Category Archives: Politics

Kim Jong-il to Obama: Give Me All Your Money Yo!

Me love you long time!

North Korea’s long-running policy of quietly extorting money from the U.S. and South Korea through threat of force has finally come out in the open.

According to this story on the Australian Broadcasting Company web site, the normally secretive regime of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il is seeking $65 trillion (that’s right, with a T) in damages it says the U.S. has caused North Korea in the 60 years since the beginning of the Korean War.

KCNA (the North Korean news agency) said the figure includes $US26.1 trillion arising from US “atrocities” which left more than 5 million North Koreans dead, wounded, kidnapped or missing.

The agency also claims 60 years of US sanctions have caused a loss of $US13.7 trillion by 2005, while property losses were estimated at $US16.7 trillion.

Personally, I would agree that North Korea has lost trillions of dollars in the last 60 years. Just look at the difference between the standard of living there and in South Korea. The only area where Uncle Frankie and Dear Leader disagree is in where to place the blame. It’s all on you Lil’ Kim!

This would be funnier if it weren’t for the real threat that North Korea poses. They can stir-up real trouble in a Pyongyang minute and everyone knows it. What the hell? If we can bail out AIG why not the DPRK?

Why I Support Arizona SB 1070

I’ve given a lot of thought to this and have even read the actual law online (unlike Barack Obama, Eric Holder or Janet Napolitano) before gracing you all with my opinion on the matter.

The fact is that those of us lucky enough to be American citizens have to identify ourselves, our citizenship, date of birth, place of residence, Social Security number and God knows what else on a daily basis here in the land of the free. So why shouldn’t illegal aliens be expected to do the same? Do they have more rights than legal citizens?

I hate Big Brother more than most people. I don’t like having to present my ID to the cops, at the bank, the DMV, the hospital or anywhere else. Screw ’em I say! But what choice do I have? That’s just the way it is and I have to suck it up along with EVERYONE else.

If I don’t want to live in a society with laws I can go build a cabin in Montana someplace and catch up on my reading. And if illegal immigrants don’t want to deal with it they don’t have to stay.

Today’s posting is spurred by an email I received which is quoted in its entirety below.

Consider this. As an ordinary American citizen I must show ID when:

  1. When pulled over by the Police.
  2. Making purchases on my credit card.
  3. When I verify medical insurance for a doctor’s appointment.
  4. When filling out a credit card or loan application.
  5. When applying for or renewing a driver’s license.
  6. When applying for any kind of insurance.
  7. When filling out college applications.
  8. When donating blood.
  9. When obtaining controlled prescription drugs.
  10. When making some debit purchases, especially if I’m out of state.
  11. When collecting a boarding pass for airline or train travel.
  12. When proving I am of legal age to buy booze and cigarettes.
  13. When voting at the polls.
  14. When applying for Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid benefits.
  15. When enlisting in the military.
  16. When entering a military base.
  17. When applying for food stamps.
  18. When applying for disability or economic assistance.
  19. When cashing a check.
  20. When entering my place of work.
  21. When applying for or renewing a passport

I’m sure there are more instances, but the point is that we citizens of the USA are required to prove who we are nearly every day. Why should people in this country illegally be exempt?

Last but not least, there is nothing in Arizona’s state law which is already not part of Federal law. So why did Arizona write and enact this law? Because the Feds were not enforcing the laws already on their books! Don’t be surprised if you start seeing more of these types of laws being enacted in states across the country.

Your thoughts?

40 Years and $1 Trillion Later, The Drug War Grinds On

Whatever your feelings about the legalization of drugs, one fact is clear: The United States’ “War on Drugs” has been an abysmal failure.

According to this story reported by United Press International, since 1970 we’ve spent one trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000.00) and lost hundreds of lives in a futile attempt to stem the flow of drugs deemed illegal to their ready, willing and eager customer base in the U.S.

If anything, the problem has grown worse over time. Here’s what U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske has to say:

“In the grand scheme, it has not been successful,” Kerlikowske told The Associated Press. “Forty years later, the concern about drugs and drug problems is, if anything, magnified, intensified.”

It’s hard to believe that we never learned the lesson of Prohibition which gave rise to widespread organized crime in the 1920s and 30s. People are going to have their drinks and their drugs. It’s as simple as that. And, right now, the Mexican drug lords make Al Capone look like a pussycat!

My answer: legalize, regulate and tax marijuana. It’s politically inconceivable to think that cocaine or heroin will ever be legalized but they aren’t the big money makers right now, high-grade pot is. As for pharmaceutical drugs – they’re already “regulated” but are probably more popular and available than ever as illegal/recreational substances.

Methamphetamine? Forget about it! That stuff is bad news any way you look at it, would never get legalized and is mostly manufactured domestically anyway.

No, legalizing pot will not answer all of our national drug problems. But it will cost the drug lords a lot of money and will help support a lot of states and municipalities.

Your thoughts?

Latest Arizona Poll

The latest telephone poll taken by the Arizona Governor’s Office asked whether people who live in Arizona think illegal immigration is a serious problem:

29% responded, “Yes, it is a serious problem.”

71% responded, “No es una problema seriosa.”

Bongless in Miami

No thanks, I'm trying to quit...

Is nothing sacred?

According to this story published on the NBCMiami.com web site, the Florida legislature has unanimously passed a bill that will run most head shops out of business.

Under the new law, no shop owner can derive more than 25% of their revenue from bongs, pipes, papers, etc. without running the risk of losing their business license and possibly spending as much as a year in jail.

“I’ve been fighting the pipe industry for the longest, because it is all a part of the drug trade and the criminal enterprise that we know exists and destroys neighborhoods, families and order in our society,” State Representative Darryl Rouson said earlier this month.

Sure Darryl. Is that what your other brother Darryl told you to say?

Florida’s “Bong Bill” strikes me as being in odd contrast to all of the loosening of marijuana laws occurring in other states across the country.

Then again, we are talking about Florida here.

David Letterman’s Top 10 Bush Moments

No matter your political leanings, this is painful to watch. Enjoy…

This video is an interesting example of the way media are distributed today. It’s a clip which originally aired on CBS TV, made up of clips from a variety of other networks. It was replayed on C-SPAN where this recording was captured and then posted on YouTube. Now I’ve grabbed the embed code from YouTube and posted it here where you are watching it. Copyright? What copyright?

Uncle Frankie: Witness to History

Just came across this photo on FoundShit.com. Man, did it take me back to the day… Why? Because I once knew this guy.

If you are of a certain age you may remember the original Life Magazine photograph (shown farther down in this post along with the very disturbing NBC News video clip) from which this piece of street art is adapted. The fact that the image was used 40 years after the original incident as the inspiration for a random piece of street art, attests to its power and historical significance.

flower-spray-street-art1

Taken February 2, 1968, the second day of the Tet Offensive by Eddie Adams, who won a Pulitzer Prize for it, the photo shows South Vietnamese National Police Chief Brigadier General Nguyen Ngoc Loan, executing a Viet Cong prisoner on the street in Saigon. Some have dubbed the shot “The Instant of Death.”

Here are some historical tidbits related to the story:

Adams snapped his unforgettable shot on day two of the Tet Offensive. Tet was a coordinated assault by more than 80,000 North Vietnamese and VC troops on 36 (of 44) provincial capitals, 5 (of 6) autonomous cities, and 64 (of 242) district capitals in South Vietnam. It was a surprise attack during a holiday truce (for the Vietnamese New Year). The fighting lasted a few months in several different theaters. It ended with a resounding American victory. But media coverage in general, and Adams’s photograph in particular, transformed it into a Pyrrhic victory.

century0258

So, what does all of this have to do with your friend Frank?

In the early 1980s a small, family-owned restaurant called Les Trois Continents opened in the Rolling Valley Mall near my home in Springfield, Virginia. Shortly thereafter, a very small, soft-spoken Vietnamese man came to our print shop to get some menus typeset and printed for the restaurant. I soon learned that he was none other than Nguyen Ngoc Loan, the man firing the pistol in the photo.

The restaurant’s name means The Three Continents in French and refers to Vietnam’s history as the French colony, French Indochina. Like many members of the wealthier class in Vietnam, General Loan was born in Vietnam, educated in France and immigrated to the United States after the fall of Saigon. Hence the name.

Our family went to his restaurant many times because of the great food and friendly service. I only asked General Loan about the incident once. He acknowledged his identity but said he would prefer not to speak about the event. His only comment was that the picture was taken out of context and that he had no regrets about his actions.

“There is no way you could understand what was going on that day,” he said and left it with that. Hard to disagree.

To this day, the contradiction of the man confounds me. He was about 5′ 2″, maybe 95 lbs., had a severe leg injury and walked very slowly and feebly with the aid of a cane. He was funny, worldly, polite and humble. And yet this same man was capable of calmly drawing a pistol from his hip, shooting an unarmed, bound man directly in the temple in front of scores of witnesses, returning his gun just as matter-of factly to his holster and quietly walking away, leaving the man in the street like a dog with his brains and blood running out.

If nothing else, this is testimony to the fact that you just never know a person’s back story when you meet them.

In spite of the great food and service, the restaurant did not do very well and closed a couple of years later. I never saw General Loan again.

That’s today’s entry from the Frankie File kids. Below is the short video clip from NBC News. BE ADVISED: you will probably never see such graphic, real violence anywhere else.

In doing my research for this posting, I came across this interview with Eddie Adams, the photographer. He says that the photo ruined Loan’s life. He was severely wounded in the leg and sent to the states for medical treatment and recovery. Watch this short interview, it’s a very interesting postscript to the whole story and also ties into my part.

This is about as heavy as it comes from me kids. More funny stuff later, I swear!