Hennepin County Court Administrator Mark Thompson says, “This is a particularly troubled population when they come through the door. My guess is 75 percent would reoffend within a year, so 83 percent not reoffending is an amazing statistic.”

In a short term study, Montgomery County Pennsylvania concludes “A recent 2011 study by Widener University School of Law concluded that the recidivism rates of veterans treatment courts is similar or possibly lower than other specialty courts. Research on other specialty courts (drug, mental health, and DWI) has shown their effectiveness in reducing future criminal behavior.”

Down in San Diego, California, Superior Court Judge Roger W. Krauel, a Vietnam veteran who presides over the court signed a report concluding, “The veterans treatment court model that we use here in San Diego is a good tool. It costs less than incarceration and works better than incarceration. To date we have saved over $2.1 million dollars in jail costs. We’re changing lives and keeping a community very safe,” as expressed by Jude Litzenberger, the court’s coordinator.

Study after study shows the success of Veterans Courts. Even here in Clark County Washington, similar successes have been shown in past posts on this blog promoting fundraisers for our Veterans Court.

District Court Judge Darvin Zimmerman, founding presiding Judge of the Clark County Veterans Court said, “The Vets Court has had approximately 35 Veterans enter since its start in March of 2011. It has the highest graduation rate of any specialty court in Clark County. More than double most other courts as the Veterans really want to succeed. From a taxpayers viewpoint it is a great deal as the VA has the space and time to do all the treatment for the Vets and therefore the average of $6000.00 set aside for treatment costs in the other courts is not necessary. So one way of looking at it is we save the county $60,000 for every 10 Vets that we treat in Vets Court. Plus by treating the Vets as opposed to incarcerating them at $76 a day is a savings too.”

The Clark County Veterans Court was started with a federal grant that is soon expiring and is not taxpayer supported. It remains in operation due to generous contributions from Clark County citizens and those fund raisers this blog and others have promoted.

April 27, 2013, just next week will see another star studded event at the Luepke Center, featuring such local entertainment as Ricky Lee Jackson and Shawna Quade, a top 20 Elvis Tribute Artist, Marc Stevenz and several more.

For an admission price of just $15, you will receive some of the best entertainment in Clark County and be treated to beverages and gourmet desserts provided by Goldies BBQ at no extra cost to you. In addition there will be Hawaiian style BBQ available for purchase along with some Hawaiian entertainment.

But more importantly, you will be helping to fund a very successful program assisting Veterans in need as they regain the lives they had before we sent them off to war.

To be candid, April 27 looks like it is going to be a very busy day in our community as several events are also planned on that day. With the Luepke Event scheduled for two shows, a Matinee Concert from 2 to 4:30 pm and an Evening Concert from 5 to 7:30 pm, you can easily do both in the same day without interfering with other fundraisers you may desire to attend.

But as said above, the important thing is that you will be helping those Veterans in need when they need and deserve our help the most.

Unfounded Opposition

Mark Silverstein, legal director of the Colorado ACLU once opined, “Should the criminal justice system take into account PTSD when it arises from military service but disregard it when it stems from different but nevertheless horrific life experiences?”

In this Veterans mind, yes. PTSD arising from the horrors of war is different than many other cases since we as a society put those Veterans where they would be subjected to such hardships. Unlike other cases of PTSD, as a society we have been very slow in recognizing the harm we have caused these men & women who voluntarily place themselves between us and our enemies that wish to destroy our way of life.

Society has long offered victims programs and counseling to others who may suffer a traumatic event, even to the extent of sending counselors into an area for their assistance.

Veterans, on the other hand, have been required to seek it out on their own or struggle with their demons by themselves. Veterans Courts recognizes their need and pushes them towards the treatment needed by those few, hopefully before they become violent or are driven to suicide.

I hope you agree that these men & women deserve a second chance and that you will take time out of your busy day next week to come to Luepke Center and offer your support to our Veterans Court.

You can obtain your tickets at Beacock Music, Music World, Young Art, HairBlenders Salon, Goldies BBQ or you can order then online at www.ClarkCountyVetsCourtBoard.org.

Come on out and show the community that you care about our Veterans.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Terror Revisits America UPDATED

Once again Americans were taken by surprise as bombs exploded at the finish of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring hundreds, to include catastrophic amputations of several.

As we have gotten all too accustomed to today, speculation immediately focused on unknown conservatives, creating false links to “right-wingers” and “Tea Party” to smear conservatives in America as leftwingers continues their assault on traditional minded Americans.

Late Thursday and early Friday morning the smoke began to clear as we heard of a raging gun battle occurring in Massachusetts where two individuals seen walking through the crowd at the marathon were acting suspiciously and appeared to leave backpacks in the vicinity of the explosions were located.

One was killed in that gun battle and the younger brother is the effort of an intense city wide manhunt as I write this.

Who are these two brothers suspected of being the bombers?

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, refugees from the fighting in Chechnya, Russia who came to our shores over a decade ago. We’re told Tamerlan, who died in the gun battle after throwing a pressure cooker bomb at Police, “was a southpaw heavyweight boxer who represented New England in the National Golden Gloves and talked about competing on behalf of the United States.”

His 19 year old brother, Dzhokhar is said to be “a skateboarder who listened to rap and seemed easygoing to other kids in his Cambridge, Mass. Neighborhood and is now being sought by Police.

Neither appears to be a conservative or tea partier or right-wingers at all. All we hear so far is both are Naturalized Citizens and devout Muslims.

Little else is known just yet, but it is obvious that the media’s effort to smear conservative Americans was intentional as well as grossly erroneous.

One Aunt demands to see evidence that they are connected. Killing a Police Officer, engaging in a firefight with Police to include throwing a pressure cooker bomb at them after carjacking a car, ramming Police vehicles trying to escape and the discovery of bomb making materials in their residence would be strong evidence to me.

An uncle tells Dzhokhar to turn himself in, ask forgiveness of the people and accept his medicine. He adds the family will not offer forgiveness as they have brought shame to the Chechnyan community and the family.

Their father in Russia, obviously mourning the loss of one son, warns retribution of his younger son is killed.

As can be expected, the same lamestream media that was quick to speculate on motive when they were trying to tie the bombing to conservatives now can’t seem to speculate on any motive seeing the two suspects are Muslim.

Let me be clear here, unlike others I do not affix blame to all Muslims any more than I would affix blame on all Christians for the actions of the Ku Klux Klan years ago.

But as Christians in America are increasingly under fire for their beliefs we see Muslims being treated kindly and with kid gloves, even though the current trouble makers continue to come out of their midst.

Whether or not they are members of an organized group like Al Qaeda is also unknown at this time. We do see where they appear sympathetic towards Al Qaeda, though.

While the media has temporarily ceased their speculative assault on conservatives, other agenda driven liberals have not.

Their speculation has ranged from it being tax day retaliation to showing the need to repeal the second amendment. Republicans have been blamed because they have not blindly given Barack Obama carte blanche to continue raising spending by Trillions more every year.

Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank accuses cutting taxes on middle class Americans saying, “No tax cut would have helped us deal with this.”

Even some Republicans have lent their voice to the ongoing discussion as immigration reform is brought up with efforts to weaken our immigration policies defended.

We even now see Secretary of State John F’in Kerry, who is said to have served in Vietnam saying, “For this entire week, we’ve been in a direct confrontation with evil,” adding “President Obama has made this a critical component of his foreign policy, and obviously this just emphasizes that.”

How nice that he finally notices.

If you will recall, after the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and especially during his failed 2004 run for the Presidency, it was Kerry objecting to labeling those we were looking for as “evil,” and advocating more “diplomacy” over Military action.

It was they who objected to President Bush’s effort to seek out and kill terrorists or subject them to intense interrogation to draw much needed information out of them.

It was they who called for heads to roll when troops were accused of “torture” that amounted to little more than a college prank, or when Troops were accused of “cold blooded murder” by members of Congress.

They got their wish and obtained complete political control of America.

Nancy Pelosi proclaimed “Real Security for America” in her takeover as House Speaker.

Obama promised “hope & change” and a “transformation of America.”

What we have received is higher unemployment, more division, less security and now, another terrorist act on our soil.

And their goal remains to continue efforts to disarm or make it more difficult for law-abiding Americans to obtain a legal firearm to defend themselves against such acts by people like these two brothers.

We can do better, we must do better.

UPDATE:

Second suspect in custody, unknown injuries

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Who Needs to Get a Life, Hanoi Jane?

Jane Fonda, aka 'Hanoi' Jane Fonda for her treasonous exploits offering aid and comfort to our enemy at a time we had Troops in harm's way doesn't seem to like that so many Vietnam Vets still despise her. Part of why was stated in Hanoi Jane, It Wasn’t a ‘Mistake,’ It Was Treason

She clings to the canard that all she did wrong was succumb to the moment, posing for a very inflammatory set of photos of her sitting at an anti-aircraft gun. The below video should explain why her actions are considered "treasonous" by us and that it goes much further than those photos.


She expressed "regret" for the photo, but stands by her other actions and today, claims, "I have never done anything to hurt my country or the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for us."

And now, she says that we need to "get a life?"

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Hanoi Jane, It Wasn’t a ‘Mistake,’ It Was Treason

TREASON: The betrayal of one’s own country by waging war against it or by consciously or purposely acting to aid its enemies.

Hanoi Jane Fonda is at it again. She just can’t shut up and fade away to the cesspool of herself. And as expected, being a leftist loon, she plays the victim over her treasonous activities long ago during the Vietnam War.

In her latest rant she cries, “I Will Go to My Grave with Unforgivable Mistake,” the “mistake” being the infamous photo of her sitting at an enemy anti-aircraft gun in North Vietnam taken during her 1972 visit to the communist nation while our Troops were engaged in war against the Communist North Vietnamese.

The rest of the treasonous actions she committed over several years, she fully stands by noted in a previous outburst where she whined,
“Bottom line, this has gone on far too long, this spreading of lies about me! None of it is true. NONE OF IT! I love my country. I have never done anything to hurt my country or the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for us. I do not understand what the far right stands to gain by continuing with these myths.”

Bleating on the Oprah Winfrey Network she now says,
“I made one unforgivable mistake when I was in North Vietnam, and I will go to my grave with this,” and that she “knew immediately that she had made a mistake and has apologized repeatedly, both privately and publicly.”

Those of us who fought in Vietnam seem to have a different view of her conduct as well as her pitiful attempts to excuse herself that she falsely labels “apologies,” as expressed in a CBS News Column from September 22, 2009: Fonda’s Pseudo-Apology.

Author Dexter Lehtinen says in his column,
“‘Hanoi Jane’ expresses ‘regret’ for one thing -- being photographed with an anti-aircraft gun. ‘I do not regret that I went. My only regret about the trip was that I was photographed in a North Vietnamese antiaircraft gun site.’ Fonda amplifies: ‘That two minute lapse of sanity will haunt me until I die.’ She is ‘innocent of what the photo implies,’ but ‘the photo exists, delivering its message, regardless of what I was really doing or feeling.’ She makes it abundantly clear, without apology or regret, that what she was ‘really doing’ was aiding the Communist enemy (who ‘touch our hearts’), and that what she was ‘really feeling’ was that U.S. aviators were war criminals.”

Her efforts at focusing attention solely on that one photo falls flat, though, considering she freely made numerous radio broadcasts from North Vietnam, accusing U.S. Solders and Pilots of being War Criminals, gleefully boasted to UC Berkeley students of 34 American B-52s being shot down with complete disregard for the fate of the American crewmembers and once said to students at the University of Michigan in 1970, “If you understood what Communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that one day we would become Communist.”

About 1999, someone began circulating and email that blended fact & fiction on her activities in an effort, I believe, to discredit the truth of what she did do during Vietnam.

Even left-leaning Snopes.com in discrediting the email admitted, before heavily editing,
“But she didn’t go to North Vietnam to try to bring about peace, or to reconcile the two warring sides, or to stop American boys from being killed — she went there as an active show of support for the North Vietnamese cause. She lauded the North Vietnamese military, she denounced American soldiers as ‘war criminals’ and urged them to stop fighting, she lobbied to cut off all American economic aid to the South Vietnamese government (even after the Paris Peace Accords had ended U.S. military involvement in Vietnam), she publicly thanked the Soviets for providing assistance to the North Vietnamese, and she branded tortured American POWs as liars possessed of overactive imaginations.”

My thoughts on this were reinforced years later with the release of the book The “Myth” of Hanoi Jane Fonda.

A 2004 interview with CNN’s Paula Zahn saw her respond to a question on how we Vietnam Veterans view her and her phony apologies on whether or not she’ll ever be able to satisfy us,
“No. There’s a lot of people who – who – it’s a cottage industry to hate me. And if they – if they stop, that might mean that they’d have to look at some things that would question their own identity. And that’s – it’s very hard for people to do.”

Yes, it seems especially hard for a rich liberal as Hanoi Jane Fonda to stop and look back at what she did as she tries to deflect her actions to a lone photograph.

And earlier bogus apology came in 1988 as she faced scorn from Vietnam Veterans protesting her making a movie in a certain locality. She appeared on Barbara Walters expressing, “there were times I was thoughtless and careless.” She also lamented, “It was preposterous that I described myself as a revolutionary woman. I didn’t even know what that meant.”

Jane Fonda was in her mid-30’s when she made that visit, hardly an impressionable youth.

Also, once all American Troops were withdrawn in 1973, her efforts continued by advocating cutting off support for the struggling South Vietnamese and for them to be conquered by oppressive Communism.

The outcome of that as far as how many formerly free South Vietnamese people died in reeducation camps or perished in the South China Sea escaping the brutality of Communism may never be fully know, but it amounts to millions of people.

While many Vietnam Veterans returned to a nation despising us, either by physical confrontation or in the many movies, books and TV shows depicting Vietnam Veterans as “deranged,” thanks in part to her very vocal activities before and after the trip, she went on to create vast fortune for herself, abandoning the very Communist ideals she advocated others be subjected to.

And now all she can do is cry about a single photograph?

Ms. Fonda, that photograph is the least of your treasonous activities you were never prosecuted for, as you should have been.

Rot in hell, Bitch.