for disabled homeless Veterans in favor of a public community park at the Los Angeles VA
By Robert L. Rosebrock
Los Angeles has the largest Homeless Veteran population in the Nation. Ironically, Los Angeles also has the largest Veterans Home in the Nation, albeit an abandoned one.
Veterans Park Conservancy (VPC), which is not a Veterans organization but a wealthy and powerful homeowner group in Brentwood, obtained an unprecedented long-term “sharing agreement” with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to build a public park “for the enjoyment of the entire community” on a billion-dollar parcel of Veterans property … “rent free.”
Meanwhile, more than 20,000 disabled and disadvantaged Military Veterans have been exiled from these sacred grounds deeded 125 years ago in their sole behalf, and are forced to live homeless and hungry in back-alley squalor.
Michael Feuer, a lawyer by profession and a career politician, is a long-time supporter of VPC and subsequently endorses the homeowner group’s behind-the-scenes land deal with the VA to build a public park instead of constructing new and modern housing for thousands of homeless Veterans.
On Tuesday, May 21, Los Angeles will be holding an election to vote for Mayor, City Attorney and City Controller, and Mr. Feuer is a candidate for City Attorney running against incumbent Carmen Trutanich.
Where Do We Get Our Many Freedoms?
It’s been said over and over that America “is a free country,” yet nothing is ever free because somebody always has to pay for it.
We enjoy Freedom to Vote for the candidate of our choice not because of political parties, campaigns and polling stations, but because of the selfless men and women in our Armed Forces who pledge their lives to defend our U.S. Constitution and Flag.
We enjoy Freedom of the Press not because of news media owners, reporters and advertisers, but because of the selfless men and women in our Armed Forces who pledge their lives to defend our U.S. Constitution and Flag.
We enjoy Freedom of Speech not because we believe we’re entitled to speak our mind, but because of the selfless men and women in our Armed Forces who pledge their lives to defend our U.S. Constitution and Flag.
We enjoy Freedom of Religion not because we choose to worship or not worship at our own discretion, but because of the selfless men and women in our Armed Forces who pledge their lives to defend our U.S. Constitution and Flag.
Moreover, everything we do and enjoy in our free society is not because of high-paid politicians, but because of a huge price that has been paid by brave members of our U.S. Military who defend America’s unparalleled way of life.
In return, we as a grateful society are supposed to take care of those who have taken care of us, particularly when they are disabled and become homeless because of their physical and mental war injuries.
The National Veterans Home
After the Civil War, the disabled, debilitated, incapacitated and disadvantaged Soldiers who returned from combat needed long-term specialized care, far more than their families were able to provide.
Compounding their mental and physical war injuries, were demoralizing emptiness and loneliness.
Men who had lived together, fought together and survived together had forged a camaraderie that could not be broken. As a result, their future stability and well-being would require co-existent housing and quality care established in a safe and restful environment.
Thus, in 1888 and in accordance with an 1887 Act of Congress, two patriotic families donated 600 acres of pristine property in West Los Angeles for the sole purpose “to locate, establish, construct and permanently maintain a branch of said National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.”
This was the first National Home west of the Rockies and the benevolent land gift was established not as a hospital or an alms house, but a “Home” with supplemental provisions provided by the Government of the United States, i.e., “We the People”.
Furthermore, this noble endowment was not a charity, but a reward to the brave and deserving. More specifically, the land was deeded as a “Home” to ensure that there would never be a homeless Veteran in Los Angeles.
In fact, the irrefutable clause “to locate, establish, construct and permanently maintain a branch of said National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers” is repeated five different times in the Deed of 1888.
For more than a century, every generation of grateful Americans honored our War Veterans by honoring the Deed of 1888 and demanded that our U.S. Government provide quality housing and care for our disabled and needy Veterans.
This is obviously a very small token of indebtedness owed to our Veterans compared to the many freedoms we enjoy at the enormous expense of their selfless sacrifices.
At War with our Veterans
After the Vietnam War, the VA began medicating our mentally disabled Veterans with mood altering drugs to treat so-called “invisible” injuries, and then left them on their own instead of providing supportive housing with oversight care.
Many became addicted to the VA drugs, which further incapacitated them and eventually led to homelessness.
Today, 47% of all homeless Veterans are from the Vietnam War that ended 38 years ago, while that same War has continuously raged on internally.
Every day, on national average, 22 Veterans commit suicide as they find their solace in Plato’s prophecy 2,500 years ago: “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
Incredulously, the VA abandoned its fiduciary duty to honor the Deed of 1888 and construct new and modern housing to meet this long-term responsibility for those who had borne the battle in our behalf.
Instead, the VA bureaucrats formed a “partnership” with over-reaching and over-zealous neighboring communities that led to a multitude of secret land deals that benefit non-Veterans at the horrific expense of disabled and homeless Veterans.
In a 1988 “Los Angeles Times” article titled “Plans to House Homeless on VA Property Dropped,” Sue Young, then president of the Brentwood Homeowners Association and founder / executive director of Veterans Park Conservancy, infamously proclaimed: “We know there is a homeless problem out there, but the Veterans Administration property is not the place to solve it.”
Thus, a century after this land was patriotically deeded as a National Veterans Home, Ms. Young and her elitist homeowner group led the charge to block any housing whatsoever for Veterans, which subsequently forced tens of thousands of disabled and disadvantaged Veterans into homelessness.
Over the past decade, the protracted Iraqi and Afghanistan Wars caused devastating casualties that generated lifetime injuries for hundreds of thousands of our Military Veterans while the VA partnered with VPC to build a public community park instead of constructing a new and modern Veterans Home.
In November 2007 during the peak of the Middle East Wars, the local “Brentwood News” asked Ms. Young about the process of getting approval for the public community park and she boasted: “Because this arrangement was unprecedented, it required lengthy discussions and compromises with Veterans Administration in Los Angeles and Washington. The agreement also called for approvals at the highest levels, i.e., Secretary Nicholson, and the involvement of the Congressional delegation, all of which took time.”
The way Veterans property was misappropriated behind closed doors by this group of wealthy private citizens in Washington D.C., reinforces the judicious observation of Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter (1939-1962): “The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes.”
For more than a quarter century, Ms. Young and her cabal have been at war with homeless Veterans as they use their wealth and power to influence the VA and Congressional delegation for their own benefit.
Did I mention Michael Feuer supports Ms. Young’s self-serving homeowner group to build a public community park instead of constructing new and modern housing for our homeless Veterans?
Biggest Land Fraud Scam in American History
On these sacred grounds where Veterans dating from the Civil War walked proudly, there’s now a public dog park, public recreation park, public golf course, public botanical garden, private school playground and athletic field, wealthy kids soccer field, commercial hotel laundry facilities, commercial car rental and bus lots, along with the proposed public community park and other scandalous misappropriation that have inflicted even more serious injury onto our disabled and disadvantaged Veterans who remain homeless.
This is anything but a National Veteran Home. Without any measure of comparison, this is the biggest land fraud scam in American history coupled with horrendous human rights violations against disabled and homeless Veterans, making this the most shameful national disgrace ever perpetrated on American soil.
A Trojan Horse
Adding insult to injury, the VPC homeowner group has essentially taken over all Veterans property north of Wilshire Boulevard as the Department of Interior, not the VA, now controls the multitude of so-called “historic buildings” that are dilapidated, dysfunctional and vacant, except for being occupied by colonies of rats and other rodents.
VPC’s original public park plan was for 10 acres but conveniently jumped to 16 acres in their behind the scene wheeling and dealing with the VA and the Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C.
When asked in a Q&A on their website if the 16-acre park would be a small neighborhood park, VPC answered: “No. What we have in mind is a scaled-down version of a grand community park in the tradition of New York’s Central Park, San Francisco’s Presidio, or the Boston Commons.”
Make no mistake, the group’s ruse to build “a shrine in honor of our veterans” is nothing more than a modern-day Trojan Horse designed to subvert the Deed of 1888 so they can invade, conquer and build a massive public park on Veterans hallowed property, “for the enjoyment of the entire community.”
In fact, the group confirmed the intentions they had for an all-encompassing community park on Veterans property by boldly declaring in the November 2007 issue of the “Brentwood News” that the preliminary 16-acre parcel public park will “demonstrate the positive community impact of reclamation of open space for public use, setting a precedent for discussion about the remaining federal property.”
This manipulative scheme reached fruition with VPC boasting on its website: “The VA is seeking to encourage heritage tourism, in cooperation with the National Park Service.” They go on to say that the VA asked them “to extend its stewardship of the Los Angeles National Veterans Park by providing visitor services across the entire property.”
“Heritage tourism?” “Visitor services?” “Entire property?”
Did I mention this land was exclusively deeded as a permanent Home for disabled and disadvantaged Veterans and there are more than 20,000 homeless Veterans in Los Angeles?
Who Supports Michael Feuer?
While Mr. Feuer supports the wealthy and powerful homeowner group that is hell-bent on taking Veterans property for public use and shutting out any new housing for homeless Veterans, then who supports Mr. Feuer?
Well, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that those who initiated the public community park scam “to honor our veterans” while shamelessly forcing tens of thousands of disabled and needy Veterans into homeless, also support Mr. Feuer.
In fact, on the Internet site “Grassroots for Mike Feuer,” it lists citizens who have signed on as public endorsers of his campaign.
A name that particularly stands out is “Nancy Freedman, Brentwood, Chair Brentwood Community Council”, which has an asterisk next to her endorsement for “Identification purposes only.” This supposedly suggests to the uninformed readers that she is independently endorsing Mr. Feuer and not on behalf of Brentwood Community Council (BCC).
At the BCC’s February meeting, Mr. Feuer was a guest speaker and introduced by chairperson Freedman as “Our own Michael Feuer.”
Ms. Freedman is not only the chairperson of the powerful BCC, but she is also a Board Member of Veterans Park Conservancy. And oh by the way, the BCC is on the Conservancy’s list of supporters for the public park, as is Mr. Feurer.
Also on Michael Feuer’s list of supporters is U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congressman Henry Waxman and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. The threesome is also on the Veterans Park Conservancy list of supporters for the public community park.
This cronyism intertwined with politics, wealth and power is beyond comprehension, considering our disabled homeless Veterans are shut out of the equation while their land is used as a pro quid pro bartering chip.
“Homeless Veterans Issue Isn’t the Conservancy’s Mission.”
You have to give the Veterans Park Conservancy gang credit for not being bashful about dishonoring the Deed of 1888 and opposing the construction of any new housing for our homeless Veterans.
For decades, they’ve made it very clear that their mission is to preserve the “open space” for a public park and the homeless Veteran problem is of no concern to them.
In December 2011, after the third private “invitation only” dedication ceremony of a $1 million rose garden built as part of the proposed public park project on Veterans property, the “Brentwood Patch” interviewed VPC board member Nancy Freedman who clarified their mission: “The people who have given money to this project are very proud of themselves and it’s not money that would have gone anywhere else. It’s not money that would have helped the homeless program, it’s not money that would have helped in anything other than people interested in giving people an outdoor environment.”
Think about her statement, “people interested in giving people an outdoor environment,” as opposed to giving homeless Veterans who already live in an outdoor environment proper shelter and care.
In the same article, Craig Parsons, outside communications consultant for Veterans Park Conservancy, defiantly proclaimed: “Homeless veterans issue isn’t the conservancy’s mission.”
Is there any doubt that the homeowner group Mr. Feuer supports is in serious opposition to helping homeless Veterans?
Time for Uncompromised Investigations
This article only scratches the surface of the biggest land fraud scam in American history that has been suppressed for decades.
The Deed of 1888 is the “Law of the Land” to the Los Angeles National Veterans Home that ensures disabled and needy Veterans will always have a secure and peaceful residency to heal from their war injuries.
Shamefully, the VA and U.S. Government have failed to honor this legal code of justice and “We the People” have failed to enforce the moral law of gratitude by protecting these sacred grounds from misappropriation for non-Veteran use.
It’s time for immediate FBI, Federal Grand Jury and Congressional Investigations into how these private land deals came about and expose the crime boss who is behind this national disgrace that’s reached Biblical proportion.
“We the People” need to know who orchestrated the embezzlement of this noble land gift that is to be held in trust and perpetuity as a National Veterans Home while tens of thousands of Veterans remain homeless and hungry in Los Angeles.
Those who aided and abetted in the biggest and most disgraceful land-fraud swindle in American history need to be incarcerated in federal prison for a very long time, which is a very small measure of justice for the tens-of-thousands of innocent Veterans they sentenced and imprisoned to a torturous life of homelessness.
Upholding the Law
Mr. Feuer is an attorney running for City Attorney of Los Angeles.
Even though this is federal property, shouldn’t he be honoring the law instead of supporting secret land deals that violate the legal Deed of 1888, a Congressional Act of 1887 and the VA’s Administrative Procedure Act, and forces disabled and disadvantaged Military Veterans to live homeless and hungry in back-alley squalor?
The ACLU of Southern California filed a lawsuit against the VA for misusing Veterans property and Laurence Tribe, the Dean of Harvard Law School where Mr. Feuer got his law degree, is one of the chief co-counsels.
On June 11, 2011, Mr. Tribe was a guest on the Charlie Rose Show to discuss the ACLU lawsuit. The program, titled: “VA’s secret land deals are illegal,” Mr. Tribe referred to 21 secret land deals the VA has entered into and this includes the public park that Mr. Feuer supports.
VPC’s public community park plan on Veterans property while homeless Veterans sleep outside the VA
One has to question why Mr. Feuer, who is not a Veteran but his father is a decorated World War II Veteran, would support the non-Veteran homeowner group engaged in land misappropriation instead of standing up for Veterans like the head of Harvard law school where he got his law degree, and endorsing provisional shelter for homeless Veterans.
As a lifetime public servant, shouldn’t Mr. Feuer exemplify patriotic leadership by enforcing the moral law of responsibility to take care those who have taken care of us and demand that VPC cancel its public park arrangement instead of supporting it?
On May 21, remember those who fought for your right to vote in a free election. And also remember that 20,000 of them are homeless and hungry in Los Angeles because Mr. Feuer supports a public park on their land instead of advocating the construction of new and modern housing in their behalf.
God Bless America and the Veterans Revolution!
U.S. Army, 1965-67, Schofield Barracks, Hqs., U.S Army, Hawaii. Director, The Veterans Revolution, Captain, the Old Veterans Guard, and Director, We the Veterans.
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