Recently, I saw in the NYDN one of the most iconic pictures that was ever taken during the Vietnam War… in fact.. it may be one of the most iconic pictures ever when it comes to any war.
It won Nick Ut a Pulitzer Prize… it is of a nude 9-year-old Vietnamese girl running down a road screaming in agony from being burnt by napalm, with soldiers following in the rear and black smoke clouds rising even further in the background…
The 9-year-old is Kim Phuc…
… an update of her peronal story, and an opinion from me, follows…
War… what is it good for?
In an iconic, moment defining and eerie photo (see right) a young Vietnamese girl is running down a road naked and crying in agony and fear… she had ripped and torn off her clothes because they were covered in searing napalm.
It is now over 40 years later and Kim Phuc is a reminder and a symbol of what war can do and be. Today she still has daily pain from the wounds she suffered on that fateful day in 1972 when South Vietnamese soldiers missed their intended target and dropped napalm on Trang Bang… Kim’s village.
Until this moment in time, Kim had only believed her pain and suffering… reminders of that day so long ago yet still so fresh within her mind… would only cease when she had passed from this world and into the next… or as she says… “”…when I’m in heaven.”
But now… she says… “(There can be)… heaven on earth for me!”
Last month Kim arrived in Miami and began a series of laser treatments at Miami Dermatology and Laser Institute that her doctor, Jill Waibel, says will smooth and soften the thick scar tissue that travels from her left hand up her arm, up her neck to her hairline and down almost all of her back… and more importantly… finally ease and relieve the aches and pains she has constantly suffered since napalm seared deep into her flesh.
Kim arrived in the US with her husband from her adopted country of Canada (where she defected to in the 1990’s) and she will be reunited with a man who has been part of her life since she was 9 years old… Los Angeles-based Associated Press photojournalist Nick Ut.
She says of Ut: “He’s the beginning and the end. He took my picture and now he’ll be here with me with this new journey, new chapter.”
Ut recalls when he first saw Kim and snapped her picture that she was screaming…”Too hot! Too hot!” He quickly grabbed her and placed her in a news media van where she fell to the floor with her skin raw from burns and falling from her body. She was whimpering with pain… “I think I’m dying, too hot, too hot, I’m dying.”
He took her to a hospital… and then went to file his photos, including the one that would win him the Pulitzer Prize… the one of Phuc running crying in fear and pain as she was being seared alive from gelatinous fire… napalm. The napalm was stuck on her flesh for a very long and it killed her skin down through the layer of collagen, leaving her with scars almost four times as thick as normal skin. Most people who suffer injuries similar to Kim’s usually don’t make it through the experience alive. Kim was one of the few “lucky” ones… she somehow lived
Kim says, “As a child, I loved to climb on the tree, like a monkey,” picking the best guavas, tossing them down to her friends. After I got burned, I never climbed on the tree anymore and I never played the game like before with my friends. It’s really difficult. I was really, really disabled.”
Triggered by scarred nerve endings that misfire at random, her pain is always with her and she says only through her faith in God has she ever been able to feel any physical and emotional peace “in the midst of hatred, bitterness, pain, loss, hopelessness,” when her pain seemed insurmountable.
Ironically, Dr. Waibel uses lasers to treat her napalm burn scars… lasers which heat her skin to the boiling point that then vaporizes her scar tissue. The procedure creates microscopic holes in the skin, which allows topical, collagen-building medicines to be absorbed deep through the layers of tissue. Waibel expects Kim to need up to seven treatments over the next eight or nine months.
A couple weeks later, home in Canada, Kim says her scars have reddened and feel tight and itchy as they heal… but Kim is eager to continue the treatments.
Thankful… after having been an innocent who was torn from her childhood to live in constant pain and suffering and confusion all because of a war and not for one damn thing that she, or any of her fellow villagers, ever did. A war fought under the guise of ideology versus ideology but in truth nothing more than one controlling faction wanting to wrest territorial control from another controlling faction… all for whatever property that could be had and all of the natural wealth and resources of that property. In other words all in the name of greed and the almighty power of wealth.
War is not healthy for children or other living things… never was and never will be… the only thing war is good for is destruction and death. The only good that comes out of war is no good at all. Because sooner or later eventually once a war is “won”, then it will eventually happen all over again in one form or another.
Here is the truth… no matter what you have ever been told about war and why wars happen it is all lies. Wars do not happen for religion or for democracy or for independence or for any other bullshit reasons anyone might give you… they…wars… happen because of greed and the want to control property and wealth.
The reason 58,220 US military personnel died in Vietnam…and there were 1.3 million total military deaths for all countries involved… plus there were at least 1 million civilian deaths in Vietnam…was because some government wanted control over territory for the wealth within the land.
The reason 18.2 million gallons of Dioxin… aka Agent Orange… was dropped on at least 10% of Vietnam which lead to either the deaths or maiming of an estimated 400,000 people due to the effects of the aftermath of that chemical being used on Vietnams forests… and…to another estimated 500,000 Vietnamese children being born with birth defects… not to mention the countless number of military personnel who returned to America only to find years later that they had cancers that were directly associated with their having been in Vietnam and around areas that had been “treated” with Agent Orange… was because some government wanted to control the natural resources of Vietnam. (Note: The Red Cross of Vietnam estimates that up to 1 million people are disabled or have health problems due to contaminated Agent Orange.)
And, that’s the fact my dear Jacks and Jills…
The only reason Kim… and countless others… were caused such agony and misery was because someone wanted to control the southeastern part of Asia and rape it for all its wealth… its oil, its gold, its minerals, its natural resources… nothing more and nothing less.
(The statistics of deaths due to the Vietnam War vary greatly… the numbers above were taken from either statistics supplied from online reports on the CNN website or from Wikipedia. Any statistics/numbers that were used from Wikipedia were from the low end of the spectrum of the estimated death totals.)
From a child comes wisdom…
If your online accounts have been hacked then Mira Modi, a New York City sixth-grader, might be the person ya’ll should be contacting. Mira has a business dedicated solely to the creation and selling of very, very, very secure passwords for the nominal fee of $2 each on her website. To create her passwords she uses a decades-old methodology named Diceware that creates strong passwords that are easy to remember but hard to guess.
The idea behind Diceware is to roll six-sided dice several times to generate random numbers that are then matched to an index of English words that is 35 pages long. Once Mira has those words, she strings them into a random phrase which probably won’t make any real sense but then making sense out of the words is not the idea… creating unique and hard passwords for internet evildoers to crack is.
Mira recently told the NYDN, “I started two years ago when my mom was writing her book and she learned about Diceware. She didn’t want to roll the dice so I started doing it. Then I started making passwords for other people at her book events.”
Since Mira has started gaining notoriety through the media taking notice of her business, her requests for passwords has grow from about 30 requests to more than 500 requests.
According to the NYDN, Mira spends about 10 minutes to generate each password which she then handwrites on a card and sends it by U.S. Post Mail to her clients.
Mom says since the business is growing exponentially that some changes may be in store for Mira’s business… hiring some friends, charging more for single passwords and even offering package deals.
Mira on the other hand believes the original price is more than enough… “I think it’s cruel charging $5 for a password.”
Also, due to Mira’s schoolwork and related projects and studying for tests that, etc… the business may suffer some delays due to the volume and the time Mira has to spend creating the passwords… but… Mira says the delay wouldn’t be longer than a week or two and that her customers should realize that she is still in business and will deliver the goods.
And then once Mira has all them nice neat secure passwords… she can sell them all to the highest bidder and make a mint.
Just kidding… maybe…
Roid rage or Racism… or… both?
Heard about the South Carolina sheriff’s deputy’s brutal takedown of a high school student which was said to be because she refused to hand over her cell phone?
This is what is being reported by various media sources… A Spring Valley High School teacher saw a high school senior using her phone in class and told the student she had to hand her phone over and get out from her chair/desk. The girl said no. Upon further requests by the teacher and another scholl official the girl kept refusing to comply.
Fellow student Tony Robinson Jr., told WLTX-TV that the girl really didn’t do anything… “”She said she took her phone out, but it was only for a quick second.”
As the situation enveloped into a standoff, in enters Deputy Ben Fields, a school resource officer… Robinson says at this point he anticipated something was about to seriously go down so he took out his own cell and started recording…
Fields was caught first ordering the teen out of her seat… when she stays adamant about not doing so…Fields, who happens to be a serious powerlifter in his free time, stands over her desk and says…”Either you’re coming with me or I’ll make you.” Then without further warning and without giving her time to get up, he grabs the girl, flips her over, banging her and her desk onto the floor.
Fields then drags her out of her chair and heaves her across the classroom as the rest of the students gaped in astounded awe… and… as if that is not enough, Fields pins the student down, puts her hands behind her back and then turns to another student and says…”I’ll put you in jail next.”
Media reports say the student was not injured… except for her pride and her sense of well being in a place that is supposed to be safe and by being assaulted someone who is supposed to protect her from any harm.
Some additional facts… Spring Valley High has 2,010 students and the student body is predominately black (52%)… the teen who was accosted by Deputy Fields is black while Fields is white… Fields has been named in at least two lawsuits during his time with the sheriff’s office, including a case expected to go to trial next year accusing him of racial bias…
Students said Fields has a history of roughing up students. Fields is a big assed muther… supposedly the high school conditioning/strength and defensive line coach… who can squat a 940 pounds and bench press at least 600 pounds. Students call him the Incredible Hulk.
Fields has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
Schools district superintendent Dr. Debbie Hamm has asked Fields not step foot on any of its campus during the investigation. Hamm said in a statement that the video was deeply concerning… “Student safety is and always will be the district’s top priority. The district will not tolerate any actions that jeopardize the safety of our students.”
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said he’d seen the video and found it “disturbing.” Lt. Curtis Wilson said the deputy was removed from the school and placed on administrative duty while investigators look into the attack. He said school resource officers are always held to a higher standard of investigation because they’re meant to protect students.
A former Spring Valley student accused Fields is suing Fields for targeting black students and an attorney yfor that strudent says… “Fields unfairly and recklessly targets African-American students with allegations of gang membership and criminal gang activity.”
Now… even though there is a black/white dynamic going on here I’m not sure how predominately racial this assault was…and, sorry, when a man who has the physical capabilities that Fields has and does what he did to that teen, it is a fucking assault… I mean, yeah, even if race enters into the altercation in the slightest then that is a damn big issue but this is what I think is going on… and mind you I have no proof since the only information I have is what I have read in the media reports… BUTTT… I think here is a man-child who has tough cop syndrome that is compounded by a false sense of superiority and a drive to be right and a drive to be in control. Which is further compounded by his obsession with his weight training… another symptom of wanting to be in control… AND, I think when everything is all out there, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that steroids and roid-rage is also involved. Now, if, this is additionally fueled by any overt… or hidden and underlying… resentment toward black people or just from a purely racist attitude towards blacks then it just further complicates and makes the entire affair that much more crazy, insane and asinine… which…
… leads me to ask…
WHY IN THE HELL IS THIS MAN NOT FIRED ALREADY?
What are they investigating? He assaulted a female student that is not even half his size…he could have killed her or at least he could have caused her permanent physical harm…one of his own bosses said “…school resource officers are always held to a higher standard of investigation because they’re meant to protect students.”
A person with this rage inside of his psyche needs to be sent to anger management at the minimum… and he does not need to be in a high school as a protective officer, forget that he is also around grammar school kids… think what the fuck could happen if he goes off on one of his temper tantrums around one of those children.
Hell, he shouldn’t even be a deputy… we do not need cops… deputies…police people… who can’t control their anger to the point where children are attacked for whatever reason. Unless his, or someone elses, life was in mortal danger he does not need to go around beating up anybody.
He did not protect anyone and he deserves to be fired on the spot… Sorry… but that’s how I sees it and that’s how I am gonna call it.
Supergirl is what?
Jeb Bush is a lot of things and for many of those things he should be raked over the coals and lambasted… but… recently he did something that I am not sure deserves any lambasting…
Here’s the story…
During a Las Vegas campaign event last Wednesday when he was asked who his favorite Marvel superhero was he said, at first, Batman, and, then said “I saw that ‘Supergirl’ is on TV. I saw it when I was working out this morning. There’s an ad promoting ‘Supergirl.’ She looked kind of… she looked pretty hot. I don’t know what channel it’s on, but I’m looking forward to that.”
Bush, instantly knew a lambasting was on his horizon because he quickly turned to and asked the moderator of the event, “You want to get me out of my hole I just dug?”
Now…forget that when he was asked about Marvel superheroes he instead mentioned DC Comic’s superheroes… the dude is just saying he thinks Supergirl is hot… where’s the crime in that?
What other of us who have read…and I be talking men and boys here… Supergirl didn’t have a similar thought about that particular superhero?
Hell… Jeb is finally show he might be a man who has a heart and soul… He needs for that to be encouraged not lambasted.
Cutting it a little short this week…
Life and my job has inteferred with my time this week… damn life… damn job…
Well, at least, I have a job to damn… Now, about that life… that… I’m not all that sure about…
This week’s gratuitous pictures…
And another thousand words…
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