New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 27, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
Dave Kramer, Editor and General Manager Susan Hair*, Managing Editor
Sometimes the only way to deal with criminals is to get tough with them
Shortie after then-Mayor Jane Byrne moved into the infamous Ca brim-Green public holism# project in Chicago, where the bullets were flying and the death toll was mounting. I was scheduled to give a talk at the University of Illinois campus in Chicago When I arrived at the auditorium, several people al the entrance were passing out handbills that said I was a fascist and a racist When I began my talk, a bearded black instructor interrupted lo wave one of the handbills and berate me for my character flaws It turned out that he and his friends were angered by a column I had written about Byrnes much* publicized move-in at the project.
I had written that Byrne s actual presence in a well-guarded apartment didnt mean much. But the army at cops that came with her made a big difference.
The cops were rousting gang thugs on sight They were going into their apartments and confiscating guns and ammunition They were making
it almost impossible for the gangs to stick their heads out without being pinched.
This had led to an almost miraculous outbreak of peace and quiet and safety in the hugh project, where murders had become a daily event Children were playing outside without ducking gang bullets. Women were riding elevators without fear of rape or robbery. Honest people could w alk to the store without being stripped of their valuables or their lives
But not everybody was pleased. Some people, such as the bearded university instructor, were shouting that Cabnni-Green has been turned into a police state. They said that some of the cops were ignoring legal niceties, such as search warrants for the apartments and genuine reasons for arresting gang members
And these critics weren't entirely wrong .And, yes. the cops were laking shortcuts in the search law. And, yes, many of the arrests they were making wouldn’t hold up in court
But it seemed to me that there had to be a choice: The cops could be faithful to the letter of the law. and the killings would go on Or they could be hard-nosed with the vicious gangs, and the killings would stop
So, until somebody could come up with a better solution, I favored making life miserable for the gangs, even if it meant the cops being less formal than Scotland Yard.
And that, in the eyes of the instructor and his followers *who included sweeties and pals of some gang members I. made me a fascist and a racist.
Well, time goes by. Jane Byrne gave up her Cabrmi apartment and was evicted from City Hall. Some dogooder lawyers got a court order preventing cops from using a disorderly conduct charge as an excuse to yank homicidal punks off the street. The control of the project shifted from the police back to the organized gangs.
And now , l^iketa Crosby, age 9, is dead because she happened to be in
the line of fire when rival savages started shooting. Her uncle is barely alive after being flogged with baseball bats because he could finger the suspect killer. And the dead girl s family is hiding because they’re afraid that they 'll soon be dead. too.
In other words, life is again normal in Cabrim-Green.
And part of this normalcy is that nobody has any answers, other than the same non-answers we’ve been hearing for years.
There's the old cry of ‘‘tear the w hole place down," as was once done with a high-cnme housing project in St. Louis.
But that's foolish, because (I) the law-abiding, low-income people in the projects need someplace to live and < 2 > there’s nothing wrong with the buildings and apartments themselves. Fill the place with yuppies and you’d have another high-priced condo development.
The problem is not the real estate. It’s the 5 or IO percent of the residents w ho are criminals.
Vietnam vets deserve and need continued help
By the National Office,
American Legion Earlier this year this country observed the tenth anniversary of the official end of the Vietnam War. That war, which claimed the lives of 58,000 U.S. servicemen and women, left a searing scar on this country and many of the veterans who fought in Vietnam. No war in our history, other than the American Civil War, so divided this country.
For many veterans of the war in Vietnam, the battles continue. Ten long years after the last American troops pulled out of Saigon, we still see veterans who are having difficulty coming to grips with their lives. For the past two years the American Legion and Columbia University have been conducting a study of Vietnam veterans to see how their military experience affected them.
Legionaires were asked to complete questionaires to help us determine their general state of happiness, how they adjusted after the military, and their general health.
More than 6,800 veterans responded to the call for the study. Of that group approximately 40 percent saw duty in Southeast Asia.
Much of what we found is not surprising. Veterans in the study group, as with the general population, with higher educations earned more, whether combat veterans or not. Direct measures of general happiness and satisfaction and reports of general health are significantly worse for men who served under heavy’ combat conditions.
Other results are disturbing and instructive. When age and education are taken into account, exposure to intense combat has a major independent effect on family income. Drs. Jeanne and Steven Stedman, the project’s directors, estimate that among men bom between 1944 and 1949 (the age group which experienced the highest combat levels > the middle annual income of combat veterans appears to be $3,000-14,000 less than for men of that age group who did not experience intense combat.
And. exposure to combat has affected marital status. The divorce rate for veterans with intense combat is significantly higher than for other veterans who served either under different conditions in Southeast Asia or served elsewhere.
The Stellmans conclude in their first report that there is a "clear and consistent adverse social effect of exposure to traumatic situations (combat) among members of the study population.” Among this group the divorce rate goes up with in
creased combat experience, as a family incomes and the levels of general happiness and satisfaction decline.
These veterans of intense combat “appear to be literally paying a financial cost, as well as an emotional one, for their combat experiences,” the report says. “These men clearly bore the brunt of the war and its aftermath.”
This study reinforces the view of The American Legion the America's veterans cannot be ignored. The dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial day may have healed some wounds, but others are continuing to fester, and that affects us all.
In the months ahead, the remaining portions of the study will be released. Among other topics to be covered will be the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and health problems which might have been caused by exposure to Agent Orange or other substances.
Is it time to put the war behind us? Certainly. We do not wish to continue to fight those battles, but we must remember, as we have done after other wars, that the real battle starts when veterans return home and fight to readjust to the society they left to defend. Now is not the time to limit the scope of federal help to these veteians. Even after ten years (and more for most veterans) they are trying to catch up with the rest of us. They are good solid citizens who want to contribute and earn a part of the American dream. It is up to us to continue to help them.Mailbag policy
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Rep. Edmund Kuempe! Texas House of Representatives P.O. Box 2910 Austin, Texas 78769
Rep. Mac Sweeney (Guadalupe County)
U S House of Representatives Washington, D C., 20515
Sen. John Traeger Texas Senate Capitol Station Austin, Texas 78711
Sen. Phil Gramm United States Senate Washington D.C., 20510
Gov. Mark White Governor s Office Room 200 State Capitol Austin, Texas 78701
Sen. Lloyd Bentsen United States Senate Room 240 Russell Bldg Washington, D C. 20510
Rep. Tom Loeffler U.S. House of Representatives 1212 Longworth House Office Bldg Washington, D C. 20515
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