Archives September 2020

BIDEN VERSUS TRUMP: WHAT’S AT STAKE

I am a registered independent. While most of my views are generally in line with the Republicans, I do tend to side with Democrats when I agree with their points of view. For example, my feelings about Capital Punishment would be more in line with Democrats.

With presidential elections, voters seem to be more concerned about the persona of candidates, than the factors they represent, or what’s best for Americans. Candidates on both sides are beholden to financial supporters, which are not always best for the nation, but best for the donors.  Politicians, I feel, are too often putting integrity aside if it’s a matter of winning or losing.

It’s not so much about corruption of the candidates, as it is, corruption within politics. It’s a natural outgrowth of a system that manipulates political gain via the almighty dollar.

While Donald Trump is often seen as ego-maniacal, I am convinced that his goals, as president, are the least egregious as compared to most politicians in the political theater where money is everything. He is by far, the most accessible president in my lifetime, always willing to field questions from media, whether scheduled or not.  He is repeatedly willing to talk to the people of America. He is the richest of presidents, as are his family members, which assures me – to some extent – that his motives for decisions and policies are untainted by corruption and greed.

Issues aside, we now have two candidates to choose between. Here is my short evaluation.

We are not just voting for one person to be a president. We are voting for the massive political machines that come with them. Along with the candidate, come the supporters, the debts, the domestic and international finance machines, world affairs, and cabinets, lawyers and leaders who make up a very complicated government. I will vote for the candidate who is least indebted to the political well, and who truly has the best interests of Americans at heart.

Joe Biden is a nice guy. But he has his debts to pay like any politician, which might not always be in the best interest of Americans. I see Mr. Trump as owing far less to outsiders. Much like a child, he mainly wants to hear approval, gratitude and a report card of accomplishments.

I’ve been attentive to the reports of Joe Biden’s mental acuity, which has been questioned by many. For a while, I dismissed the accusations that he was slow, or stupid and confused, because it just sounded like political smearing. But as time has passed, I’ve come to feel badly for Biden because I think he is a decent man about to enter into a daily rat-race he’s ill equipped to handle. That’s not good for him, or the nation. And if he cannot match up to the daily grind of presidential demands, he should not be there.

The link below is a little more than two minutes long. It stars Joe Biden in various speaking dates. As you pass through the various scenes, ask yourself, do you really want this man – nice as he is — to be in a position to be running the country, and all that it demands. For sure, if he should get elected, the chances (in my opinion) are strong that he will not be able to withstand the mental trauma.  Frankly, I would be worried for the nation considering who might replace him. 

It’s a very serious situation.

Must See: Joe Biden Proves How Lucid He Is: Without A Teleprompter, Script Or Interrupting Staffer – YouTube

 

(My latest non-fiction book “A Boy Who Mattered: Examining the Roots of Drug Addiction,” is available at Amazon. Signed copies are discounted if ordered via my e-mail, mlf283@aol.com )

In “A Boy Who Mattered” the author draws the reader into the pathetic life of his firstborn son, Bennett, who entered the drug world before his teens, turned on by a family member. This ultimately opened the doors of dependency sickness, failure and homelessness that profoundly affected many others, friends and family, for forty years. This book focuses on the root causes of dependency and what could be done about it. Hopefully, this story will guide abusers and loved ones on options of how to combat this dreaded disease. If but one human being is saved, Bennett’s struggle will not have been in vain

THE FABULOUS NIKOS CUISINE

This posting is directed toward local friends and associates who live in Brevard County, particularly between areas of Cocoa, Suntree and Melbourne. If you love good food and classy atmosphere, I hope you will give it a try, you’ll find it quite different than ordinary breakfasts. 

Nick had been owner of the corner restaurant, Time Square Diner, on the far end of the Publix Plaza on Wickham and Interlachen Road.  He sold that then opened a smaller, upscale diner-like restaurant two doors away, now called “Niko’s Cuisine.”

I was amazed at the breakfast, not only good portions, but delicious as well. I had a Breakfast Pizza, then took half of it home. The pizza crust is thin, and the toppings are plentiful.

Prices are low, considering what you get. My breakfast pizza was eight bucks, enough for two, or even, three.

They are also a well-established to-go operation for lunches. 

7777 N. Wickham Rd., Melbourne, Fl  32940. Open daily starting at 7:30 a.m.

Drop in and tell Nick I sent you.  You won’t be sorry. (No, I’m not pandering for a free meal)

See menu below.

 

Amazing shrimp scampi with loads of shrimp. – Yelp

A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: THE SECRETS WE KEEP – 9/10

“The Secrets We Keep”    9.0

In a word: Powerful!

Pete Hammond, who writes for Hollywood Daily, sums it up in one complex sentence, posted on Rotten Tomatoes:

       “Noomi Rapace is fierce and powerful in this suspenseful and thought provoking post WWII Nazi revenge thriller.”

     The worst thing this movie is the blah title, certainly not enticing to the potential viewer. It would have been better titled “Secrets” then let the viewer fill in the blanks. The second worst aspect is the slow pace in the first 20-30 minutes whereby some scenes could have been cut or shortened without losing the enticement.

     However, once those first 20 minutes pass, the storyline falls into place in a city in middle America set in the late 1950’s, where the emotional and physical scars from World War II still haunt the survivors.  It’s not long that the viewer is psychologically captured in this heart-wrenching saga about a woman from Romania who married an American doctor after the war, as they seem to live happily ever after. That all abruptly changes when she spots, she thinks, one of the wicked soldiers who left her for dead after mentally damaging her for all time fifteen years earlier.

     While actress Noomi Rapace’s character cannot let go of the horrible memory, her marriage, and the marriage of the suspected Nazi, are at serious risk. She virtually cannot stop herself from dwelling on the nightmare, believing this is the man who will haunt her for life, while her doctor husband does all he can to secure the marriage.

     This is one of those edge of the seat pictures, complete with sorrow and tears, reminding us that not only did WWII create suffering from the 50 million deaths, but also within the minds and hearts of millions more still living.

     Without question, the focus of the story the character played by Noomi Rapace, a Romanian/Swiss actress who I’d never heard of, though she has played in many movies from around the world. This performance was, without a doubt, Oscar worthy. The rest of the cast also performed well, but the intensity we felt from Noomi Rapace left me speechless as I watched the list of credits, much the way I watched “Schindler’s List” as the tears welled.

     Like “Schindler,” this movie is not about wild chases, and guns, and tricks and sex, it’s all about drama and the fragility of life.

     (As a side note, it sure was great watching a movie on the big screen, though there were only two people in the auditorium, Suzanne and me.)

     I give this movie a 9 out of 10.

The Secrets We Keep (2020) – Full Cast & Crew – IMDb

FORMER POLICE OFFICER FORGIVES HIS SHOOTER

(This article was published in Florida Today newspaper this date, Sept. 14, 2020.)

 

Police shootings often occur suddenly, becoming life-changing events. When the face of death suddenly bursts out of nowhere, there’s no time for studying the handbook. 

In 30 years as a police detective, I investigated or supervised numerous deadly situations, some ending up with my fellow officers lying naked on a steel autopsy tray. There’s no redoing that. I was one of the lucky ones who survived violence, mayhem and deadly showdowns, though I did have one close call in December 1965. In fact, I hold the distinction of being the only cop in the history of Miami-Dade who was shot by a woman.

Nobody forgets such moments.  My partner, Robert Lamont, and I got a tip that a fugitive from New York, wanted for auto theft, was hiding out in a second-story apartment in Miami. We checked it out. It was true. The subject was a white male age 22, with a past prison record. His background indicated non-violence.

We arrived and knocked on the apartment door. When a little blonde woman, age 35, cracked the door open, we showed our ID. She suddenly panicked and tried to slam the door. When we bullied our way inside, she backed off screaming, “Get out!” A frightened little kid was holding on to her leg, crying. I first looked behind the door and then a nearby closet, while Lamont ran down the hallway to see if the subject was hiding. Our guns were not drawn because we knew a 3-year-old kid was inside.

As I turned around, I heard a loud “crack!” The blonde lady was waving a rifle at me from across the room, screaming incoherently, “Get out, Get out!” I froze. I figured my life was over. The world changed for all of us in a split second. I extended my hands, ordering her, “Put your gun down!”

A strange feeling from the gunshot wound wracked my left thigh. With my hands extended, I pleaded with her not to shoot again. A million thoughts swirled through my head as she waved the rifle left and right, hysterically. My world was about to end, leaving my wife, my child, my mom, my police partners, that little kid, the hysterical woman, and my job if I did anything wrong. How could I neutralize this woman before anyone got killed? I quickly lunged back out the entrance door, following her order to “Get out!”

There was no time to ponder.

My partner had located the subject hiding on a balcony. He then disarmed the woman in a matter of seconds as I re-entered the partment, gun drawn. The baby was screaming. The woman was hysterical. Our lives were likely spared because her rifle stored only one bullet, which my partner snatched with his free hand. My left leg collapsed from the bullet wound.

I spent four days in the hospital with time to reflect and cogitate. It was time for hindsight.

One, I should never have served that warrant without my gun drawn. Two, I had been too concerned about the child, worrying about a stray bullet. Three, my world — and my family’s world — might have changed in a matter of seconds. Four: Luckily, the woman was a firearm novice, or my life would have ended at age 26. Five: Thank goodness the wanted fugitive was passive. And last, I was fortunate to have a great partner in Bob Lamont.

Eunice Molter, the woman who shot me, sent me a letter from prison, begging my forgiveness. She served two years.

And, yes, I forgave her. Why? Because I could.

Marshall Frank is a retired police captain from Miami-Dade County, author and frequent contributor. Visit marshallfrank.com.

 

 

 

 

BENNETT’S 60th BIRTHDAY

 

This poem (below) was written more than 30 years ago by a brilliant young man whose young life had been laced with rejection, heartaches, poverty and addiction amid the absence of ever feeling truly loved. Below is one of the sixty-plus poems he penned, which are taken from his book, Black Hole, assembled and collected from spiral notebooks and scrap paper, with no intention to have them published. That was done for him by a sympathetic family member. 

These few simple words speak volumes about the persona of Bennett A. Frank.

 

THE DAY THAT I CAME LAST

 

Gather friends and listen, to a tale that’s true and wild

About a boy whose eyes would glisten as he turned to man from child

 

When Dad came missing in ’72, Mom spent no days in black

The world he knew was shades of blue, there was no turning back

 

The school bus dropped him off at home, but the door was often locked

His afternoons were spent alone, catching fish to trade in shock

 

When you’re between child and man, your world is what you make

There’s no time for tears that ran, He’s had all that he could take.

 

Hey Mommy, keep your men, your wine and bags of grass

For I would always remember, the days that I came last

 

*  (second verse, Bennett refers to “Dad”…who was a stepfather.)

 

     Bennett Arthur Frank died from an overdose on hard drugs in January of 2019.  Xanax, Methamphetamine and Fentanyl, all three, were found his body. He had been living the homeless life, befriended mainly by homeless people and supplied with drugs of his choice by a generous physician.

     Despite drug addiction which had haunted him since the age of twelve, he was a gentle soul, loved by his son and daughter, and his father, who knew he was trapped by a combination of mental illness, psychological impairment, low self-esteem and the everlasting grip from substance abuse.

     Bennett knew that his father loved him, all his life, but always felt less important than other people, including family and friends. He felt he had disappointed everyone in the family circle. There was no turning back.

     On September 11, 1960, Bennett was born a healthy baby in a North Miami hospital, the morning after Hurricane Donna hit the southeast coast of Florida. Today would have been his 60th birthday.

     On January 17, 2019, he chose to put an end to his lifelong misery.

     I will love him forever. I only wish he knew that. 

     And, I wish I could wish him a happy birthday. 

 

Black Hole is available on Amazon, or from me via e-mail.

Bennett’s full story of his struggles can be found in the book “A Boy Who Mattered” available via Amazon. Signed copies available by contacting me at mlf283@aol.com.