Full Episode: November 9, 2015

Can a piece of theater teach New York City police recruits about tolerance and racism? The NYPD has added “Anne & Emmett,” a one-act play which imagines a conversation between Anne Frank and Emmett Till, to its recruit training this fall. MetroFocus host Jack Ford gets an inside look with “Anne & Emmett” playwright Janet Langhart Cohen and her husband and co-producer, former U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen.

Next, the public employee pension crisis in New Jersey worsens as more government employees retire. New Jersey Capitol Report Anchor Steve Adubato jumps into the ongoing debate to make sense of the problem and what needs to be done to fix it.

And, Mary Alice Williams sits down with Academy Award nominee and director Debora Granik to discuss her new Independent Lens documentary “Stray Dog,” the Vietnam War, and the struggles that veterans still face today.

 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' WHAT DO ULTIMATE HATE CRIM VICTIMS AND EMMETT TILL HAVE I COMMON OTHER THAN BEING MURDERED FOR WHO AND WHAT THEY WERE A NEW PLAY IS MANDATORY FOR AL NYPD RECRUITS.

> FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN AND HIS WIFE THE WRITER WILL BE HERE WITH INSIGHT.

> ON THE EVE OF VETERANS DAY WE'LL MEET A VIETNAM VET STILL STRUGGLING WITH MEMORIES OF TH WAR HE LEFT BEHIND WHILE FORGING AHEAD AND MAKING AN IMPACT O HIS AND OUR FUTURE ALL THAT AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

THIS IS 'METROFOCUS.'

WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM PROVIDED BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING FOR 'METROFOCUS' PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA.

YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY -

MY LEG HAD ALWAYS HURT A LOT.

I WOULD CRY AND I WOULD SCREAM THE ORIGINAL DIAGNOSIS FOR THI DISEASE IS TO AMPUTATE IT.

WITH NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN'S HELP, THAT HASN'T HAPPENED THEY SAVED WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN.

PEOPLE WERE SURPRISED BY M CHEERLEADING BECAUSE I WAS ABL TO DO FLIPS FOR IT AND STUFF AND NOT BE JUDGED FOR IT, CRITIQUE FOR IT WITH CHEERLEADING I LEARNED TO DO THIS.

> NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS MANY TOOLS IN ITS ARSENAL.

BUT A PIECE OF THEATER IS NO ONE THAT USUALLY COMES TO MIND UNTIL NOW.

A NEW ONE-ACT PLAY CALLED 'ANN AND EMMITT' IS THAT TOOL THE PLAY IMAGINES A CONVERSATION BETWEEN ANNE FRANK, THE JEWISH GIRL FROM AMSTERDAM WHO DIED I A NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMP IN 1945 SIMPLY BECAUSE SHE WA JEWISH, AND EMMETT TILL, A AFRICAN-AMERICAN TEEN HE WAS HORRIFICALLY MURDERED IN MISSISSIPPI AFTER BEING ACCUSE OF FLIRTING WITH A WHITE WOMAN IN 1965.

TILL'S MURDER CAN ONLY B DESCRIBED AS HISTORY RISK.

HIS ALLEGED OFFENSE LED TO HIS BEING VICIOUSLY BEATEN, HIS EYES GOUGED OUT, THEN SHOT DEAD HIS BODY FLOATING IN THE TAL HATCH CHEE RIVER 'ANN AND EMMITT' HAS BEEN SEEN BY THE LIKES OF JOE BIDEN, MATLIN ALL BRIGHT, AND COLIN POWELL WHEN NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER WILLIAM BRATTON SAW THE PLAY HE DECIDED IT WAS A IMPORTANT TOOL TO PREPARE FUTURE POLICE OFFICERS TO OVERCOM COMMUNITY MISTRUST AND THEIR OWN LICE THE PLAY WAS PERFORMED FOR OVE 1,100 RECRUITS AT THE CITY'S POLICE ACADEMY IN QUEENS WEEKS AGO.

CAN A THEATER PRODUCTION ABOUT TWO TEENAGERS FROM DIFFERENT ERAS TEACH TODAY'S NYPD RECRUITS ABOUT RACE AND TOLERANCE HERE TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION JOURNALIST, AUTHOR, AND TH PLAYWRIGHT OF 'ANN AND EMMITT, JANET LANGHART COHEN, AND FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENS WILLIAM COHEN.

SECRETARY COWINS HAPPENS TO BE THE PRODUCER OF THE PLAY IT'S GOOD TO SEE THE TWO OF YOU.

GOOD TO SEE YOU

I'M GOING TO START WITH YOU IN YOUR ROLE HERE.

I'M ALWAYS FASCINATED WHEN I TALK TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE CREATE THINGS WHERE THE INSPIRATION CAME FROM.

WELL, THE INSPIRATION, JACK CAME FROM DEEP DOWN IN M MEMORY ANNE FRANK AND EMMETT TILL ARE A PART OF ME AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN.

I FIRST LEARNED OF ANNE FRAN WHEN I WAS ABOUT 15 YEARS OLD, WHEN I WAS THE AGE SHE WAS WHE SHE WROTE THE LAST PAGES IN HE DIARY.

AND I WAS FASCINATED BY HER.

I KNEW HER TRAGIC ENDING BUT I WAS INTRIGUED AS SHE WROTE ABOUT THE DIFFERENT THINGS I COULD IDENTIFY AS A GIRL COMING OF AGE AS SHE WAS, HAVING ISSUES WITH SIBLINGS AS I DID, AND OF COURSE NOT ALWAYS GETTING ALONG WITH YOUR MOTHER, FAVORING YOUR FATHER.

I COULD IDENTIFY WITH HER.

THE TRAGIC PART IS THAT SHE WA IN A GHETTO, LOCKED IN AN ANNE FOR TWO YEARS.

AND I GREW UP IN A DIFFERENT KIND OF GHETTO AND FELT LOCKED IN AND SHE FELT PATROLLED B POLICE AS AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN IN JI CROW APARTHEID AMERICA I LIK MANY OTHER AFRICAN-AMERICANS FELT CONTROLLED BY POLICE.

EMMETT TILL AND I ARE THE SAME AGE.

HE AND I WERE BORN THE SAM YEAR WE'RE THE SAME ETHNICITY, LIVE IN THE SAME REGION HE IN ILLINOIS, ME IN INDIANA.

WE SUSPECT OUR FAMILIES CAME U TOGETHER THERE WAS A GREAT MIGRATION FROM THE SOUTH.

AND IT WAS 1955 WHEN I WAS THINKING ABOUT GOING TO HIGH SCHOOL I WAS 14 JUST GOT MY NEW CLOTHES.

IT WAS A YEAR AFTER THE SUPREM COURT HAD RULED IN BROWN VERSU BOARD OF EDUCATION THAT I COUL GO TO AN INTEGRATED SCHOOL AND I WAS ALWAYS CURIOUS ABOUT WHITE KIDS WHY THEY WERE ALWAYS OVER THER AND WE WERE ALWAYS OVER HERE SO I WAS ALL EXCITED ABOUT GOING TO THE INTEGRATED SCHOOL AND THEN THAT SUMMER AFTER WE' COME BACK FROM THE INDIANA STATE FAIR, WE GOT WORD THAT A YOUNG BLACK BOY WAS BRUTALLY MURDERE IN MISSISSIPPI FOR WHISTLING A A WHITE WOMAN.

WE LATER LEARNED THAT HI MURDERERS GOT AWAY WITH IT THERE WAS A TRIAL BUT THEY GOT AWAY WITH IT AND I THINK HIS MURDER GALVANIZED A NEW CIVIL RIGHT MOVEMENT BECAUSE THE ELDERS FELT, YOU CAN DO THIS TO US BUT NOT TO OUR CHILDREN THUS YOU HEARD OF ROSA PARKS AND DR. KING AND THE REST WE KNO THE HISTORY OF ANN AND EMMITT WERE ALREADY PART OF ME FOR THOSE TWO ROPES AND THEN FAST FORWARD.

I'M MARRIED TO WILLIAM COHEN THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, AN WE'RE IN WASHINGTON AND I'M AT ONE OF THE LADIES' LUNCHEONS, REALLY NICE LADIES' LUNCHEON I WASHINGTON, D.C.

ONE OF MY FRIENDS SAID TO ME JANET, I HEAR YOU'RE WRITING A BOOK, WHAT'S THE TITLE I SAID, 'RAGE TO REASON: MY LIFE IN TWO AMERICAS.

SHE SAID, RAGE?

WHAT'S THE RANG?

RAGE I TOLD HER ABOUT GROWING UP IN THIS COUNTRY, RACISM, HAVING A COUSIN WHO WAS LYNCHED, HAVING A FRIEND AND MENTOR, DR. KING, WHO WAS ASSASSINATED AND SHE SAID, THESE TW AMERICAS AND I SAID, THE AMERICA OF M YOUTH, APARTHEID AMERICA, AN THE AMERICA OF NOW AND SHE SAID, OH, JANET.

YOU'RE SO SUCCESSFUL, YOU'RE MARRIED TO BILL COHEN, IT WOUL BE SO UNBECOMING OF YOU TO BE VICTIM I WAS STUNNED.

BECAUSE I THOUGHT, ALL OF MY LIFE IN SCHOOL I HAD TO LEAR ABOUT HER HISTORY, EUROPEANS HISTORY, WHITE HISTORY I HAD TO LEARN ABOUT THE CHARG OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE, REMEMBER THE ALAMO.

WHAT DID THEY HAVE TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE THEN WHEN YOU LOOK BACK ON IT

EXACTLY IT WAS MORE PREVALENT, IT WA MORE VISCERAL, MY LIFE, THAN THAT HISTORY BUT I LEARNED IT ALL AND I THOUGHT, 300 YEARS O HISTORY AND I'M TO GET OVER IT

ANNE FRANK, MANY PEOPLE KNO THE STORY.

EMMETT TILL, NOT VERY WELL KNOWN.

WE WERE TALKING BEFORE, I TEAC A COURSE AT YALE AND NYU ABOUT FAMOUS TRIALS.

ONE OF MY TRIALS IS THE EMMETT TILL TRIAL MOST OF MY STUDENTS KNOW NOTHING ABOUT IT IT SEEMS TO ME WHEN YOU PUT TH TWO OF THEM TOGETHER, PART O THE REASON THEY GRAB US SO I BECAUSE OF THE SORT OF ORDINARINESS OF THEIR LIVES UP UNTIL THE POINT WHERE IT'S N LONGER ORDINARY.

UP UNTIL THE POINT WHERE THE BECOME VICTIMS SO HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO SAY I'M GOING TO TAKE THE TWO OF THESE PEOPLE, ANNE FRANK AND EMMETT TILL, DIFFERENT PARTS O THE WORLD, DIFFERENT CULTURES, PUT THEM ON A STAGE TOGETHER AND HAVE THEM TALK TO EACH OTHER HOW'D YOU COME UP WITH THA IDEA

BECAUSE THE WOMAN WHO INNOCENTLY SUGGESTED THAT IT WOULD BE UNBECOMING OF ME TO REMEMBER MY HISTORY BECAUSE SH WAS WHITE, I THOUGHT, WHAT WOULD A WHITE MARTYR SAY TO A BLAC MARTYR AND BECAUSE I KNEW OF ANNE FRANK AND EMMETT TILL I WONDERED WHA WOULD ANNE FRANK SAY TO EMMETT TILL I BET SHE WOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD.

INTOLERANCE AND HATRED TO TH POINT OF DEATH AND I WAS AMAZED AT WHAT I REMEMBERED I CAME HOME AND I TOLD BIL ABOUT THE INSULT, THE INNOCENT INSULT AND I WAS RAVING AND HE SAID, CALM DOWN, GO WRITE SOMETHING.

HE WANTED ME TO BE CATHARTIC ABOUT IT

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE IDEA SHE'S WRITTEN BEFORE IT'S NOT AS IF THIS IS SOMETHING NEW.

BUT THIS IS VERY DIFFERENT WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN SH SAID, HERE'S SOMETHING I'M THINKING OF DOING, PUT ANN FRANK AND EMMETT TILL ON A STAGE TOGETHER

FRANKLY, I WAS NOT FAMILIAR WITH EMMETT TILL'S STORY I KNEW ABOUT IT BUT IT WAS WAY IN THE PAST.

I KNEW ABOUT ANNE FRANK, OBVIOUSLY.

WHEN SHE PUT THE TWO TOGETHER SAID, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO D THIS IN MY OWN MIND SHE'S CREATIVE SO I KNEW SHE COULD DO IT.

BUT TAKE TWO PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, DIFFERENT ETHNICITIES, DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS, CULTURES, TRADITIONS ONE WHITE, ONE BLACK ONE JEWISH, ONE CHRISTIAN.

WHAT WOULD THEY HAVE IN COMMON SHE BRINGS THIS ALL TOGETHER T SHOW THAT THE SAME TECHNIQUE AND TACTICS USED BY OPPRESSORS AGAINST THE OPPRESSED WERE ALMOST IDENTICAL THERE'S A COMING-TOGETHER THAT SHE HAS BROUGHT TOGETHER MAGICALLY AS SOME OF THE COMMENTS OF THOSE WHO HAVE SEE THE PLAY SAYING, THEY'VE NEVER SEEN HOW THIS COULD -- A RUBIC CUBE HAS BEEN PUT TOGETHER IN WAY THAT IS MIRACULOUS

IT'S FASCINATING TH PARALLELS.

LAST QUESTION FOR YOU HERE THE NOTION OF THE NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT USING THE PLAY AS A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THAT?

I THOUGHT COMMISSIONE BRATTON WAS A GENIUS HE'S A MAN OF VISION INNOVATIVE, BOLD LEADERSHIP.

TO TAKE THIS ON.

HE COULD SEE BEYOND A LECTURE OR A TEXTBOOK HE COULD SEE THAT LIVE THEATER HUMAN EMOTION, AND CONDITION PLAYED OUT ON THE LIVE THEATER COULD TOUCH HUMANITY, COUL TOUCH HIS RECRUITS I WROTE THE PLAY FOR THE CLASSROOM, BUT I WROTE IT FO MIDDLE SCHOOL.

HERE IT'S GONE FROM MIDDLE SCHOOL TO THE SUPREME COURT TO THE WOMEN JUDGES AND TRIAL LAWYERS.

HERE TO NYPD AND WITH ALL THE TERRIBL HEADLINES AND THE RELATION BETWEEN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND TH MINORITY COMMUNITY, PARTICULARLY IN THIS CITY, BUT NOT JUST I THIS CITY -- I THOUGHT IT WAS BRILLIANT IDEA FOR HIM TO TAKE THIS PLAY.

BECAUSE WHAT COMMISSIONE BRATTON WANTS, HE WANTS US ALL TO SEE EACH OTHER.

HE WANTS THE MEN AND WOMEN O THE FORCE TO SEE THE COMMUNITY THE DIVERSE COMMUNITIES THAT THEY SERVE TO SEE THEIR HUMANITY, NOT JUS SEE THEIR COLOR.

HE WANTS THEM TO ACT UNDER THE RULE OF LAW AND NOT UNDER TH RULE OF RACE OR COLOR.

AND CONVERSELY, HE WANTS THE COMMUNITY TO SEE THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVE AND PROTEC THEM IT'S VERY EASY WITH THES INCIDENTS TO SAY ALL POLICE AR BAD.

THEY'RE NOT.

I WAS MARRIED TO POLICEMEN IN MY LIFE I KNOW THEY'RE NOT ALL BAD HE WANTS THE COMMUNITY TO SE THE POLICE AND THEIR HUMANITY, DESPITE ALL THE MISTRUST THAT' BUILT UP DESPITE THE WEIGHT OF HISTORY OF HOW THESE TWO CULTURES, TH BLACK CULTURE AND THE POLICE CULTURE, HAVE EVOLVED.

AND THE HARSH RELATIONS.

I THINK IT'S BRILLIANT THAT HE'S DONE THIS.

AND MY MANTRA NOW I'VE TAKEN FROM HIM IS, I WANT EVERYBODY TO SEE EACH OTHER AND I THINK IN THIS PLAY THE DO

THE PLAY IS 'ANNE AND EMMETT.'

IT'S A MARVELOUS ILLUSTRATION OF THE POWER THAT YOU CAN GET FRO A THEATRICAL PRODUCTION.

I WANT TO THANK YOU, NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH

MY PLEASURE WE WENT TO THE NYPD ACADEMY IN QUEENS AFTER THIS POWERFUL PERFORMANCE TO HEAR WHAT RECRUITS WERE SAYING ABOUT THE PLAY WATCH THOSE REACTIONS AND LEAV YOUR THOUGHTS ON OUR WEBSITE METROFOCUS.ORG

> IT'S THE MONEY WE COME T EXPECT WHEN WE RETIRE, OUR PENSIONS THERE'S A PUBLIC EMPLOYE PENSION CRISIS IN NEW JERSEY AND IT'S ONLY GETTING WORSE AS MOR AND MORE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE RETIRE WHILE NO ONE DISAGREES ABOUT THE EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM, WHO'S A FAULT AND WHAT'S TO BE DON ABOUT IT CONTINUES TO BE A ONGOING AND ALMOST ALWAYS HEATED DEBATE JOINING ME NOW TO HELP MAK SENSE OF NEW JERSEY'S PENSIO CRISIS IS STEVE ATABATO, M COANCHOR ON 'NEW JERSEY CAPITA REPORT.'

STEVE, IN A NUTSHELL, WHAT I THE PROBLEM WITH THE PUBLI EMPLOYEE PENSION IN NEW JERSEY WHAT'S AT STAKE?

PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, YOU KNOW, THEY WERE PROMISED WE'LL PAY YOU LESS IN SALARY YOU'LL GET PAID MORE ON THE BACK END IN TERMS OF WHEN YOU RETIRE, PENSION AND HEALTH BENEFITS.

THE PROBLEM IS, IN ORDER TO DO THAT, IN ORDER TO HAVE THE PENSION AND HEALTH CARE FUND B SOLVENT, PARTICULARLY ON THE PENSION SIDE, THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY HAD TO CONTINUE TO INVEST IN THAT PENSION FUND SEVERAL GOVERNORS JUST DIDN'T DO IT THEY WERE LIKE, LOOK, I DON' HAVE TO DO IT, THE LAW IS NO FORCING ME TO DO IT, SO I'LL TAKE THAT MONEYFY HAVE IT AN PUT IT INTO SOMETHING ELSE AND THAT WAS HAPPENING YEA AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR.

UNTIL ULTIMATELY -

I REMEMBER IN THE '90s TH FUND WAS FLUSH WITH CASH

THE STATE WAS FLUSH WIT CASH THERE WAS MONEY THERE AND THEY SAID, LET'S TAKE SOME OF THE MONEY IN THE PENSION FUND, LET'S USE IT TO BALANCE OF THE BUDGET.

YOU COULD DO THAT AND GET AWAY WITH IT FOR A PERIOD OF TIME THE PROBLEM IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE FUND ISN'T FLUSH AND THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW.

YOU'VE GOT A 50, 60, 70, $80 BILLION UNFUNDED LIABILITY WHICH IS A FANCY WAY OF SAYING YOU DON'T HAVE THE MONEY IN TH FUND TO PAY.

MORE AND MORE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ARE RETIRING WHAT HAPPENS NOW THERE'S MONEY THERE FO THEM BUT OVER TIME, WHO'S GOING T PAY THAT BILL?

OUR CHILDREN OUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN.

THAT'S SO WRONG TO SADDLE TH FUTURE GENERATIONS WITH THAT DEBT WHICH IS GOING TO BE TA INCREASES, FRANKLY

OKAY.

NOW, I REMEMBER IN 2011 A SERIES OF BILLS, BIPARTISAN, HIGHLY TOUTED BILLS, WERE PASSED.

THAT'S RIGHT.

THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO SOLVE THIS PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PENSION PROBLEM.

WHY DID THEY NOT GOVERNOR CHRISTIE ON, TH ASSEMBLY SPEAKER, THE SENATE PRESIDENT STEVE SWEENEY.

EVERY ONE OF THEM CAME ON.

THE REPUBLICANS IN THE LEGISLATURE CAME ON AS WELL.

THEY SAID, BIPARTISA COOPERATION.

WE HAVE SOLVED THE PENSION PROBLEM.

ONLY ONE CATCH IN ORDER TO DO THAT, THEY HAD TO PUT MONEY THAT THEY SAID THE WERE GOING TO PUT INTO THE PENSION FUND, IN LAW, IN THE PENSION FUND IN ORDER TO PAY DOWN WHAT THEY OWED.

THAT MONEY WAS NEVER PUT IN.

AND THEY ALSO IN THE PROCESS ASKED THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, THEY RAISED THE RETIREMENT AGE OF 65, THEY CUT BACK ON HEALT BENEFITS SO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES WERE ASKED TO GIVE BACK

AND THEY DID.

THEY DID AND NO ONE THOUGHT THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES WERE DO THAT, THEY DID THE PROBLEM IS THE STATE NEVER PAID THEIR END OF THE BILL

SO WHAT'S THE GOVERNOR SAYING NOW ABOUT ALL THIS

WHAT THE GOVERNOR IS SAYING TODAY IS WHAT THE GOVERNOR SAI BACK IN DECEMBER OF LAST YEAR.

WE SAT DOWN WITH THE GOVERNO RIGHT IN THIS STUDIO AND I ASKED HIM ABOUT THIS IN LIVE ONE-HOUR PROGRAM.

AND I ASKED HIM ABOUT SENATE PRESIDENT STEVE SWEENEY, WHO FRANKLY ACCUSES THE GOVERNOR O NOT KEEPING THE DEAL WHEN I ASKED THE GOVERN BEAR THIS THE GOVERNOR IS AS BLUNT AS HE ALWAYS IS WE HAD STEVE SWEENEY, SENATE O THE PRESIDENT, HE SAID ON OU SHOW, WE HAD A GREAT DEAL WITH THE GOVERNOR TO CLOSE TH PENSION GAP, TO FUND IT, AND SWEENEY TOLD RAFAEL AND I ON 'CAPITAL REPORT' THE GOVERNO BROKE THE PROMISE.

AND HE ALWAYS THOUGHT YOU WERE A GUY THAT WOULD KEEP THE PROMISES AND HE WAS SHOCKED PLEASE EXPLAIN

LISTEN.

THE FACT IS THAT UNLESS STEV COMES UP WITH A WAY TO PRINT MONEY --

SENATE PRESIDENT.

I CALL HIM STEVE, OKAY?

UNLESS STEVE COMES UP WITH A WAY TO PRINT MONEY, HE KNOWS FUL WELL -- NOR DID THE DEMOCRAT EVER COME FORWARD WITH A PLA THAT WOULD HAVE FULLY MADE THE PENSION PAYMENTS

WHAT'S THE GOVERNOR'S PLA NOW?

THE GOVERNOR SAYS, LOOK WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY.

THE GOVERNOR WANTS TO GO BACK TO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES AND RENEGOTIATE WITH THEM.

THE DEMOCRATS ACTUALLY DO SA THEY HAVE A PLAN THE DEMOCRATS SAY, RAISE TAXES ON MILLIONAIRES.

THE REALITY IS THERE'S TWO PROBLEMS WITH THAT NUMBER ONE, THAT RAISES BETWEE $500 MILLION AND $600 MILLION, WHICH DOESN'T EVEN BEGIN T CLOSE THE GAP WE'RE TALKIN ABOUT ON THE PENSION SIDE.

BUT THE OTHER PROBLEM IS, WHER DOES THE GOVERNOR SIT ON THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN TRAIL?

HE SIGNED A DEAL THAT SAID, AN AGREEMENT, NO NEW TAXES.

HE'S NOT GOING TO SIGN ANY TAX INCREASE SO YOU KNOW THERE'S NOT GOING TO BE ANY INCREASE IN REVENUES OR TAXES.

YOU KNOW THAT THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, THEY'RE DIGGING THEIR HEELS IN SAYING, YOU EXPECT US TO COMPROMISE AGAINST AGAIN?

WHEN THE STATE'S NOT PUTTING I THEIR FAIR SHARE I DON'T LIKE SAYING THIS O 'METROFOCUS' BUT THE FACT IS, BELIEVE THERE'S A STALEMATE IN THE STATEHOUSE

THERE'S NO SOLUTION IN TH NEAR FUTURE?

I WANT TO SAY THERE IS BUT DON'T SEE IT RIGHT NOW WIT CHRIS CHRISTIE AND THE DEMOCRATS IN THE LEGISLATURE DIGGING I THEIR HEELS AND POINTING FINGERS AT EACH OTHER.

LAST TIME I CHECKED DOESN' SOLVE ANY PROBLEMS THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ARE SAYING, YOU GO FIRST, YOU GUYS PUT I MONEY, THEN YOU CAN TALK TOWEL ABOUT GIVE-BACKS OR COMPROMISE AGAIN AFTER THIS CHRIS CHRISTIE DOESN'T SEEM TO BE WILLING TO PUT ANY MORE -- BY THE WAY, A JUDGE, A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE JACOBSON SAID THAT THE STATE DID NOT HAVE TO PU THE MONEY IN IF THE STATE SAID THEY DIDN'T HAVE IT.

EVEN IF IT'S A LAW?

EVEN IF IT'S THE LAW.

ALL RIGHT SO I HAVE THE SENSE WE'LL BE TALKING ABOUT THIS AGAIN, STEVE.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

> I'M MARY ALICE WILLIAMS FO 'METROFOCUS.

THIS VETERANS DAY WE MARK TH 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED STATES' ENTRY INTO THE VIETNAM WAR.

AN EPISODE THAT FRAMED AMERICA MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC POLICY AND SHAPED A GENERATION OF CONSCRIPTS AND THEIR FAMILIE AND FRIENDS?

TONIGHT, THE INDEPENDENT LEN SEASON PREMIERE FOCUSES ON THE LIFE OF ONE VET WHO CAME BAC DEVOTED TO THE MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIDN'T AND UNABLE TO FORGIVE HIMSELF FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM IN TWO TOURS THERE HIS NAME IS RON 'STRAY DOG HALL

WHAT HAPPENED TO THESE PEOPLE THAT I WAS EVEN A PART OF -- I DON'T HAVE A RIGHT TO JUST SAY THAT WAS OKAY, I'LL LET IT GO.

THAT IS MY ACCOMPLISHMENT.

I DON'T START MAKING THINGS UP THAT KEEPS ME STRAIGHT, MAN.

IF YOU FOUND IT WITHIN YOU TO ACTUALLY FORGIVE YOURSELF, WOULD YOU BE DISHONORING THEM?

YES

WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY WOUL SAY TO YOU

I DON'T KNOW.

I'LL TELL MYSELF

IT IS AN UNPLINCHING AN COMPASSIONATE DOCUMENTAR DIRECTED BY OSCAR NOMINEE FO 'WINTER'S BONE,' DEBORAH GRANIK.

THAT WAR IS NOT OVER YET, IS IT.

NO.

WHAT WAS YOUR GOAL IN MAKIN THIS FILM?

I THINK MY GOAL WAS TO BE ABLE TO COME TO A PART OF OU COUNTRY THAT IS NOT MY OWN, TH REGION FROM WHICH I COME AND TO TRY VERY DILIGENTLY T TAKE NOTES ABOUT WHAT I SEE AN WHO WILL TALK TO ME AND WHAT THOSE DIALOGUES ARE EXPRESSING FOR ME TO BE A VERY RECEPTIV LISTENER MEANWHILE TRYING TO ACCUMULATE AND ORGANIZE THE VISUAL NOTES, VISUAL ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE DAILY LIFE IN THIS CASE RON.

RON WAS RECEPTIVE.

THAT'S THE PROCESS.

WHAT'S THE GOAL?

THE GOAL IS DEFINITEL UNDERSTANDING AND COMMUNICATION.

THERE'S NO DOUBT, LIKE T UNDERSTAND WHY RON HAS CERTAIN FEELINGS, HOW HE VIEWS THE WORLD, UNDERSTAND THE SEGMENT OF AMERICAN HISTORY THAT HE LIVED THROUGH, HOW HE CAME OF AGE.

IT'S GREATER UNDERSTANDING I THINK THAT IS THE GOAL

HOW DID YOU COME TO MEET HIM?

I MET HIM THROUGH A PECULIA CIRCUMSTANCE WHICH IS IN A BIKER CHURCH WHICH IS A CHURCH I BRANDON AREA AT THE TIME, RO WAS ATTENDING THAT CHURCH, A HOUSE OF TOLERANCE WHERE BIKER CAN WEAR THEIR LEATHER AND B APPROPRIATE AND BE IN A PLACE OF LOVE RON WAS IN THE PEW NEXT TO ME.

AND I WAS AT THAT POINT CASTIN FOR 'WINTER'S BONE,' LOOKING FOR LOCAL PARTICIPANTS AND RON STRUCK ME HARD I WAS NOT PAYING ATTENTION T THE SERMON, I WAS LOOKING AT HIS ARM.

HE WAS RIGHT NEXT TO ME.

I ALSO WAS STUNNED, STOPPED IN MY TRACKS, BECAUSE THE WOR 'VIETNAM' WAS TATTOOED IN HI ARM ON A PROMINENT WAY IT WAS THE LAST WORD I EXPECTE TO SEE IN SOUTHERN MISSOURI IN A CHURCH I JUST DID A SERIES OF DOUBLE-TAKES TRIPLE-TAKES SPOKE TO HIM AFTERWARDS.

BODY NOT ONLY OPEN-HEARTED ABOUT IT BUT INQUISITIVE AND BEGAN THE DIALOGUE

DO YOU THINK HIS RESPONSE T VIETNAM, EVEN THOUGH IT'S SO MANY YEARS BEHIND US, IS TYPICAL OF MOST VETS FROM VIETNAM?

OH, HE HAS A SAYING YOU PUT ANY NUMBER OF VETS IN ROOM AND THEY'LL NEVER BE IN AGREEMENT ABOUT WHAT THEY FEEL IN SYNC, POLITICALLY, HOWEVER.

AUTHORS, AND RON WOULD SAY, YES, A BROTHER CAN IDENTIFY A BROTHER, YES, THERE ARE CERTAI MARKERS AND IMPRINTS THEMATICALLY, INTELLECTUALLY EMOTIONALLY, YES, THEY SHARE HE WOULD SAY, YES, I RECOGNIZE AND I CAN TALK TO.

PTSD, POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS IS NOT DIRECTLY ADDRESSED IN THE FILM BUT IT SEEMS TO BE SUBTEXT OF THE FILM.

IS THAT WHAT YOU FOUND

VERY MUCH SO, YES LATE DISCOVERY IN RON'S LIFE, HE LIVED WITH IT FOR A WHOLE LOT OF YEARS BEFORE HE COULD HAVE ANY IDENTIFICATION OF WHAT THOSE SYMPTOMS WERE.

AND WHAT'S IT PREVENTED HIM FROM DOING HAS IT PREVENTED RELATIONSHIPS HAS IT CAUSED HIM TO GO INTO ALCOHOL OR DRUGS OR OTHE SELF-MEDICATIONS

SO BLESSED THAT SUBSTANCES, CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY, WAS NOT SORT OF WHERE RON WENT TO WORK THINGS OUT PREVENTED HIM -- I MEAN, TO ME IT'S STUNNING THAT WE HAVE AMERICAN CITIZENS WHO 40, 50 YEARS, MANY YEARS AFTER COMBAT EXPERIENCE -- RON SAID TO ME, DIDN'T WAKE UP LAST YEAR BUT THE WEEK BEFORE I HAD A NIGHTMARE.

I HAVEN'T HAD ONE IN TWO WEEKS I'M JUST SAYING, SLEEPLESSNESS WHAT DOES IT PREVENT YOU IT PREVENTS YOU FROM FEELING WELCOME BACK INTO CIVILIAN SOCIETY FOR A WHOLE LOT OF YEARS.

YOU'RE QUICK TO ANGER, YOU'RE AFRAID OF SOME OF YOUR EMOTIONS.

THERE'S A LOT OF SELF-EDITING, SELF-EXCOREIATION.

WOULD SAY DEEP EMOTIONAL SCARRING AND HURT.

IS WHAT YOU LIVE WITH TALK ABOUT THE UNIQUE ABILITY OF FILM TO SHINE LIGHT ON AN ISSUE.

THE UNIQUE ABILITY IS LEF WITH THE AUDIENCE, THE VIEWER, TO PUT PIECES TOGETHER, TO ASK WHAT WOULD I DO?

HOW I WOULD FEEL

YOU SHOOT AND EDIT WITH A POINT OF VIEW TO BRING VIEWERS TO THOSE CONCLUSIONS, RIGHT?

THERE'S NO NEUTRALITY, THAT'S ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

BY VIRTUE OF HAVING A CAMERA ANYWHERE, ANY TIME, YOU AR ALTERING ON MANY LEVELS WHAT WILL GET PLAYED OUT.

THAT BEING SAID, THERE ARE WAY TO BECOME A LESS-INVASIV NOTE-TAKER OR TAKE A STEP BACK AND STAY THERE LONG ENOUGH THA THINGS UNFOLD -- NOT REGARDLES OF YOUR CAMERA BUT DESPITE YOU CAMERA IN SOME SENSE SO MY POINT OF VIEW -- I WOULD SAY I HAVE TO COME FROM A PLAC OF AFFECTION I FELT AFFECTIONATE TOWARDS RO AND THE COMMUNITY THAT HE WA ALLOWING ME TO HAVE A CONNECTION TO IT'S AFFECTION, IT'S CONCERN MY POINT OF VIEW IS WONDERMENT I WONDER HOW PEOPLE FORM THEIR VIEWS.

I WANT TO KNOW, I WANT TO ASK.

MY POINT OF VIEW IS CURIOSITY, I AM A CURIOUS PERSON.

VERY GRATEFUL YOU WERE HERE TODAY, DEBORAH GRANIK, THANK YOU.

'STRAY DOG' IS AVAILABLE ONLIN AT METROFOCUS.ORG OR ON 13 EXPLORE iPAD OR iPHONE APP DEBORAH, THANK YOU

> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

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