A Very Public Humiliation

In the Covington story, the “New York Times”, the “Washington Post” and most of the rest of the news media were seduced by their own beliefs into publishing a false story. Like many others I have seen a meme, or story that I immediately knew was true, and then hit the “Share” button. In that instant both me, and more important, the media in the Covington case exposed our prejudices, our beliefs. Sometimes, we are correct. However, I have found that when it is truly perfect is when I must be most on my guard. Now the media have been taught that same hard lesson in a very public way.

It was fake news.

BTW as a Vietnam Vet that put up with all of the crap that we have received over the years I am particularly sensitive to those who now want to assume that mantle because it is now suddenly popular to be a Vietnam Veteran. The Native American in the story is not a Vietnam Veteran as the media uniformly said he was.

He was not a “recon ranger” in the Marine Corps as he said he was. The Marines do not have “rangers”, they call them “Raiders” and they are very particular about it. He was a refrigeration technician that went AWOL so often he did not receive an honorable discharge from the Marine Reserves.

We call that “stolen valor” and we consider the people that do it to be pond scum. Just talking to almost any Marine, or even doing the simple arithmetic of comparing his age to the time frame of the Vietnam War would have disclosed that what he said could not be true.

“Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” is a Latin phrase meaning “false in one thing, false in everything.” At common law, it is the legal principle that a witness who testifies falsely about one matter is not credible to testify about any matter.

The media had ample warning that there was a problem with this story, but they still blew it. To their credit some have now admitted it.
See: The Atlantic:

The Media Botched the Covington Catholic Story

 

My new book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive  is available on Amazon both as a paperback and on Kindle. Please give it a look. See; Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive 1968

Recent Reviews of Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive: “John Harrison does an eloquent job writing what it was like being in the infantry during the Vietnam war. I know, I was in the infantry in Vietnam. There is a statistic which states that only 1 out of 10 who served in Vietnam were in the infantry. All of us have been asked what that was like at one point since our return. It is an impossible question for most of us to answer in part much less in full. John Harrison manages to do this in his book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive. So, if you are inclined and wonder what it was like, or you want to tell someone else what you went through, buy this book. Show it to your friend. It tells that story. To, “LT” John Harrison- thank you Sir.Salute.”

“John Harrison’s book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive, is a series of short stories, told mostly in the first person, that weaves together the humor and violence that only a talented writer can accomplish. The result is a compelling book that is hard to put down. John’s words flow easily on the pages, making an easy read. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has been there and did that, or anyone wanting to know a personal record of one lucky Lieutenant in Vietnam and the people that made it possible for him to return home.
Dan Hertlein, helicopter mechanic with the 192nd AHC at LZ Betty 1968″

“John is the soldier speaking the truest story of Vietnam. I will confirm his action as I was in a different company same battalion, fighting the same battles.”

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Birthright Citizenship At Risk

President Trump has proposed doing away with birthright citizenship by executive order. While I disagree with this particular idea I must throw more than a little water on the intense fires that have greeted President Trump’s proposal to end birthright citizenship. Years ago I tried a case in the Virginia federal court in Alexandria and won a large verdict for a white employee at the District of Columbia’s Lorton Prison. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals immediately reversed the decision, holding that the purpose of the 14th Amendment was not to ensure equal protection of the law for everyone, rather it was solely for the purpose of eradicating the institution and residual effects of slavery and therefore its protections did not apply for Caucasian people like my client. My big judgement was gone forever.

On the same basis, a trial court could rule that the purpose of the 14th Amendment, with respect to American citizenship, related solely to over ruling the prior Dred Scott decision which had denied even freed slaves citizenship status, not to creating a new class of citizens.
 This would end birthright citizenship.

While I do not agree with this statement of the 14th Amendment’s purpose, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals did agree with this very limited view when it reversed my win in a similar case. The danger is there and it is real.

 

My new book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive  is available on Amazon both as a paperback and on Kindle. Please give it a look. See; Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive 1968

Recent Reviews of Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive:

“John Harrison does an eloquent job writing what it was like being in the infantry during the Vietnam war. I know, I was in the infantry in Vietnam. There is a statistic which states that only 1 out of 10 who served in Vietnam were in the infantry. All of us have been asked what that was like at one point since our return. It is an impossible question for most of us to answer in part much less in full. John Harrison manages to do this in his book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive. So, if you are inclined and wonder what it was like, or you want to tell someone else what you went through, buy this book. Show it to your friend. It tells that story. To, “LT” John Harrison- thank you Sir.Salute.”

“John Harrison’s book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive, is a series of short stories, told mostly in the first person, that weaves together the humor and violence that only a talented writer can accomplish. The result is a compelling book that is hard to put down. John’s words flow easily on the pages, making an easy read. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has been there and did that, or anyone wanting to know a personal record of one lucky Lieutenant in Vietnam and the people that made it possible for him to return home.
Dan Hertlein, helicopter mechanic with the 192nd AHC at LZ Betty 1968″

“John is the soldier speaking the truest story of Vietnam. I will confirm his action as I was in a different company same battalion, fighting the same battles.”

Kavanaugh Case Redux

The biggest problem I have with the Kavanaugh case is that most people are looking for arguments, not facts. An example from both sides:

Several news organizations have published articles asserting that Judge Kavanaugh “lied” or at least misrepresented the facts about the Maryland drinking age issue in his testimony.

Judge Kavanaugh said, “Yes, there were parties. And the drinking age was 18. And yes, the seniors were legal.”

He was not a “senior”. He did not say he was a “senior”. He did not say his drinking was legal. He said that there was beer at the parties and it was legal for the 18 year old seniors to drink it in 1982.

On 7/1/82 Md. raised its drinking age to 21, but grandfathered all of those that were 18 prior to 7/1/82. That is all of those who were already 18 on 7/1/82 could continue to drink legally thereafter.

Judge Kavanaugh was born on 2/12/65 therefore, as everyone agrees, he was was 17 in the summer of 1982. He was a rising junior at GP. However, he, like most of my classmates, turned 18 sometime in his junior year. All of the seniors, rising or otherwise, at GP who were 18 prior to 7/1/82 could drink beer legally the entire summer of 1985 and that would be probably all, or almost all of the GP seniors and the rising seniors as well. So, “the seniors were legal.” is correct.

So, all of the bloviating about Judge Kavanaugh “lying” about the drinking age etc., is either pure ignorance, or malevolence.

Several conservative sites have made much of Dr. Ford’s claim that one reason she did not want to come to DC was that she feared flying, and they pointed to her flights all over the globe to pursue her passions as evidence that she was not afraid to fly and thereby lied to the committee about it.

However, as any psychologist including Dr. Ford, would tell you, one does not preclude the other. While it may show that Dr. Ford’s passion for public service is less than her passion for oceanography, it does not indicate that she lied about her fear of flying. As with most of us, when it is important enough to us, we can overcome most of our fears.

So, all of the bloviating about Dr. Ford “lying” about her fear of flying etc., is either pure ignorance, or malevolence.

I suppose the only good thing is that most of these people do not read each other’s posts. I wish that more people were interested in finding out what happened rather than proving what they think probably happened.

I predict that when the FBI report comes out, everybody will hate it.

 

My new book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive  is available on Amazon both as a paperback and on Kindle. Please give it a look. See; Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive 1968

Recent Reviews of Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive: “John Harrison does an eloquent job writing what it was like being in the infantry during the Vietnam war. I know, I was in the infantry in Vietnam. There is a statistic which states that only 1 out of 10 who served in Vietnam were in the infantry. All of us have been asked what that was like at one point since our return. It is an impossible question for most of us to answer in part much less in full. John Harrison manages to do this in his book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive. So, if you are inclined and wonder what it was like, or you want to tell someone else what you went through, buy this book. Show it to your friend. It tells that story. To, “LT” John Harrison- thank you Sir.Salute.”

“John Harrison’s book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive, is a series of short stories, told mostly in the first person, that weaves together the humor and violence that only a talented writer can accomplish. The result is a compelling book that is hard to put down. John’s words flow easily on the pages, making an easy read. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has been there and did that, or anyone wanting to know a personal record of one lucky Lieutenant in Vietnam and the people that made it possible for him to return home.
Dan Hertlein, helicopter mechanic with the 192nd AHC at LZ Betty 1968″

“John is the soldier speaking the truest story of Vietnam. I will confirm his action as I was in a different company same battalion, fighting the same battles.”

Random thoughts, Kavanaugh hearing:

Random thoughts, Judge Kavanaugh hearing:

Dr. Ford grew up in River Falls subdivision, which is where I now live. It seems that members of her family may still live here. It is a great place to live.

I am watching CBS and must say that their coverage so far is mostly useless blathering. It is actually less than useless, some of it is miss leading.

The Republican examiner, Ms. Mitchell, is superb. It probably would have been better for everybody if she had been allowed to just conduct her cross examination without the constant interruptions. Dean Wigmore once said that that cross examination is the greatest engine for the discovery of truth ever invented by man. For example, she called the polygraph into question when she found out that Dr. Ford took it the same day, or the day after her grandmother was buried. Being under severe personal emotional distress at the time of the examination calls the validity of that polygraph into question. That does not mean that she was lying, only that the polygraph was no good. Stylishly done. Nobody at CBS has a clue of what Ms. Mitchell is doing.

Sen. Feinstein’s failure to properly do her job have made a fair process for both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh impossible. Had Sen. Feinstein not sat on Dr. Ford’s letter for almost two months, Dr. Ford’s allegations could have been fully investigated, and Dr. Ford could have remained anonymous. The FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh had not finished in July when Dr. Ford first contacted Sen. Feinstein’s office, because Judge Kavanaugh had not yet been nominated. Sen. Feinstein’s failures to act are inexcusable. It is important to note here that Sen. Feinstein also failed Dr. Ford. For her own political purposes Sen. Feinstein withheld from the committee the very information that Dr. Ford so desperately wanted the committee to hear.

This is all without considering the allegation that it was Sen. Feinstein, or her office, that leaked the existence of Dr. Ford’s letter to the public. However, it must have been Sen. Feinstein, or the Democratic Congresswoman that released Dr. Ford’s name since they were the only ones that knew what it was.

None of this relates to Dr. Ford, or her testimony. Simply stated, if Sen. Feinstein had done her job there would have been an FBI investigation. However, given the delay and lack of critical facts of the case, such an investigation is unlikely to show anything. It will always be a question of, who do you believe?

If you do not know the date that the event occurred, if you do not know the location of the alleged event, if everybody alleged to be there has denied being there except Dr. Ford, asking for an investigation is really asking for an investigation of nothing. There really is nothing to investigate except to interview Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. Even if Dr. Ford could get the date of Mark Judge’s employment in Potomac Village that would not give the date of the alleged assault. It would only provide the correct year.

Dr. Ford clearly seems to believe what she is saying. She is also clearly terrified. Exceptional witness. It is also clear that at least the timing of Dr. Ford’s testimony was purposefully manipulated by Sen. Feinstein and, contrary to Dr. Ford’s express wishes, that its content was withheld from the Committee for her partisan political purposes as well.

While some have tried to trivialize what is alleged to have occurred by Dr. Ford, if you change the sex of Dr. Ford to male, the conduct complained of would be classified as bullying. They forget that every year boys commit suicide after being bullied in a similar, if non sexual, manner. It is not trivial.

Sen. Kamala Harris statements, you cannot call them questions, are a damning indictment of Sen. Feinstein’s failure to act when she received Dr. Ford’s letter and sat on it.

Lindsey Graham’s political analysis was spot on. They were ambushed by Sen. Feinstein, all of them, Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, and the committee.

Kavanaugh’s opening statement was strong, but a little too emotional for me.

Thoughts:

There is not a scintilla, not an iota of evidence in support of Dr. Ford’s allegations except her own testimony. However, in such cases there usually is little evidence other than, he said—she said. Unfortunately for her, there is considerable evidence against Dr. Ford’s allegations. This too is largely her own evidence.

All of the people identified by Dr. Ford as witnesses have denied all of her factual allegations. That is important because at least one of them is still considered a friend by Dr. Ford and because it is extremely rare for there to be such a witness, that knows both parties but is not alleged to be involved in the sexual assault.

“When we get an allegation. . . you would want the FBI to investigate those claims.” said Sen. Feinstein. However, if the senator really believed that was true why did she sit on the charges for almost two months.

If Sen. Diane Feinstein had done her job, had done what she promised Dr. Ford she would do, there would already have been an FBI investigation of the charges.

If Dr. Ford had identified a calendar date, Judge Kavanaugh would at least have had an opportunity to prove that he was somewhere else on that date. Since proving a negative is impossible, this lapse of memory is very important.

If Dr. Ford had identified a place, Judge Kavanaugh would at least have had an opportunity to prove that he was somewhere else, or never there. It is at least passing strange to note that, from Dr. Ford’s testimony, there was no one at this party that lived in the house where the party took place. That is even more unusual than the fact that no one else remembers the party at all.

None of the witnesses identified by Dr. Ford have supported her claims.

If Dr. Ford had gone to the Montgomery County Police, she could have, and still could. swear out a criminal complaint against Judge Kavanaugh because there is no statute of limitations on most sexual assaults in Maryland, but she has chosen not to. In any event as a former Special Assistant State’s Attorney that never worked in sex crimes, I would normally doubt that there was sufficient information available for there to be a criminal investigation—except that two people have come forward and said that they did it. One of them has been described as a “lunatic”, but there is a lot of that going around. So, somebody could be charged I suppose.

This kangaroo court presented on TV today was mostly created by Sen. Feinstein’s failure to do what she clearly should have done. She should have disclosed the charge to the entire committee immediately, but withheld Dr. Ford’s name. She did not have to disclose the name of Dr. Ford to anyone but the investigators. That is what Dr. Ford clearly wanted Sen. Feinstein to do. By saving the charge for her own political purposes Sen. Feinstein did exactly the opposite of what Dr. Ford wanted, and exactly the opposite of what a person in her position should have done.

If you believe what has been said about Judge Kavanaugh then you must believe that he was a monster, but only for part of one afternoon, when he was 17 and drunk, and that he never did anything like again, except for a few gang rapes he set up for his high school friends that also were never reported. What we actually have is an uncorroborated, unsubstantiated, in fact a completely rejected claim from one person from his high school years that was not properly investigated solely because Sen. Feinstein preferred setting up a political ambush to doing her job.

It is no wonder why people do not report sexual assaults. Dr. Ford was hung out to dry, by the very people she thought were helping her.

It is no wonder that many good people avoid public service. An entire lifetime of good work was besmirched for political gamesmanship, and a serious criminal charge probably will now never be investigated. If Judge Kavanaugh’s reputation can be salvaged at all from this mess it will be due to Ms. Mitchell’s excellent examination which disclosed how shabbily Dr. Ford was treated by Sen.Feinstein, by Sen. Graham’s political analysis of what actually happened, by Dr. Ford’s truthfulness and finally by Judge Kavanaugh’s own records which showed an incredible involvement in academics and sports which rendered Dr. Ford’s and the other charges as at best as entirely unlikely to have been done by him.

I think he will be confirmed but I still have no idea whether he should be or not. This process is flawed.

 

My new book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive  is available on Amazon both as a paperback and on Kindle. Please give it a look. See; Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive 1968

Recent Reviews of Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive: “John Harrison does an eloquent job writing what it was like being in the infantry during the Vietnam war. I know, I was in the infantry in Vietnam. There is a statistic which states that only 1 out of 10 who served in Vietnam were in the infantry. All of us have been asked what that was like at one point since our return. It is an impossible question for most of us to answer in part much less in full. John Harrison manages to do this in his book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive. So, if you are inclined and wonder what it was like, or you want to tell someone else what you went through, buy this book. Show it to your friend. It tells that story. To, “LT” John Harrison- thank you Sir.Salute.”

“John Harrison’s book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive, is a series of short stories, told mostly in the first person, that weaves together the humor and violence that only a talented writer can accomplish. The result is a compelling book that is hard to put down. John’s words flow easily on the pages, making an easy read. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has been there and did that, or anyone wanting to know a personal record of one lucky Lieutenant in Vietnam and the people that made it possible for him to return home.
Dan Hertlein, helicopter mechanic with the 192nd AHC at LZ Betty 1968″

“John is the soldier speaking the truest story of Vietnam. I will confirm his action as I was in a different company same battalion, fighting the same battles.”

Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive

My book “Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive 1968” has received its 29th American review on Amazon. There are also reviews posted from Canada and Great Britain. All but two of the reviews are 5 star reviews, and the other two are 4 star reviews.

Fellow author, Harry Rothman (“Warriors and Fools”), has asked me to do a piece on what it was like to write and publish a book. This will be published on his blog and I have agreed. So, in looking back over the process I think that one of the things that helped me the most was several great early reviews on Amazon.

The best ones were those that said that the book “Steel Rain” had explained their Vietnam War experience in a way that these men, who had fought there, never could. These reviews were the best because right after they were posted, some people bought extra copies of “Steel Rain” for their children. I could literally see it in the hourly sales reports Amazon provides.

There are really not that many people that read any more even fewer that read about a 50 year old war that was at least very controversial in its day. So these good reviews are very important.

Almost equally important are the “Likes” the individual reviews generate. They are important because there are literally thousands of reviewers on Amazon that compete for getting the most “Likes” for their reviews. If they see a book generating a lot of “Likes” then they will buy a book and post a review in the hopes of getting some of those “Likes”. People follow these almost professional reviewers and they too may buy a book they have reviewed and recommended.

So, if you want to help a struggling author, me or anyone else. Look their book up on Amazon and if you see a review you like, then “Like” it, or write one of your own if you have read the book. You could start with “Steel Rain”, as a struggling author, I would certainly appreciate it.

New Book, just published, “It Might Have Been”.

My second book, It Might Have Been, has just been published. It is available both in paperback and on Kindle. It Might Have Been is a book of seven short stories about the human experience at its most basic level. They are as true as I can make them. Two deal with the long dormant effects of an unpopular war, another with the unintended effects of our legal system, but all relate to the choices we must make as human beings and how those seemingly random choices continue to effect our lives thereafter. I hope you like the stories. The book is available only from Amazon. If you buy the paperback you can get the book as a special on Kindle for only .99 cents more. What a deal. It Might Have Been

Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive

Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive now has 23 5 star reviews including at least one from Canada. This is the most recent review:

“John Harrison does an eloquent job writing what it was like being in the infantry during the Vietnam war. I know, I was in the infantry in Vietnam. There is a statistic which states that only 1 out of 10 who served in Vietnam were in the infantry. All of us have been asked what that was like at one point since our return. It is an impossible question for most of us to answer in part much less in full. John Harrison manages to do this in his book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive. So, if you are inclined and wonder what it was like, or you want to tell someone else what you went through, buy this book. Show it to your friend. It tells that story. To, “LT” John Harrison- thank you Sir.Salute.”

Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive is available from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format. Please give it a look.

Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive