All posts by Marshall Frank

CONGRATS TO AIDAN – FUTURE SCIENTIST

This…from a proud grandfather.

Just wanted the world to know that Aidan Lytle, age 24, a Junior/Senior at University of North Carolina, Greensboro, has received a certificate of High Scholarship in Math and Physics, as he posts a 4.0 grade average.  He is presently researching Heavy Ion Collisions in Nuclear Physics and the effects of network topology on population dynamics in evolutionary graph theory. 

Don’t feel bad, I can’t translate that either.

Yes, he has brains oozing out his ears. Must be in the genes.

Aidan, who is also a Parris Island trained Marine, is also an accomplished musician. Like many of us, he has had his share of struggles in life, but manages to emerge as he reaches for the top. He’s a very special young man.

If you like, please drop a note at the end of this blog…let him know he’s special.

 

               

 

POLICE SUICIDE AND DEPRESSION

With cops’ suicide on the rise, we must recognize they suffer from depression too | Opinion

During my stint as a Miami-Dade cop from 1960 to 1990, I personally knew 10 officers who committed suicide.

The reasons varied from cop to cop, i.e., emotional issues at home, runaway debt, alcohol abuse, fears and pressures of the job, and more. But the one common thread, regardless of race, creed, culture, or wealth, is usually related to depression.

Yes. Cops have feelings too.

The last thing they want is for top brass to know they are suffering every day inside the mind and heart. They play a role as if nothing is wrong when, in fact, too many are a walking time bomb ready to explode. Such fears are kept secret.

An article in FLORIDA TODAY on Feb. 12 cited reliable sources about the alarming increase of suicides among police officers, with 734 taking their own lives between 2016 to 2019, according to Blue H.E.L.P.

Police officers who suffer mental problems should be identified so that they can be treated by professionals. Right? Not so fast. That can also end their coveted careers. They well know that. Cops who let their emotional imbalances be known, fear being transferred to undesirable assignments, or if recommended by professionals, outright termination. Bye-bye career. Bye-bye pension.

Yes, top brass is concerned about helping the officers, but they also worry about their responsibility to the public and their own image if and when they fail to take action.

Some officers are unable to cope with the stress, thereby creating more problems. Officers know that any signs of mental imbalance could result in new unwanted assignments, or even dismissal, if such secrets were disclosed.

One homicide supervisor fought fear, fights and trepidation every day on duty. He also tried handling an array of children (three adopted), a demanding spouse, runaway debts, daily domestic conflicts, too much alcohol each evening, a mentally ill son/addict by a previous marriage, not to mention a work load which totaled over 100 investigations a year. Among his cases were the infamous McDuffie case that led to the Miami riots of 1980 and the Mariel Boatlift right after.

He thought more about the kids, the stigma they would face and the need for professional help, however secret. A counseling psychologist named Doris entered his life and triggered a year of productive therapy.

Close call.

In today’s America, particularly in large communities, police officers face deadly hatred as routine. Folks in urban areas have learned how to taunt cops in hopes of inciting bad outcomes making them all look bad. In recent years, on-duty cops have been assaulted with barrels of water over their heads as nearby cell phones formed videos. They turned another cheek and kept walking, humiliated. At some street disturbances, officers have stood at attention while subjected to hooligans embarking on foul-mouthed screaming episodes directly into their eardrums. They had orders to look away and take it.

In North Florida, two deputies quietly eating their meal at a local restaurant in Gilchrist County were shot to death in 2018 by a cop-hating maniac for no other reason than being a cop. Brooklyn, New York, 2014, same outcome as two cops were shot to death while quietly sitting in their police car. Many other senseless cop shootings have resulted in officers surviving, but it certainly makes that theater of operations a dangerous place to be.

In 2019, 134 officers died in the line of duty, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. In 2018, that number was 167 and in 2017, it was 176.

It’s no wonder that police suicides are on the upswing. Like most other career servants, these officers also have wants, goals and needs, and families with problems. Only, they carry a badge.

By the way, that homicide supervisor who sat in the driveway, gun in hand, was me. 

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

police officers suffer from depression too (Florida Today)

A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD – 6

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD  –  6

 

In a word:  Disappointing

     Titillated by the previews and the heavy-hitters cast, we were expecting non-stop scenes full of action, Hollywood nostalgia and heart-wrenching plots that simply didn’t deliver, not until the ending, that is. With the picture stretching 2 hours and 40 minutes, it seemed director, Quentin Tarantino did all he could to drag out the movie with unnecessary scenes and/or some painfully elongated, that it digressed from the story lines. Lots of movie shots inside the vehicles.

     One example of wasteful scene time was Actress Margot Robbie who actually does a good job of portraying Sharon Tate (who was murdered by the Manson Gang in 1969). In one long and boring scene, Tate is enamored with herself having been cast in a Hollywood movie. Upon seeing a marquis with her name displayed as one of the stars, she walks across a street and enters the theater where the camera watches her watch herself on screen amid the audience. This was easily about seven minutes, or more, of valuable film time that could have been omitted and no one would have known the difference.

     This film takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, where the two lead characters are Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), former star of a western TV series and a hopeless alcoholic, and his longtime pal and stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognize anymore. Thank goodness they were the lead actors or the rating would likely have been less.

     The simulated movie shots about making movies are interesting as are the primary characters, including Al Pacino who plays a very small role as a Hollywood producer, seemingly to add star power to the movie.

     In the concluding scenes, the film evolves into a wrap-around set of scenes at the Spahn Ranch, well-known from 1969 as a hippie retreat where Charles Manson and his followers resided. The night of the first killings are carefully fictionalized by Tarantino so as not to offend/disturb friends and families of the actual victims. Yet, one may wonder if that should not have been woven into the story with the Manson factor. Nevertheless, if you enjoy extreme violence, stick around until the closing scenes where Tarantino lets the actors fly with a heavy dose.

     In all, I found myself restless in several parts of the movie, but engaged in others. I think Tarantino would have done himself a favor had he lopped off at least 30 or more unnecessary minutes. The movie had potential, but fell short because of the boring scenes.

     I give it 6 out of 10.

Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood (2019) – IMDb

      

      

THE UBIQUITOUS “RACIST” TERM IS WORN OUT

“He’s a racist! She’s a racist!” Everyone’s a racist”

     When hating cannot be justified, haters resort to “racism” to denote what they cannot describe otherwise. Today, it is the most abused word in the English language.

     Recently, CNN host, Don Lemon peered into the camera and declared, “Donald Trump is a racist.” That has been echoed often in the media, particularly on cable news networks, CNN and MSNBC. In May of 2017, only four months into Trump’s presidency, The Washington Examiner released a study citing political attitudes toward the president, in which 92 percent of air time was devoted toward berating Donald Trump. And that includes repetitive allegations he is a racist.

     In July of this year, the rhetoric has not waned. Rather, it has intensified in the wake of political power-plays by four rookie congresswomen who have made no secret that they hold prejudicial attitudes toward others unlike them, particular the president, and let fly with citing “racism” as the predominant term to label those who are opposed to their politics. Meanwhile, they never fail to refer to their identities as “women of color,” as though it had anything to do with anything.

     Why do politicians, pundits, and media personnel continually cite “racism” when describing anyone who thinks differently than they?  Answer: Because it draws attention, truth-be-damned.

     Adolf Hitler made references to the power of lying in his book Mein Kamph. His number two Nazi, Joseph Goebbels, has been attributed to the same tenet, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

     President Trump certainly has his share of faults, but “racism” is not one of them. Cite any neutral-minded person who has had business or political dealings with the president, and they will usually say that he has no racist attitudes toward anyone. Trump’s accomplishments in assisting the plight of black minority needs in less than three years have been remarkable. Here are a few examples that the biased media avoids telling us:

  • Lowest unemployment rate for blacks ever.
  • 9 million people lifted from food stamps
  • Declaring M.L. King’s birthplace a national historic park.
  • Overhauling criminal justice to provide opportunities for non-violent inmates ending long sentences. This affects thousands of black offenders.
  • Praised and supported by numerous blacks in business, politics, and news media including: Robert Johnson, founder and CEO of BET, Herman Cain, former presidential candidate, Col. Allen West, former Congressman; Thomas Sowell, renowned columnist; Larry Elder, talk-show host; Condoleeza Rice, former Sec. of State; Starr Parker, columnist; Professor Walter Williams, columnist; Republican Senator Tim Scott; Candice Owens, rising pundit and TV personality; author Dr. Alveda King, (MLK’s niece); Charles Payne, business journalist; and many more.
  • Rasmussen polls in July of 2019 show Trump’s favorability numbers rising to 50 percent. A Pew Research poll in found that Trump has more than doubled his appeal to black voters, from 6 percent to 14 percent.

     All this in the wake of the ubiquitous “racist” tag among the opposing party and news pundits which, in truth, makes the users appear more prejudiced and dishonest.

     I remember racism well, starting as a rookie cop in segregated Miami in 1960. THAT was racism, when blacks could not reside where they wished, nor gain employment, nor sit in the front of a bus or use a water fountain while banned from certain hotels and restaurants only because they were a darker color. Today, blacks have come a long way becoming equally prominent as whites and other minorities in arenas of wealth, power and influence, including sports, entertainment, politics, businesses and etc.

     The majority party in Congress has squandered nearly three years focused mostly on impeaching a duly elected president, rather than attending to their elected mission: Passing laws, expanding jobs, working on national security, infrastructure, enforcement and international relations. That’s what they are paid to do. We, the taxpayers are being wronged by politicians who cannot, or will not, do their jobs. 

     Other than an occasional bigot here and there, institutional “racism” is essentially dead in America. It is only the liars and power mongers who work at keeping it alive because it feeds into political agendas. It’s time to put the term to rest.

     To a fault, President Donald Trump tends to let fly from his mouth whatever comes into his head. That’s about as transparent as one can get. But there is nothing he has said or done that can honestly be attributed to anything close to racism.

     Enough already. 

 

 

 

 

   

REPARATIONS WOULD SET RACE RELATIONS BACK – Op-Ed – M. Frank

(Published as Op-Ed in Florida Today,  July 8, 2019.)

Several Democratic candidates for president are supporting studies to award reparation dollars to descendants of slaves. Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker are among them. Various news reports have suggested the taxpayers’ tab might run anywhere from $10 billion to $100 billion. In the journal Social Science Quarterly, University of Connecticut researcher Thomas Craemer estimated that it would cost between $5.9 trillion and $14.2 trillion.

No one would argue that the era of slavery in America that ended 154 years ago was a horrific travesty. The very thought of what human beings endured at the hands of other human beings is beyond sickening. That was then, this is now. Doling out free taxpayer money to millions of people in 2019 because they happen to be distantly related to ancestors prior to 1865 sets the stage for renewed breakdowns in race relations across America.

This is like Harris or Booker saying, “You owe me millions in tax dollars because I was born black.”

The thought of how that would be divvied up, if passed, is mind-boggling. There are many blacks who had no distant slave relatives. A lot of whites, Hispanics and Asians in America have no connection to American slavery. They are products of family immigration from the late 19th century. My grandparents on both sides emigrated from Europe in the 1890s, long after slavery ended. Why should I, and millions like me, be held accountable?

And how do we arrive at arbitrary payments to blacks who claim entitlement? There are blacks whose ancestry comes from other countries, not the United States. Are they eligible? There are multi-millions of bi-racial people, many of whom predominantly Caucasian. Are they entitled to reparations? The 2010 Census declared some 9 million Americans are of mixed race. Should today’s taxpayers be penalized for the sins of southern whites of 154 years ago? What about descendants of blacks who were slave owners as well?

We better watch out for that slippery slope.

Perhaps I, and others, should seek reparations from Germans for what some of them did to Jewish relatives during the Holocaust. Better yet, we should go after those relatives of slave-mongering Egyptians from 3,000 years ago. Should Muslims and other African and Asian cultures be penalized for engaging in mass slavery over the centuries?

At age 80, I’ve lived through huge transitions in the racial dilemma, from segregated South Florida in the post-war era, then a cop on the beat, through the civil rights struggles, to a point whereby blacks hold many powerful positions including president. Corporate America has awakened. So has political America. The wealthiest of entertainment and sports figures are black. They are the new role models. Meanwhile, black unemployment numbers are at an all-time low.

Race relations today are at positive levels compared to days of yore, edging closer to that color blind society. Why embark on a hurtful and likely futile exercise that will do more to set race relations back than any time in the last 50 years?

If reparation advocates believe that pandering to a racial constituency will inflate the voter drive, they under-estimate the intelligence and integrity of the black population. My experience shows me that more and more minorities are interested in education and opportunities as opposed to receiving handouts.    

Other demographic segments could cash in on past atrocities, including women, whose role throughout past centuries was tantamount to slave status. There’s another 100 million-plus potential recipients.

The very thought of “reparations” meets the definition of the race card. In America, we don’t award or punish people for what others did more than a century past.

Let’s be honest. The political motive for supporting reparations is the same as sanctuary cities: Votes and power. 

 

www.marshallfrank.com