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Deception and illusion that Veterans could have started the fire

Parable of Inequality - Rich and Poor


By —— Bio and Archives--December 17, 2017

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Parable of Inequality - Rich and Poor
HOMELESS veteran Kevin Eugene Powell in West L.A. More than 34,000 people are homeless in the city. (Francine Orr Los Angeles Times)

Fellow Veterans and Friends of Veterans:

A front-page story in yesterday’s edition is about the recent Bel-Air fire that destroyed multi-million-dollar mansions, and a homeless encampment purportedly nearby that is accused of starting it. (“A Parable of Inequality in Bel-Air”...)

Since the purported homeless encampment apparently vanished in the fire, the Times went across the 405 Freeway and took a photo of a homeless Veteran encampment outside the VA’s Eisenhower gate alongside San Vicente Boulevard adjacent to Brentwood.  This gives the deception and illusion that Veterans could have started the fire.

The Times story does not state that the location of this homeless Veteran encampment is right next to the Los Angeles VA (it certainly is not next to Bel-Air).

These Veterans have been living outside the VA when they should be housed inside the VA and not disrespected as somehow a problem to society.

On the contrary, the neighboring society is the problem for keeping Los Angeles our nation’s capital for homeless Veterans by allowing the VA to misappropriate Veterans’  land that was deeded as a National Home for disabled and homeless Veterans.

The approximately 950-word front-page article does not mention the word Veteran once other than in the photo caption, nor is there any mention of the plight and struggles of homeless Veterans. Instead, the photo links the possibility of homeless Veterans causing the Bel-Air fire in the article because a photo is worth a thousand words. 

Homeless Veterans Los Angeles
Here’s photo of same Veteran encampment, taken yesterday at 1:02 PM outside the VA, not close to Bel-Air.

Continued below...

Homeless veterans Los Angeles
Here’s another photo taken on November 12, and that’s Mr. Powell standing with fellow Veterans (one in a wheel chair) who share the makeshift encampment, and they are not known to cook or be a threat to society in any other way.  They rightfully and legally belong on the other side of this fence.

Homeless veterans Los Angeles
7:25 AM – November 22, 2017

Homeless veterans Los Angeles
12:10 PM – November 22, 2017


On November 22, the day before Thanksgiving, the City of Los Angeles sent out a City garbage truck and removed all the personal belongings of the homeless Veterans living at their encampment next to the VA along San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood.

Lest we’ve forgotten, the City of Los Angeles has 12 acres of Veterans land “rent free” for a public dog park,  including kids’ soccer and softball fields, plus a large public parking lot “free to the public,” but the City completely removed what little these homeless Veterans had to be thankful for – their makeshift home—the day before Thanksgiving.

Matthew 7:6 in the Bible forewarns …. “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,

LA Times’ columnist Steve Lopez states there is inequality in this story of Bel-Air mansions burning while the homeless are camping nearby.  He declares: “There has to be meaning in this, or it wouldn’t play so much like a parable.”

He does not mention how a multitude of U.S. Military Veterans have lived long periods of being homeless and hungry with no offers or a plan for emergency shelter, while those who live in mega-mansions threatened by the fire were provided with immediate emergency shelter.  That is definitely inequality!

Why can’t there be an ongoing emergency shelter on the sacred grounds of the VA for our war-injured and impoverished homeless Veterans the same way government immediately provided shelter for the wealthy and powerful homeowners?

President John F. Kennedy wisely noted: “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

He also said: “To those whom much is given, much is expected.”

Indeed the Bel-Air fire presented parables of inequality and the Biblical parable of “The Good Samaritan” — Luke 10:25–29, has a direct meaning and speaks volumes:

Continued below...

Behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”

He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.”

He said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live.”

But the lawyer, desiring to justify himself, asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbour?”

Jesus answered, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

In the same way a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side.

But a certain Samaritan, as he travelled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the host, and said to him, ‘Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.’

Now which of these three do you think seemed to be a neighbour to him who fell among the robbers?”

The lawyer said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Fellow Americans, it’s time to stop ignoring and neglecting those who have been robbed of their rightful Home, which is the Los Angeles National Veterans Home, and become Good Samaritans by showing mercy on our disabled and destitute Veterans who live homeless and hungry in some of the most inhumane conditions imaginable.

Stop passing by and help!

These Veterans are down and out and we all need to give them the immediate shelter and care they need and deserve by building an organized “Tent City” on the sacred grounds of the Los Angeles VA.

Zen Master Wei Wu Wei offered these wise words about Karma:


“Do you realise that when you give a shilling to a beggar you are giving it to yourself?
Do you realise that when you help a dog over a stile you yourself are being helped?
Do you realise that when you kick a man when he is down, you are kicking yourself?
Give him another kick, if you deserve it!”

“Save Our Veterans Land” and “Bring Our Homeless Veterans HOME.”


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Robert L. Rosebrock -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Rosebrock is a U.S. Army Veteran, Vietnam War-era, HQ USARHAW, Schofield Barracks. He is Director of the Veterans Revolution and the Old Veterans Guard.


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