Harvey Rothstein, a Eulogy

by: john Harrison

Hello. My name is john harrison. I’m Harvey’s friend. We met over a busted real estate deal well over 30 years ago. First though, I want to tell you a little bit about myself. I learned to read in the 4th grade. I was slow at first but since then I have read between 2 and 300 books a year, year in, year out. I’ve been a soldier, a realtor, a lawyer, and a high school history teacher. I am now 75 years old. In all that time, in all those books, in all those jobs, I never met, I never heard of, anyone remotely like Harvey Rothstein. He was sui generas, an original in every respect.

He was a Jew, and proud of it. He was a born again Christian, and proud of that as well. He was the Godfather of several of my children. A godparent’s job is to see to the religious education of the child. We are Episcopalian. He was Harvey Rothstein, our children’s Jewish, non-denominational, born again Christian, godfather. It worked. It always worked with Harvey.

As most of you already know, Harvey liked to tell stories, as he got older he told the same ones over and over. I am sure that at least some of them are true because the ones he told about the things we did together were all true. If anything, in these stories about us, he minimized his contributions, and maximized mine.

Harvey was a truly brilliant man, but he worked very hard to hide it. If Harvey had a good idea, he would try most times to give it to someone else to raise. It was not that he wanted to test the idea, he already knew it was a good one, but he did not need the credit, and he rarely sought it for himself. 

Harvey was not an athlete, but he beat me repeatedly at ping pong. The $2 dollar paddle he gave me to use, and the $350 dollar, hand made, professional, ping pong paddle he used during our games may have had something to do with it. He could also sink a basketball in a net on the other side of the pool at his old house. I never did figure out how he did that. I could hit the backboard, sometimes. The net, on the other hand, always eluded me.

Harvey loved harassing the people he loved the most. The more he loved them, the greater the harassment. He once sent my daughter Johnna a MAGA hat when she lived in California knowing that she despised then President Trump, and even though he knew full well that she was otherwise immune to what he thought of as the West Coast’s favorite lunacies. 

In this, and in many other ways Harvey often behaved more like an immature six year old boy than anything else. But that was part of his beauty. He was still six years old most of the time. Like a child he enjoyed every minute of every day; each day was a miraculous gift that he wanted to use to make the most mischief in. His curiosity was as legendary as his pranks. He always wanted to find out something, and he always wanted you to help him, and we did because being with Harvey was a movable feast of adventure and fun.

Before they put in the Osprey perch at their old house, Harvey decided that he wanted to set off some fire works on the 4th of July; but not just any fire works, Harvey wanted the real thing. So, he ordered about Five Thousand Dollars worth of professional grade fireworks delivered to my law office in Virginia. Do you have any idea how much fireworks Five Thousand Dollars would buy, 25 or so years ago? It filled the lobby and then the library of my law office for about a month waiting for the 4th of July. Harvey said he had them send it to me, because these fireworks were illegal to deliver in Maryland. He figured as his lawyer I could not tell anyone that I had them because of attorney client privilege. That is also why he never told me when he was picking them up, or what he was going to do with them. As long as they were in Virginia, the fireworks were legal to have, but profoundly stupid. Moving them to Maryland was, on the other hand, a crime. 

Now, safely ensconced with his fireworks in Maryland, Harvey wanted my help in setting them off. I guess he thought that my experience in the Vietnam War had made me an expert in making things go boom. Everything was fine until there was one errant rocket that headed for his and Maria’s house. It landed on the small porch that was just off of his and Maria’s bedroom, the one where where Maria was sitting, watching the fire works. That was the first and last year for fire works at Harveyland. That’s what my kids called his house. 

Harveyland was a place you went to, to have fun. To swim in his pool. To use the slide into the pool over and over. To fish off the dock. To play with the various pinball machines and other toys. To shoot his guns in the yard, silenced guns, fully automatic sub-machine guns, both properly tax stamped and legal. To watch the dogs play. If it was not there when you came, almost anything you wanted would be there the next time you visited Harveyland. 

Now you may think that the fireworks story cannot be topped. However, during one case Harvey and I were at a deposition at Sherman and Stirling, a huge, white shoe law firm in New York City. They told Harvey that there was no smoking in the building. He said “Fine. Then, I’ll need a smoke break at least every 10 minutes for ten minutes or so.” They came up with an ashtray with a large, gold embossed, Sherman and Stirling logo on it and and air filter. As he sat there during the deposition in this huge conference room, and between smoking unfiltered Pall Mall cigarettes, Harvey started putting things in the empty briefcase he had brought with him. First, there was a large stack of legal pads, again with the Sherman and Stirling logo, that disappeared into his briefcase. He did not hide what he was doing and he kept answering the questions as they came. Then, all of the S&S logoed pencils and ball point pens in the room were the next to go. 

I stopped him when Harvey started toward a particularly handsome, signed, framed, photograph of Winston Churchill by the famed Canadien photographer Karsh that was hanging on one wall of the conference room. I had tried to buy an unsigned copy of that photo for my office a few weeks before. The $10,000 price tag for the unsigned photo however had cooled my desire immediately. I knew that would not slow Harvey down though, nor would a felony theft charge. He thought that he should be compensated for being made to come to New York City to be bored by these people. Harvey also thought that these pompous, stuffed shirt, lawyers at Sherman and Stirling should do the compensating. I could see that he was determined to steal that photo as well as the other stuff already in his briefcase. It looked like there was just enough room left in his briefcase for the photo and frame. While I managed to talk him out of stealing that photo; when we left Sherman and Stirling that evening, the ashtray and all the other stuff left with us, cigarette butts and all.

When he and Maria learned that I was having trouble getting a 30 foot cigarette boat I used to own repaired in DC where I had it docked on Maine Avenue, Harvey came to the rescue as he did for so many of us. He built a boat lift on his dock and told me that he really needed an impressive boat on it and could he please borrow mine for a while to put it on his new lift? Then he told me there was another friend of his just across the river from his home that did boat work exactly like my boat needed. Harvey could give me his number. Soon, that boat never ran better. We even got Maria out in it a couple of times. He would not let me pay him for the storage and his place was a half an hour closer to us than any other place on the Bay.

Later I learned that it was Maria that had found the boat mechanic, but it was Harvey that put everything together. He was always fixing other people’s problems, sometimes even before they knew they had them. Almost everyone that knows Harvey has a story like that, a story of Harvey doing something really important for someone else for no reason other than he could. That was the Harvey that I remember. That is the Harvey that I will miss every day. He loved making people smile. Harvey Rothstein, husband of Maria, and my friend. 


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My book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive  is available on Amazon both as a paperback and on Kindle. It is a Five Star book with lots of reviews, many by others that were there with me as well. 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, show it to your family. It tells your 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.”

History Is Not A Club

by John harrison

There is a difference between telling the truth about history, and using selected history to vilify. While it is true that slavery was the primary cause of the Civil War, it is not true that everyone fighting for the Confederacy was fighting for slavery, nor that the North was free of slavery itself at the time of the Civil War.

Early on and much more comprehensively than in the North, the South imposed conscription, i.e., forced service in its army. So some were forced to fight whether they wanted to or not. While relatively few in the South owned slaves, it is also true that most aspired to the slave owning lifestyle. Most Americans know this. Unfortunately, most today do not know that slavery was legal in much of the North until the 13th Amendment was ratified after the Civil War was over on December 6th, 1865. Even where slavery was illegal in some of the the North, like President Lincoln’s Illinois, it nonetheless was practiced quite openly even during the Civil War and the Black Codes or similar racially motivated laws continued there even after emancipation, even after the 13th Amendment. At the start, and at the conclusion of the Civil War there were both legal and illegal slaves in the North still in servitude, and not just in slave states like Delaware and Maryland. Well over 100,000 slaves were in the North in 1860, and this does not include the economic profit the North made from slavery throughout its history prior to the Civil War, from the sale of goods, to shipping cotton, insurance, banking and more. Nor does it include the profit the North continued to make from other slave owning countries well after the Civil War. 

I have never understood how Thomas Jefferson could have written the Declaration of Independence, and nonetheless remained his entire life as a substantial slave holder. That fact has always tempered, but never overcame my admiration for the man as a whole. Anyone that has read the correspondence between Jefferson and Adams knows that Adams pointed out these contradictions repeatedly. So, it is not like Jefferson, or Washington, or Chief Seattle for whom the city of Seattle is named, slaveholders all, did not know of the arguments against chattel slavery. They did. They ignored them. I would love to ask them why? Condemning them for it now is a waste of time, they and chattel slavery, at least in the US, are dead.

The United States Army and the United States Navy won the Civil War. Not the “Union Army”, the United States Army. That nomenclature is a relic of the “Lost Cause” era that offends me far more than the name on Ft. Lee, or Ft. Hood. On the other hand I have no objection at all to the name at Ft. Bragg continuing, or being changed. He was an awful general that contributed what he could to the North’s ultimate victory.

What I also object to is the negativity of all of this. No human is as perfect as these times seem to demand. For example, there is still a controversy surrounding Mother Teresa, who died in 1997. Her saintly reputation was earned by ministering to Calcutta’s poorest of the poor, but it was undercut by persistent allegations of misuse of funds, poor medical treatments of those poor and the fervid religious evangelism in the institutions she founded. Casting the first and subsequent stones has become our nation’s past time. It allows people to feel superior without having to actually do anything useful, or expensive. In effect, it has become a substitute for thought, for reform, and for civility.

The Civil War was by far our costliest war in terms of both blood and treasure. The issues were clearly decided at its end, but they haunt us still. They are far more complex than the slogans we hear, and are not fully resolved to this day. In fact, the are not resolvable by argument, but only by study, by education, and by love. As Dr. Martin Luther King taught us in another unsettled time: “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.” And, ”Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” I have yet to see the love in too much of today’s public discourse. 

When I was teaching history I tried to teach the truth in context. As some may know, I taught in a Roman Catholic high school. It was a wonderful experience. While the diocese had rules, for example, there were some books that were forbidden for one reason or another, it did not care what I taught about the Roman Catholic Church or any other religion as long as it was the truth, in its proper context, told in an age appropriate way.  I thought then, and I think now, that this is the right way to look at history. If you look close enough, you will see that most people that did incredibly wonderful things also did some awful things. I always wanted to know why. 

It is unfair as well as silly to judge people’s historical actions by the mores of today. In the first place most of the people we are talking about are dead. They can neither defend themselves nor explain themselves. Other than a very few historical figures, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, for example and of more recent memory, deserve our total scorn. The rest deserve study so that we can learn from their experience without having to repeat it. We can’t do that in today’s climate, and that is sad.


 ———#####———-

My book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive  is available on Amazon both as a paperback and on Kindle. It is a Five Star book with lots of reviews, many by others that were there with me as well. 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, show it to your family. It tells your 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.”

January 6th Redux

January 6th Redux

By: john harrison

There is little difference between what is going on today at the homes of various Supreme Court Justices and what transpired on January 6th at our nation’s Capitol. What you have in both cases is a mob trying interfere illegally in a core process of our government. It is not freedom of speech that is being demonstrated in either case, rather it is intimidation designed to produce a result contrary to law.

It is a measure of our current state of affairs that both sets of rioters have defenders who have been sworn to protect out Constitutional processes. Taking the case of the Justice’s homes. The meme below was apparently produced by the group “Occupy Democrats” and has not been disowned by anyone as far as I know. 

This, in itself, is an illegal attempt to influence the Justice on a matter pending before the Supreme Court. Under 18 U.S.C. § 1507 (subsection numbers added), it is an illegal act.

  1. Whoever, with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or
  2. with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, in the discharge of his duty,
  3. pickets or parades in or near a building housing a court of the United States, or
  4. in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer, or
  5. with such intent uses any sound-truck or similar device or resorts to any other demonstration in or near any such building or residence,
  6. shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

This section of the Federal Criminal Code is admirably succinct and easy to understand. What they are doing is a clear federal crime.

Why is this so? What about the First Amendment? The Judicial branch of government is a co-equal branch under Article 3 of the U. S. Constitution. Like the other two branches, Legislative and Executive, it has various duties. These duties include trying cases according to the law and Constitution. Nothing is supposed to be in any way associated with this judicial process except by operation of law. 

I do not believe anyone would be surprised to be arrested if they demonstrated in a courtroom in the middle of a trial. And, this would be true even if the demonstration was peaceful. Like ones next to the justice’s homes, the purpose of such a demonstration would be to effect the result of the trial. This is not the operation of law, it is mob rule.

There are legal, appropriate political, judicial, and executive responses when a court renders a decision erroneous under the law. Becoming a mob to intimidate a judge and his family is not one of them. Like the January 6th rioters they should be arrested and charged under the law. 


 ———#####———-

My book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive  is available on Amazon both as a paperback and on Kindle. It is a Five Star book with lots of reviews, many by others that were there as well. 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, show it to your family. It tells your 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.”

It Just Jumps Out at You

by john harrison

My father always used to call it “trombone vision”, I.e., that some things seem to jump out at you, while others, equally visible to the naked eye, literally you do not see. It works both with things that you agree with, and those that you disagree with as well. It is why two people reading the news about a shooting will have a completely different take on the tragedy. The first will focus on the number of people that the shooter killed, and the second will focus on the fact that the attack was stopped, and the shooter was killed, by a legally armed, concealed carrying, bystander, not by the police. They both will have utter certainty when they use the same incident later to support their completely opposite positions on gun control laws.

It is more than just ideological bias at work though. The real problem with this factual blindness is that it prevents any sort of real analysis which might help us solve some very real problems in our society. For example, Democratic politicians, and their followers, are unanimous in their condemnation of former President Trump’s repeated claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him, and therefore also stolen from the American people. 

However, at least three things are clear about that election, first, like probably every American election there was some electoral fraud, second, but the fraud was not of sufficient magnitude to effect even in the remotest way the result of the 2020 election, and third, that former President Trump lost the election fair and square. 

In their arguments, both sides have taken essentially indefensible positions as this argument unfortunately continues. In defending the clear electoral result, many have gone beyond the statement that it was, if it was not the fairest election in American history certainly it was one of the fairest, to say that there was no fraud at all in this election. Former President Trump’s often repeated statements, both before and after the 2020 election, particularly about Georgia, which was overseen in the main by Republican office holders, are at best ludicrous, but nonetheless are accepted by many as factual; worse, if you even acknowledge the possibility of some fraud, or assert that overall the election was fair and the result is clear, then you are likely to be immediately condemned as a partizan hack by the other side of the debate.

Perhaps another example will help. Recently, many have pointed to Candidate for Governor Glenn Youngkin’s statements in support of “election integrity” as a nod to Former President Trump’s repeated allegations that an alleged lack of such integrity cost him the office of the presidency in 2020. On the other hand though, they do not see any thing wrong, or any similarity, in the claim on the front page of today’s (10/14/2021) Washington Post that the 2020 census already shows signs of a massive “Undercount of Black Americans”. 

That is, a government report which has not yet been released and therefore cannot logically be defended as yet, has already been attacked as both wrong, and unfair. Taking only former President Trump’s statements prior to the 20202 election, those that do not see the similarity between Trump’s attacks on an election not yet held and these attacks on a report not yet issued, ignore that the statements of former President Trump before the election attacking the probity of an election not yet held, and that these attacks on a crucial government report not yet released in its final form are essentially the same disingenuous tactic. If you are outraged about one because of its inherent unfairness, then an honest appraisal of facts would inevitably lead you to be outraged about the other as well. Did it?

The phrase “eye of the beholder” became a cliche because of its constant use. On the other hand, it was used constantly because of its inherent truth as a statement about the human condition.  Facts become subjective not just because of those we emphasize, but also because of those we choose to ignore and in both we are clearly influenced by the “eye of the beholder”.


 ———#####———-

My book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive  is available on Amazon both as a paperback and on Kindle. It is a Five Star book with lots of reviews, many by others that were there as well. 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, show it to your family. It tells your 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.”

Pandora’s Box Swedish Style

Pandora’s Box Swedish Style

By john harrison

As we often do, we were having drinks on the porch with some very good friends the other evening. Also, as it often does, the discussion turned from one topic to another without seeming rhyme, nor reason. Probably as a result of the recent influx of Afghanis due to the massive changes ongoing there, it progressed to the problems Sweden had, and is still is having, integrating a similar number of refugees mainly from the Middle East into its Nordic society. One pointed out that Sweden has the highest rate of rape in Europe, another immediately pulled out a smart phone and found that Sweden had recently expanded its definition of rape and that had led to a dramatic increase in reports. The discussion then continued on to other topics.

One of the things I most enjoyed about being a lawyer was digging onto the facts of a case. Over time my enjoyment became a passion that others noticed and began to use. Late in my career a considerable part of my practice involved taking apart the opposition’s expert and salvaging our own experts during trial. To do this well I had to become an expert, and that was the part I liked.

Most witnesses do not really realize how much the rules in court are rigged in favor of cross examination. They also do not realize that the legal issues can be far different from the scientific issues in a case. Since I always took care to learn both, the cross examinations often became almost unfair. In defense of the legal system I must note that it is impossible to destructively cross examine any witness, and particularly an expert, who remains objective, listens to the question and answers honestly only the question asked. Lucky for my practice, few experts could adhere to this rule for long.

Since I enjoy looking things up, and since our discussion had piqued my interest in the problems Sweden is having with rape; I did some research. Like most issues, a fair study reveals nuances not immediately apparent.

About 58% of men convicted in Sweden of rape and attempted rape 2013-2018 were born abroad, according to recent data from Swedish national television. Sweden had literally thousands more reported rapes but, unfortunately there is no ethnic breakdown for those cases.

In 2018, Swedish Television investigative journalism show Uppdrag Granskning analyzed the total of 843 district court cases from the five preceding years and found that 58% of all convicted of rape and attempted rape had a foreign background (Southern Africans, Northern Africans, Arabs, Middle Easterns, and Afghans) and 40% were immigrants born in the Middle East and Africa, with the young men from Afghanistan numbering 45 standing out as being the next most common country of birth after Sweden.

Rape in Sweden is not a new problem solely related to refugees though. Back in 2009 before the influx of refugees, Amnesty International published a report on rape in the Nordic countries, criticizing the low conviction rates in Sweden, citing previously published estimates from Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå) of around 30,000 incidents of rape, with less than 13 percent of the 3,535 rape crimes reported resulting in a decision to start legal proceedings and only 216 persons convicted in 2007, with Amnesty International using the word “impunity” to describe the situation in Sweden.

The TV Investigation program made it very clear that it is a very small percentage of the people coming from abroad who are convicted of rape, but still the percentage of convictions is high for the foreign born. Whether this results from latent prejudice, or the inclination of foreigners to rape cannot be reliably determined from the statistics available.

When Sweden took in its highest number of asylum seekers in 2015, the number of reported rapes actually declined by 12%. At the height of the refugee crisis, some 160,000 migrants arrived in Sweden—more per capita than any other EU country. Since then Sweden has tightened its borders, but those already in, mostly remain.

In May, 2018, Sweden changed its laws to make almost any sex without actual consent rape. Until then prosecutors had to prove that violence had been used or the victim had been exploited in a vulnerable condition. This led to a rise in convictions of 75% to 333 for that year. Still only the tip of the iceberg, but a bigger part of the tip.

In the mid-2010s, there were between 5000 and 7000 reported rape cases per year in Sweden, far higher than any other European country largely because of the way rape was more broadly defined in Swedish law even then prior to the recent change in definition, but with only about 165 rape convictions per year for that decade.

According to Brå in 2013, it is likely that as many as 80 per cent of all rapes in Sweden are not reported. This was confirmed in a 2014 study of the extent of violence against women, funded by the Government of Sweden. This can be compared to a 2007 British Government report, estimating that between 75 and 95 percent of rapes are not reported in the United Kingdom.

Ever since the collation of crime statistics was initiated by the Council of Europe, Sweden has had the highest number of registered rape offenses in Europe by a considerable margin. In 1996 for example, Sweden registered almost three times the average number of rape offenses registered in 35 European countries. However, this does not necessarily mean rape is three times as likely to occur as in the rest of Europe, since cross-national comparisons of crime levels based on official crime statistics are problematic, due to a number of factors. However, when it is considered that Sweden also ranks highest in gender equality in Europe, there seems to be a long standing remarkable disconnect somewhere.

In 2014, there were 6,697 rapes reported to the Swedish police, or 69 cases per 100,000 population, according to the BRÅ, which is an 11% increase from the previous year. In 2015, the number of reported rapes declined 12%, to 5918. On the other hand, Swedish Crime Survey in 2015 showed that 1.7% of the total population or 129,000 people between 16–79 years old have been exposed to some extension of sexual offenses including rape previously in their lives; it increased from 1% in 2014. In 2016, the number of reported rapes increased again to 6,715. The number of rapes reported to the authorities in Sweden significantly increased by 10% in 2017, according to latest preliminary figures from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention. The number of reported rape cases was 73 per 100,000 citizens in 2017, up 24% in the past decade. In 2018, official numbers showed that the incidence of sexual offenses was on the rise; the Swedish Government declared that young women are facing the greatest risks and that most of the cases still go unreported. The chart below tells a sad, and totally unacceptable story.

It is clear that Sweden had a significant problem with rape long before the refugee influx and that it has gotten much worse since that influx. It is also clear that the criminal justice system has not yet responded effectively to the problem and that it is getting exponentially worse, particularly for women, but also for men as well. It must be passing strange and small comfort to women in Sweden to live in the European country with the highest gender equality, the highest rate of rape and a conviction rate so low that Amnesty International says that rapist can operate with impunity. Is anybody minding the store?


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My book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive  is available on Amazon both as a paperback and on Kindle. It is a Five Star book with lots of reviews, many by others that were there as well. 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, show it to your family. It tells your 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.”

Lt. Harrison And The Big Blow

Lt. Harrison And The Big Blow

By Jerry Berry

Can you envision what would happen to $40,000 worth of $1, $5, and $10 MPCs spread out on an Army blanket somewhere in the “boonies” in South Vietnam if a sudden gust of wind were to blow up? That would be over $400,000 today.  Take the same scenario, but substitute the gust of wind with the whirlwind caused by a 1290 horsepower UH-1D Huey utility helicopter as it landed close by.  Well, I recall just such a scenario that actually happened to none other than our own 1Lt. John Harrison, Alpha Company XO and former platoon leader of 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company (1967/68).  It was a hot, clear, sunny day in May or June l968, and. . .  Let’s just have Lt. Harrison tell the story in his own words.

“As XO, I paid the troops.  This was truly a crummy job.  I had to get up very early and fly to Phan Rang.  Once there, they took me to the pay area, which was a large, windowless building.  It’s only saving grace was that it was an air-conditioned building.  While inside this building, I was given a great deal of cash.  My recollection was that it was well over $40,000, which really doesn’t sound like much, but if you stop to consider that the largest MPC bill was $10, the number of actual bills was at least 4,000.  Usually, the number of bills was much more than that, but was always the exact number of each kind of bill down to the lowest denomination that you needed to pay the troops.  The Headquarters Company payroll was even worse; it was double this amount, but I thankfully never had to do that one.”

The procedure for dispersing the payroll went something like this, says John. “When you received the payroll, they counted it out to you.  Then, you counted it back to them.  You counted it once again before you left the room.  After returning to base camp, you counted it yet again into the individual troopers’ pay slips.  You then folded the slip around the money (MPCs).  If you filled up all the pay slips and didn’t have any money left over or came up short, you could be pretty sure that you had done everything right.  If you made a mistake, you could just start counting all over again—no harm done.  At this point, you went to the field and counted it out yet again to each individual trooper from his folded pay slip.  This last counting of the money was usually done on a green Army blanket.

This particular time, John and I arrived back from Phan Rang and Lt. Harrison with the payroll just as a chopper was leaving LZ Betty to resupply Company A in the field.  “I knew that it would be at least three to five days before Company A would be resupplied again, proclaimed LT.  “Since I had to keep the money with me, actually on my person at all times, until I turned any remainder back it, I wanted to pay the troops and get it over with as soon as possible.  The wad of money was heavy and inconvenient, but if you screwed up the count, it came out of your own pocket.  Unless you really loved danger without any hope of reward, you always tried to count out that money into the individual pay slips BEFORE you paid the troops.  That was the only way to know if you really did have all of the money you were supposed to have.  Otherwise, you would be paying off the stack—only one count and the money would be gone.  This was a very dangerous way to pay the troops, since the officer in charge was personally responsible for all of the money signed out to him.”

Well, the resupply chopper arrived at Alpha Company’s location; Lt. Harrison located himself a spot to spread a poncho liner (no green Army blanket), unpacked his stacks of MPCs and began calling names of troopers to be paid!  “There I was in the field paying off the stack, with all of the money in front of me on a poncho liner.  Then Battalion Commander, LTC Robert Elton (Spider), flies in for a visit with the company commander!  I quickly dropped down over the money to try and hold it down, but the chopper blew the MPCs everywhere.  They were flying in every direction imaginable; however, the troops quickly collected up the bills and gave them back to me.  Since I was paying off the stack, there was no way that I could tell whether any money was missing until I got back to the finance center.  Not a dime was missing!  The troops found all of the MPCs.  I think that was the only time that I ever paid the troops and did not lose at least a few dollars on the count.”  

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My book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive  is available on Amazon both as a paperback and on Kindle. It is a Five Star book with lots of reviews, many by others that were there as well. 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, show it to your family. It tells your 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.”

CDC On Gun Violence 2013

Results 

The systematic review development team identified 51 studies that evaluated the effects of selected firearms laws on violence and met the inclusion criteria for this review. No study was excluded because of limitations in design or execution. Information on violent outcomes was available in 48 studies, and the remaining three studies, which provided information on counts or proportions of regulated firearms used in crime, were used as supplementary evidence. Several studies examined more than one type of firearm law. 

Several separate studies evaluated effects of the same law in the same populations during overlapping time periods. Such studies were considered nonindependent, and effect estimates from the best study in the group (as determined by the quality of design and execution and the length of the follow-up period) were chosen to represent the effects of the intervention. The total number of studies for each intervention, and the number of studies that actually contributed effect estimates to the body of evidence, are listed. More extensive evidence tables will be available at when the full evidence review is published. 

Evidence was insufficient to determine the effectiveness of any of these laws for the following reasons. 

  • Bans on specified firearms or ammunition. Results of studies of firearms and ammunition bans were inconsistent: certain studies indicated decreases in violence associated with bans, and others indicated increases. Several studies found that the number of banned guns retrieved after a crime declined when bans were enacted, but these studies did not assess violent consequences. Studies of the 1976 Washington, D.C. handgun ban yielded inconsistent results. Bans often include “grandfather” provisions, allowing ownership of an item if it is acquired before the ban, complicating an assessment of causality. Finally, evidence indicated that sales of firearms to be banned might increase in the period before implementation of the bans (e.g., the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994). 
  • Restrictions on firearm acquisition. The federal government and individual states restrict the acquisition and use of firearms by individuals on the basis of their personal history. Reasons for restriction can include prior felony conviction, conviction of misdemeanor intimate partner violence, drug abuse, adjudication as “mentally defective,” and other characteristics (e.g., specified young age). The Brady Law established national restrictions on acquisition of firearms and ammunition from federal firearms licensees. The interim Brady Law (1994–1998) mandated a 5-day waiting period to allow background checks. The permanent Brady Law, enacted in 1998, eliminated the required waiting period. It normally allows 3 days for a background check, after which, if no evidence of a prohibited characteristic is found, the purchase may proceed. Certain states have established additional restrictions, and some require background checks of all firearms transactions, not only those conducted by federal firearms licensees.
    The permanent Brady Law depends on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). However, NICS lacks much of the required background information, particularly on certain restriction categories. Efforts to improve the availability of background information have been supported by the National Criminal History Improvement Program . Approximately 689,000 applications to acquire a firearm (2.3% of 30 million applications) were denied under the Brady Law from its first implementation in 1994 through 2000; the majority of denials were based on the applicant’s criminal history. However, denial of an application does not always stop applicants from acquiring firearms through other means.
    Overall, evaluations of the effects of acquisition restrictions on violent outcomes have produced inconsistent findings: some studies indicated decreases in violence associated with restrictions, and others indicated increases. One study indicated a statistically significant reduction in the rate of suicide by firearms among persons aged >55 years; however, the reduction in suicide by all methods was not statistically significant. Furthermore, this benefit appears to have been a consequence of the waiting period imposed by the interim Brady Law (which has since been dropped in the permanent law) rather than of the law’s restrictions on the basis of the purchaser’s characteristics. 
  • Waiting periods for firearm acquisition. Waiting periods for firearm acquisition require a specified delay between application for and acquisition of a firearm. Waiting periods have been established by the federal government and by states to allow time to check the applicant’s background or to provide a “cooling-off” period for persons at risk of committing suicide or impulsive acts against others. Studies of the effects of waiting periods on violent outcomes yielded inconsistent results: some indicated a decrease in violent outcome associated with the delay and others indicated an increase. As noted previously, one study of the interim Brady Law indicated a statistically significant reduction in firearms suicide among persons aged >55 years associated with the waiting period requirement of the interim law. Several studies suggested a partial “substitution effect” for suicide (i.e., decreases in firearms suicide are accompanied by smaller increases in suicide by other means). 
  • Firearm registration and licensing of owners. Registration requires that a record of the owner of specified firearms be created and retained. At the national level, the Firearm Ownership Protection Act of 1986 specifically precludes the federal government from establishing and maintaining a registry of firearms and their owners. Licensing requires an individual to obtain a license or other form of authorization or certification to purchase or possess a firearm. Licensing and registration requirements are often combined with other firearms regulations, such as safety training or safe storage requirements. Only four studies examined the effects of registration and licensing on violent outcomes; the findings were inconsistent. 
  • “Shall issue” concealed weapon carry laws. Shall issue concealed weapon carry laws (shall issue laws) require the issuing of a concealed weapon carry permit to all applicants not disqualified by specified criteria. Shall issue laws are usually implemented in place of “may issue” laws, in which the issuing of a concealed weapon carry permit is discretionary (based on criteria such as the perceived need or moral character of the applicant). A third alternative, total prohibition of the carrying of concealed weapons, was in effect in six states in 2001.
    The substantial number of studies of shall issue laws largely derives from and responds to one landmark study (28). Many of these studies were considered to be nonindependent because they assessed the same intervention in the same population during similar time periods. A review of the data revealed critical problems, including misclassification of laws, unreliable county-level crime data, and failure to use appropriate denominators for the available numerator crime data (29). Methodological problems, such as failure to adjust for autocorrelation in time series data, were also evident. Results across studies were inconsistent or conceptually implausible. Therefore, evidence was insufficient to determine the effect of shall issue laws on violent outcomes. 
  • Child access prevention laws. Child access prevention (CAP) laws are designed to limit children’s access to and use of firearms in homes. The laws require firearms owners to store their firearms locked, unloaded, or both, and make the firearm owners liable when children use a household firearm to threaten or harm themselves or others. In three states with CAP laws (Florida, Connecticut, California), this crime is a felony; in several others it is a misdemeanor.
    Only three studies examined the effects of CAP laws on violent outcomes, and only one outcome, unintentional firearms deaths, was assessed by all three. Of these, two studies assessed the same states over the same time periods and were therefore nonindependent. The most recent study, which included the most recent states to pass CAP laws and had the longest follow-up time, indicated that the apparent reduction in unintentional firearm deaths associated with CAP laws that carry felony sanctions was statistically significant only in Florida and not in California or Connecticut. Overall, too few studies of CAP law effects have been done, and the findings of existing studies were inconsistent. In addition, although CAP laws address juveniles as perpetrators of firearms violence, available studies assessed only juvenile victims of firearms violence.
  • Zero tolerance laws for firearms in schools. The Gun-Free Schools Act stipulates that each state receiving federal funds must have a state law requiring local educational agencies to expel a student from school for at least 1 year if a firearm is found in the student’s possession at school. Expulsion may lead to alternative school placement or to “street” placement (full expulsion, with no linkage to formal education). In contrast to the 3,523 firearms reported confiscated under the Gun-Free Schools Act in the 1998–99 school year, school surveys indicate that an estimated 3% of the 12th grade student population in 1996 (i.e., 85,350 students) reported carrying firearms on school property one or more times in the previous 30 days. Thus, even if only 12th grade students carry firearms, fewer than 4.3% of firearms are being detected in association with the Gun-Free Schools Act.
    No study reviewed attempted to evaluate the effects of zero tolerance laws on violence in schools, nor did any measure the effect of the Gun-Free Schools Act on carrying of firearms in schools. One cross-sectional study, however, assessed the effectiveness of metal detector programs in reducing the carrying of firearms in schools. Although firearms detection is not explicitly required in the Gun-Free Schools Act, the effectiveness of the law may depend on the ability to detect firearms by various means. The study reported that schools with and without metal detectors did not differ in rates of threatening, fights, or carrying of firearms outside of school, but the rate of carrying firearms to, from, or in schools with detection programs was half that of schools without such programs. The effectiveness of zero tolerance laws in preventing violence cannot be assessed because appropriate evidence was not available. A further concern is that “street” expulsion might result in increased violence and other problems among expelled students. 
  • Combinations of firearms laws. Governmental jurisdictions (e.g., states or nations) can be characterized by the degree to which they regulate firearm possession and use. Whether a greater degree of firearms regulation in a jurisdiction results in a reduction of the amount of violence in that jurisdiction still needs to be determined. Three kinds of evidence were reviewed for this study: 1) studies of the effects of comprehensive national laws within nations; 2) international comparisons of comprehensive laws; and 3) studies in which law types within jurisdictions (i.e., regulation of specific, defined aspects of firearm acquisition and use) were categorized and counted, and counts compared with rates of specific forms of violence within the same jurisdictions. The latter type are referred to here as index studies because they developed indices of the degree of regulation. In drawing conclusions about law combinations, findings from the three approaches were considered.
    On the basis of national law assessments (the Gun Control Act of 1968 in the United States and the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1977 in Canada), international comparisons (between the United States and Canada), and index studies (all conducted within the United States), available evidence was insufficient to determine whether the degree of firearms regulation was associated with decreased (or increased) violence. The findings were inconsistent and most studies were methodologically inadequate to allow conclusions about causal effects. Moreover, as conducted, index studies, even if consistent, would not allow specification of which laws to implement. 

In summary, the Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence.

Phylicia Rashad was correct,

by john harrison

Phylicia Rashad was correct when she tweeted: “”FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted – a miscarriage of justice is corrected!,” Why?

Rights are no good if they are only there when the majority agrees. That would be a pure democracy, or more accurately, “mob rule” according to some people. Simply stated, Bill Cosby did not receive a fair trial. He was hung out to dry by the trial court and the appeals court properly reversed. The reason Cosby cannot be retried is the appeals court determined that the conduct of the trial court and prosecutors was so egregious that the only just thing to do was to let Cosby go. They had screwed it up so badly, that it would be impossible for Cosby to get a fair trial. If you are angry at the result, be angry at the judge who overreached and the prosecutors who helped him.

What did the trial court do wrong? It allowed into the trial evidence that clearly should have been excluded. A prior prosecutor had made a deal with Cosby that if he waived his 5th Amendment rights and stood for a deposition in a civil case that he would not be prosecuted. Prosecutors make this sort of deal all the time in order to obtain testimony they could not get any other way. Waiving 5th Amendment rights is a big deal. If Cosby had testified untruthfully after waiving his 5th Amendment rights he could and probably would have been charged with perjury. At a minimum the deal would have been revoked and the prosecutor could have used all of the testimony in a subsequent criminal trial.

No one has said that Cosby testified untruthfully in the civil deposition where he admitted to a laundry list of outrageous and probably criminal acts. 

As some perspective, Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano is an American gangster who became underboss of the Gambino crime family. Gravano played a major role in helping the prosecution sentence John Gotti, the crime family’s boss, by agreeing to testify as a government witness against him and other mobsters in a deal in which Gravano confessed to involvement in 19 murders. However, Gravano has never been charged in any of those murders. On the other hand John Gotti, who had ordered, but not participated in most of the murders was convicted on all counts. It was Gravano’s testimony that put Gotti away.

So, it was not just to vindicate the importance of Cosby rights that the appeals court slammed the trial court and the prosecutors, it was also to protect a tool used by prosecutors around the country to put some really bad guys in prison. The Cosby case totally upended years of precedent upholding these prosecutorial agreements, and put any future ones at risk. Even the idea that a prosecutor could do this is incredible. It is at best similar to a 5 year old child’s argument to “have her cake, and eat it too.”

What else did the trial judge do? He allowed in evidence of five Cosby’s accusers with stories similar to that of Constand. Why is this wrong? You put people in prison for committing specific crimes, not for being bad people. If five people had made the same charge, and they were tried together, then such testimony of all five accusers would have been relevant. Also, if Cosby had testified and denied ever doing any such thing, then such testimony might have been relevant to rebut his testimony, but since neither of these occurred it was clearly improper for the trial judge to let the testimony in. This too violates years of precedent.

It is a simple rule, the prosecution must prove the crime charged. If they do not, the accused should walk. This “similar act” testimony was totally extraneous in time, in individuals involved and in  geography to the crime charged. It should never have been allowed in, and was only presented to prejudice the jury against Cosby.

So, that is why Phylicia Rashad was correct, and it is also why the trial judge and the prosecutors were slammed by the appeals court. Cosby did not get a fair trial.

_________________________________________________________________________

My book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive  is available on Amazon both as a paperback and on Kindle. It is a Five Star book with lots of reviews, many by others that were there as well. 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, show it to your family. It tells your 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.”

A clarion call of good sense.

A clarion call of good sense.

When I was in high school, on my Mother’s recommendation, I took Latin for two years. Then, I took two years of Spanish. The Latin, as my Mother promised, has been useful every year since then, the Spanish, on the other hand, was a total waste of time because of the way it was taught. It was what I call “academic Spanish”. You never learn to speak it; you never learn to write it; but oh my can you conjugate verbs that you don’t understand. Worthless.

Luckily I had some Spanish speaking friends over the years because I really wanted to learn a foreign language and Spanish was it. The way we were taught in high school deterred most of my friends from ever trying to learn a foreign language. It really was that bad. However, I had my friend Alfredo Luis Suarez in the Army and on and off we spoke our own brand of Spanglish all the time, often to the annoyance of those around us. He got better at English, and I got much better at Spanish. If you can understand Cuban Spanish, you can understand just about anybody’s Spanish. Alfredo was Cuban to the core.

Steve Leveen’s book,  America’s Bilingual Century, confirms much of what I have thought about the teaching of languages over the years. More than that, it is a brilliant compendium of both the awkward history of foreign language teaching in the United States and its so much better current status of today. If you really want to learn the many ways now available to acquire a second language—buy this book. If you want to convince your children of the value of a foreign language—buy this book. If you want to spend some time with a truly brilliant man speaking knowledgeably and with passion about a subject he loves and understands—buy this book.

Steve Leveen confirms over and over everything that I thought was wrong about the teaching of languages in America when I suffered through it. He demolishes the myths that have grown up about Americans and foreign languages. And, he does both with style and wit, mostly through the statements of others that he met criss-crossing the country in his quest to master his subject. If you thought that teaching a foreign language, or learning one, is boring, then you obviously have not read America’s Bilingual Century. 

The only thing I would add to what Steve Leveen has written so creatively is that you need to watch more than a few movies, made in the language you desire to master, because body language is often more important to understanding than the words themselves. It is no surprise that one of the hardest things to do in a foreign language is to speak and listen over a telephone. There are no visual cues to meaning and often the verbal cues are blunted by the poor transmission of sound when talking on a phone. As Steve Leveen suggests foreign movies are also a good way to expand your understanding of both your new language and its culture. It’s a great book about an important subject—America’s Bilingual Century, by Steve Leveen.

 _____________________________________________________________________________________

My book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive  is available on Amazon both as a paperback and on Kindle. It is a Five Star book with lots of reviews, many by others that were there as well. 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, show it to your family. It tells your 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.”

Here We Go Again

Here We Go Again

by john harrison

Speaker Pelosi has called for President Trump’s second impeachment because of his encouragement of mob violence against the Capitol. The protestors purpose apparently was to interrupt the Congress’s certification of the election of President Elect Joseph Biden. All of those on Capitol Hill that awful day were justifiably terrified of being in the epicenter of a truly violent riot. 

There is no excuse either for the rioters’ or for the President’s words and actions. How did we get here? And more important, where is here? That is where it gets difficult.

The Democrats profess that they are aghast at President Trump’s actions that day. They say that he in effect urged the crowd to insurrection. Clearly that is not what a man sworn to up hold the law of the land should do. As the nation’s Chief  Law Enforcement Officer, President Trump obviously should have acted differently, he should have up held the rule of law rather than sending his supporters to a place he knew they should not go. He did not. If you doubt me, then here is the passage from his speech that directed his followers to head toward Capitol Hill.

“And after this, we’re going to walk down there, and I’ll be there with you, we’re going to walk down … to the Capitol and we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women,” Trump told the crowd. “And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”

And then he added a measure of defiance, unfortunately mixed with a call to action.

“We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved, Our country has had enough. We’re not going to take it anymore.” Trump said. 

The President also said:

 “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

And then, he added, with a bit of perhaps unintentional, irony:

 “Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy.”

So, how did we get here, to this violent, lawless place with five Americans killed and over sixty police officers injured. President Trump’s rhetoric has often been combative, but what was the context? What were others saying and doing?

“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere. We’ve got to get the children connected to their parents,” 

So said Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Democrat, at the Wilshire Federal Building, according to a video of the event made well before the tragic events at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021.

“We don’t know what damage has been done to these children. All that we know is they’re in cages. They’re in prisons. They’re in jails. I don’t care what they call it, that’s where they are and Mr. President, we will see you every day, every hour of the day, everywhere that we are to let you know you cannot get away with this,” Congresswoman Waters added.

Congresswoman Waters appeared on MSNBC later in the day to double down on her remarks, saying she has “no sympathy” for members of the Trump administration.

“The people are going to turn on them. They’re going to protest. They’re going to absolutely harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the President, ‘No, I can’t hang with you.’”

So, what did Speaker Pelosi have to say about respect for law and order?

During Pelosi’s remarks about immigration issues, she portrayed the parents of “Dreamers” as victims who have had to endure much “risk” to bring their families illegally into the country.

“I say to their parents: Thank you for bringing these Dreamers to America. We’re in your debt for the courage it took, for you to take the risk, physically, politically, in every way, to do so,” Speaker Pelosi said.

That is, she thanked them for breaking the very laws that in many cases she had helped pass, and much more important, that she has sworn repeatedly to uphold. How is she still the Speaker of the House?

As a lawyer with over 30 years experience I would say that both Congresswoman Waters’ and Speaker Pelosi’s comments are no better and no worse than President Trump’s, but that his led to much worse, much more immediate, and very much more tragic, consequences. While that does make the President more liable for his comments, it does not in any way remove their similar culpability for some very similar statements.

So, now we have outrage from Speaker Pelosi, and probably from Congresswoman Waters as well about President Trump’s lack of respect for the rule of law. They are correct, but they both do suffer from the Glass House Rule, that is the failure of their party to admonish them in any way for their similar behavior tends to make them look a lot more like hypocrites than righteous guardians of the Republic.

This does not in anyway excuse President Trump for his outrageous words and behavior, but sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander. Both the Speaker and the Congresswoman, and perhaps others on both sides of the aisle, should also be censored for the actions and words that have gotten us to this violent place.  

Fair play, is not fair at all if it only goes one way. Hate, whether justified or not, is not a substitute for evidence, nor is it a substitute for trustworthiness. You have to earn that. We will see if they do. Will the impeachment process be fair this time? Or, will be another badly managed partisan attack for little purpose and no possibility ever of success?

The last impeachment, President Trump’s first impeachment, the Democrats were the gang that could not shoot straight. The first time the Democrats impeached President Trump they put on a show of utter incompetence from beginning to end. If you disagree, think about relying on the Republican dominated Senate to call the witnesses that should have been called during the Houses’ investigation. The very idea boggles the mind, and it killed any possibility of success for their first impeachment of President Trump.

At least the Senate and Congress now have a much better idea of how the people of Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle and San Francisco must feel regularly when violence and lawlessness forces their shops and restaurants to close, and businesses and dreams to fail. Assuming that these cities returned to their lawful past tomorrow, it will still take years to repair the damage. Already, for example, many insurers have notified their policy holders in Portland that they will not insure businesses in central business area at any price. They are withdrawing from the market permanently. If you can’t get casualty insurance you can’t get business loans. If you can’t get business loans you can’t reopen. It is a simple if brutal relationship that kept much of Northeast Washington, D.C., a wasteland for decades after the 1968 riots provoked by the murder of Dr. King. Decades, in the Nation’s capitol. These same harsh economic rules are still there. In the absence of some creative government actions these cities, at least in their central portion, will die.

The Democratic leaders are practically begging Republicans to join them in cleaning the house that the Donald built, and some have already agreed. However, there is a lot more to do than just that. It is time they all got to work on the People’s business and not their own little political power games. Riots, like wars, are bad for all living things no matter how justified they may be. We need to clean up the mess, all of it.  

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My book, Steel Rain, the Tet Offensive  is available on Amazon both as a paperback and on Kindle. It is a Five Star book with lots of reviews, many by others that were there as well. 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, show it to your family. It tells your 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.”