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Justice, War, Lack of Adequate Care for Veterans, K'Ville

By Remy Benoit

From the New York Times, an Editorial at Truthout Restoring American Justice.

From CNN Iran anger over French war warning.

From John Nichols at The Nation A Constitution to "Chain the Dogs of War".
Pennsylvania delegate James Wilson explained, "This system will not hurry us into war; it is calculated to guard against it. It will not be in the power of a single man, or a single body of men, to involve us in such distress; for the important part in declaring war is vested in the legislature at large."

From Tammie Smith Richmond Times-Dispatch (Virginia) at Veterans for Common Sense For Iraq War Veterans, Treatment Can Be A Challenge. I truly do not understand why we cannot see that if we send people to fight wars we should be there to take care of them when they come home. Why is that so hard to "get?"

I have raised some questions about our relationship to war and soldiers at my blog at Care2. Learning History.

From Aaron Glanz, Truthdig, at Veterans for Common Sense Bush and VA Letting Our Veterans Down - 'It's on Purpose'. Why should 600,000 Veterans be left waiting on their disability claims?

From Elana Schor at The Hill No rush for Mukasey confirmation hearing, say Dems.

From the AP at Dems to Wait on War Funding Debate.

From Mark Hemingway at NPRWhat Was Blackwater's Role in Iraq?.

A new TV show aired last night - K'Ville on Fox is supposedly a show about the plight of our beloved New Orleans, post- Katrina and the NOPD. Yes, there is pain in the lives of the people involved, as there truly is all around our city. Yes, there is crime as there would be in any city in a post-catastrophe situation. I have noted the crime/murder rate in Philadelphia is escalating. Philadelphia did not suffer Katrina, and it is heartbreaking to me personally having grown up there, taken the subway, the El, walked about the city only in the company of my best girlfriend, to see it become so plagued.

Is there some reason that people like to think of violence in the Big Easy - do they take some satisfaction in some tilted way from that?

But the thing is, the people of New Orleans, the people of the Gulf Coast are rebuilding, despite funds not be properly allocated; they are rebuilding when their lives have been shattered, their homes destroyed, their health destroyed.

K'Ville gives us a lot of very fast in your face, too fast to focus on, camera action which I find interesting in a place where intense heat and humidity makes life move slowly.

In the middle of the show I got a phone call concerning the music in the show. The caller questioned why, as New Orleans is the birth place of jazz, we were not hearing more of that instead of the incessant, irritating throb of what was being blasted at us. A good question.

I am not clear as to what the objective of this show is. If it is to show the difficulties of the NOPD post - Katrina then real life should provide more than enough material for scriptwriters. Blazing shootouts in the Quarters, insane, and dangerous, car chases are not the way of it, even if they excite audiences. Perhaps the writers could do New Orleans a favor and tell it like it is - that would generate real pathos for the situation, not a wrong view of our city.

I do give praise to the angst and pain portrayed by the main character, played by Anthony Anderson, Marlin Boulet. He has "been there" - spent six days in the water as a member of the NOPD trying to help folks; spent time trying to hold his family together through all of it. At one point, when he should move, his PTSD takes over and he freezes for a moment in the critical situation. This was well done, and should be a reminder that this can happen to soldiers too - and make us ask why soldiers, diagnosed with PTSD are being sent back into combat - dangers to not only themselves, but to others. Something there for us to consider.

So, K'Ville, I wish you well - I ask you to tell the real stories - that will get you the viewing audience without all the unnecessary glitz and noise. There is pain enough to be heard loud and clear. There is soul enough in the Big Easy that Louis Armstrong's voice is still singing it - for us, it is still a wonderful world and we will, despite promises not kept, make the Crescent City shine again - for we are - as the ad says - We are Louisiana - and Mississippi!

For another review of K'Ville from Maureen Ryan, The Watcher at the Chicago Tribune 'K-Ville' shines a compelling light on New Orleans.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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