This New Song by a Vietnamese Rapper Bashing the Communists Will Make You Want to Dance Like No One is Watching, Yell Out “F**k Communism!” With The Windows Down

Posted in Current Events, Entertainment & Media, Poetry, Songs of Freedom with tags , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2015 by Ian Pham

D.M.C.S.Okay, maybe not exactly, but there is in fact a new song out there that has been making waves on the internet. Written and performed by Saigon rapper Son Nah, “DMCS,” or “Địt Mẹ Cộng Sản,” which in English means, “Fuck Communism,” is an aggressive lyrical onslaught that completely tears the Vietnamese Communist Party to pieces. Corruption, cowardice, being morons that are unfit to govern, all of the things that we so often cover on this website in regards to the communists, Nah covers it all in “DMCS,” with his own poetic style, backed up by a hard and catchy beat.

Born and raised in Vietnam, the young lyricist Nah is currently studying overseas in the United States. Before coming to the U.S., Nah had already made a name for himself in Saigon’s hip-hop music scene. Even prior to his departure from Vietnam to the U.S., Nah had created music that brings to light the social decay that is rampant in Vietnamese society under the current regime. It was not until his arrival in the United States however, with the freedom of the press and absence of authoritarian censorship, did Nah see just how repressive and self-destructive the state of Vietnam currently is. With the free-flow of information, news, and unabated coverage of how corrupted, cowardly, and depraved the Vietnamese Communist Party truly is, Nah became inspired to speak about the matter in his new controversial track, “DMCS.”

The powerful and provocative subject matter in Nah’s song is reminiscent of our courageous brother Viet Khang. The key difference however, is that Viet Khang’s lyrics, though equally passionate and forceful, are more restrained, elegant, civil. Nah’s lyrics on the other hand, are just straight up nasty. If I could use one word to describe his work, I would simply state it as raw. And man, is it ever raw. With the lyrical versatility that a musical genre such as hip-hop music provides, our guy Nah just unloads on the Communist Party in his rhymes, saying what we’ve already been saying all this time, but with a fearless and defiant flow.

I tend to limit the use of profanity on this blog, but in this instance, I will make an exception. And, if I do say so myself, even though it may or may not make you want to dance like no one is watching (it might), and/or yell out, “Fuck Communism!” with your windows down (it will), I would just like to say that this track is, and I’m not even sarcastic here, straight fiyaaa!

It’s pretty damn good, folks. Just check it out for yourself.

(Note to my non-Vietnamese speakers: This song is in Vietnamese, but Son Nah has included the English subtitles, so that all of us can appreciate what he has to say. Just click on the “cc” button at the bottom right corner of the video (after pressing play) to enable the subtitles. Alright, now just sit back, relax, and enjoy.)

This won’t be the last we’ll hear of Nah. From the looks of things, it’s only the beginning. He’s spoken in an interview on SBTN, he’s made an insightful video on Youtube commenting on why he believes Vietnamese society is in serious trouble, and in terms of music, he has been and continues to come out with fresh new material. This guy is going places.

On a related note, I just can’t help but think of this after listening to Nah’s song.

Flag Pull Down

Fuck Communism.

Another Year, Another Merry Christmas!

Posted in Editor's Note, Entertainment & Media with tags , , , , on December 25, 2014 by Ian Pham

Candlelight ChristmasHey there everyone,

I just wanted to drop in and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays! It is a busy time for all of us, and although I have not been able to generate as much content as I would like, I could not just let the holidays go by without sending my best wishes out to all of my wonderful readers.

Thank you all for you continued visits, feedback, and overall support. Hopefully the holidays have been good to you and the ones that you love, and that you all find some time to just relax and enjoy the little things. It’s always the little things. Whether you’re a huge fan of the holidays or not, it only comes around once a year, so you might as well enjoy it!

Stay warm, stay strong, and stay smiling. From me to you all, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

Much love,

Ian

P.S. Just because I love music, I would like to share another beautiful song that I hope will lift your spirits this holiday season. Performed here by country music group Lady Antebellum, here is the classic, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” which I hope you all do.

Enjoy!

Rice to the Refugees: The Untold Act of President Ngo Dinh Diem

Posted in Modern History with tags , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2014 by Ian Pham

President Ngo Dinh DiemHere’s something a lot of you probably didn’t know about President Ngo Dinh Diem. During his time in office, the South Vietnamese President contributed a substantial amount of humanitarian aid in the form of rice to Tibetan Buddhist refugees in the late 1950s-early 1960s. It was then that many Tibetans were exiled from their homeland by the invading forces of the People’s Republic of China, led by the iron fist of the ruthless Mao Zedong.

In the year 1950, with the consolidation of the PRC, Mao Zedong officially pointed his guns towards Tibet, sending the People’s Liberation Army across the border into Tibetan land. Throughout the 1950s, through false treaties and suppressive military force, China would gain control over all of Tibet, turning that part of East Asia into another region under Chinese control. The invasion would be complete by 1959, with the outbreak and bloody suppression of the Tibetan Uprising.

Many, many Tibetans were expelled from their homeland during this time and sought asylum in other nations around the world. The young Dalai Lama and many tens of thousands of other Tibetans would escape to India through the Himalayas, becoming refugees in the process. In reaction to their plight, many nations around the world held out a helping hand to the Tibetan refugees. One of these nations was none other than the Republic of Vietnam (aka South Vietnam), under the presidency of Mr. Ngo Dinh Diem.

According to an old issue of the Chicago Tribune (December 11, 1959), President Diem offered to supply the Tibetan refugees with “surplus rice for a year.” Though the sources are currently sparse for this topic, at least for me, it can be asserted that part of the rice offered by President Diem amounts to 200 tons, as illuminated in the Indian Parliament’s “Rajya Sabha Debates, 1952-2005,” published by the Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre (2006: 71). However, further examination suggests that the total volume of rice donated by South Vietnam is much more than that.

An article by Tran Trung Dao (August 30, 2014) on Dan Chim Viet online further elaborates on the subject. According to Dao, President Diem donated rice to the Tibetan Buddhist refugees through the Government of India not only once, but twice. Dao’s source declares that the amount of rice sent to India from South Vietnam during these two times accumulated to a grand total of 1,500 tons. In addition to the 200 tons of rice provided by South Vietnam in the one donation, another shipment of 1,300 tons was sent to India to feed the Tibetan Buddhist refugees. Given the evidence, it can thus be asserted that South Vietnam under President Diem played a substantial role in the support of Tibetan refugees in India.

This humanitarian act was not widely covered during the time that it happened. Moreover, it was overshadowed by the dirty politics of its day, ignored by the biased media of the west, and eventually lost under the many pages of history.

In writing this article, I wanted to share with you something you may not have known about the First President of South Vietnam. I also wanted to leave you all with something warm and uplifting to hold onto on this day of his commemoration. Furthermore, this act of charity and kindness is a great, yet sadly forgotten story that should be shared with anyone who is interested and wants to know. I’m only doing my part in making that happen.

Today is the anniversary of President Ngo Dinh Diem’s assassination at the hands of a group of treasonous South Vietnam generals, acting under the direction and encouragement of Henry Cabot Lodge and the Kennedy Administration.

President Diem lost his life on November 2, 1963.

For his services to the nation of South Vietnam, and as we’ve learned, for other peoples of the world at large, he will always be remembered.

Dieu Cay Landed in Los Angeles This Week

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , on October 26, 2014 by Ian Pham

Nguyen Van Hai arrives in LADieu Cay, Vietnam’s famous human rights/democracy activist and prominent political blogger, was released from Vietnamese prison earlier this week and immediately deported from the communist country. The renowned blogger, whose real name is Nguyen Van Hai, arrived at a Los Angeles airport midday Tuesday, October 21, 2014, to a large and adoring crowd of supporters.

The news of Dieu Cay’s release came as a shock to all observers outside of Vietnam. The Vietnamese government kept his release a secret, with his deportation from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam also being carried out in a covert manner. Upon his release, Dieu Cay did not even get a chance to say farewell to his family or friends. Instead, he was immediately vacated from Vietnam, quickly put on a flight to Hong Kong, before finally arriving in the U.S. on Tuesday. Dieu Cay’s final destination is Canada.

Dieu Cay 2008Dieu Cay was arrested by Vietnamese authorities back in 2008 during the Summer Olympics for protesting against China’s conduct in the seas, as well as the PRC’s occupation of Tibet. In 2012, the Vietnamese Communist Party sentenced him to 12 years in prison for spreading “anti-state propaganda,” which, as we all know, apparently includes any statement that is deemed offensive to China as well. The sentencing was one of the harshest for cases of this kind, which is partly why news of his release and deportation came as such a huge surprise to the public abroad.

While in prison, Dieu Cay subjected himself to agonizing hunger strikes on two separate occasions in protest of the Vietnamese government and the aggression of the Chinese. His health deteriorated drastically as a result of his time in prison, creating a public relations nightmare for the Vietnamese government, who is well known throughout the international community as an abuser nation that does not abide by the rule of law.

Vietnam has long been criticized for its atrocious human rights record, a mark that the communist nation has tried to dispute on numerous occasions, but always failing to deliver. Dieu Cay’s release can be viewed here as another attempt by Vietnam to try to improve its image in the eyes of the world. As it stands, the nation’s human rights record is still detestable, and the situation on the ground shows no sign of actually getting better.

Nguyen Van Hai, Oct. 21, 2014For now, one can rejoice and welcome the arrival of one of Vietnam’s most vocal human rights champions. I imagine this is only the beginning of his new chapter here in the west. However, only time will tell how significant this new chapter will be.

Photos of Dieu Cay’s arrival in Los Angeles via ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Vietnamese Restaurant in North Texas Displayed Giant Red Star in Logo, Promptly Changes After Public Criticism

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , , on September 28, 2014 by Ian Pham

Former Banh Shop LogoA Vietnamese restaurant in Dallas, Texas, has promptly changed its logo design in accordance with the wishes of the Vietnamese community in the area. The Banh Shop, a trendy new eatery on SMU Boulevard, found itself in hot water last week as a result of its questionable restaurant design, which featured a giant red star as part of its logo, behind the name “Banh Shop.” YUM! Brands, the parent company of Banh Shop, is a multi-billion dollar corporation that owns many other large restaurant chains including KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell.

The redesigns came fast and were carried out extensively. The owners of Banh Shop changed not only the store logo, but also their menus and staff’s uniforms, ridding the establishment of any symbols that may be construed as an association to communism. The prompt redesigns were made largely thanks to the strong and critical response from North Texas’s Vietnamese residents, who were vocal in their refutation of the eatery’s design blunder.

Banh Shop RenoWidespread public criticism by the Vietnamese community, as well as the attentiveness of the business owners, were key reasons why the change came so quickly and thoroughly. According to CBS Dallas/Fort Worth News, Mr. Thanh Cung, former South Vietnamese soldier, prisoner of war, and current North Texas resident, met with the VP of YUM! Brands emerging brands division, Christophe Poirier, to discuss the matter. “Obviously, when you make a mistake, the first thing to do is apologize and fix the issue,” Poirier said. YUM! Senior VP, Jonathon Blum admits that the company had made an honest mistake and also apologizes for the mishap, according to USA Today and Voice of America. As a result, the Vietnamese residents of North Texas, the majority of which are political and religious refugees, can enjoy their Banh Shop cuisine without implicitly supporting the very same corrupted communist regime that they sought to escape from.

All’s well that ends well, but the lessons don’t end there.

One of the most important lessons from this event is one that has proven true throughout the ages: Your voice matters. Without the public pressure displayed by the folks of North Texas, the owners of Banh Shop and YUM! Brands never would have known of their major design blunder. The strong will and dedication of the Vietnamese community in Dallas and the greater North Texas area were what made the changes so prompt and complete. They spoke up, they created awareness, they made the change.

Banh ShopThis story from Texas is not the only instance where things of this nature are happening. The western world has seen many occasions where the symbol of communism is wrongly displayed, both accidentally and, in certain cases, deliberately. This time, it was a large company that was simply ignorant of all that this symbol represents. There are many other instances when businesses owners, university administrators, or public officials, oblivious to the negative connotations carried by the star and the red, wrongfully decorate it on their shops, institutions, or government office buildings in an attempt to cater to the Vietnamese community. When that happens, it’s up to you to raise your voice, raise awareness, and ultimately make the change. Believe me, as an individual, your voice is one of the greatest tools at your disposal to make a change.

It only took one day of petitioning and public outcry for the owners of Banh Shop to change their logo. One cannot discount the intuitiveness and professionalism of the Banh Shop business owners, but ultimately, it was the people of the community that made this change possible. Thanh Cung is the current president of the Vietnamese American Community of Greater Dallas. He is assisting the owners of Banh Shop in looking at new logo designs.

On U.S. Visit, Party Secretary of Hanoi City Makes Disrespectful Gesture to Senator John McCain

Posted in Current Events, Editor's Note with tags , , , , , , on August 8, 2014 by Ian Pham

McCainLast week, Politburo member and Party Secretary of the City of Hanoi, Pham Quang Nghi visited Washington D.C., following up on an invitation by the U.S. State Department. While in Washington, the Communist Party member met with a number of U.S. officials including Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, Counselor to the Secretary of State Thomas Shannon, and Senator John McCain. Topics covered during the meetings included encouragement of American investment in the Vietnamese economy, the importance of the development of the TPP (Transpacific Partnership), and postwar economic assistance for Vietnam. None of this is important. Nothing here was accomplished.

The first substantial thing to know about this particular trip is that Hanoi Secretary Pham Quang Nghi was not even supposed to be at the meetings in Washington in the first place. The invitation by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was initially extended to a different VCP member, Pham Binh Minh, a known pro-Western voice within the party in Vietnam. At the last minute, Minh was sidelined by the VCP leadership. In his place, a pro-China drone in the form of Nghi was sent to represent the Communist State instead.

With the understanding that Minh was more open to talks with the West, Secretary of State John Kerry invited him for a meeting in Washington. However, with an overwhelming presence of the pro-China faction in Vietnam’s Communist Party, Minh’s trip was stifled by the head members of the Vietnam government, including the party leader Trong. In response to news that Minh was no longer coming, John Kerry appointed other members of the U.S. government to attend the meetings with Vietnam’s new delegates. Among the U.S. representatives was Senator McCain.

Aside from the topics discussed with U.S. representatives, which were fruitless overall, delegate Nghi went out of his way to present Senator McCain with a pair of ‘gifts.’ The first is a painting of the site where McCain was captured during his service days, and the second is a painting of that memorial inscribed with a personal message directly mentioning the Senator. One need not look very closely to find out that these gifts presented to McCain carry some deeply disrespectful messages behind them, aimed directly at the Senator from Arizona.

McCain PhotoThe picture above shows Senator McCain taking a photo with Communist member Pham Quang Nghi with the first gift in hand. Besides the fact that the painting depicts the site of McCain’s capture in 1967, the memorial plaque painting will clarify the Vietnamese official’s intention to humiliate the U.S. Senator.

This second gift, the memorial plaque painting, displays the following message:

“NGÀY 26-10-1967 TẠI HỒ TRÚC BẠCH QUÂN VÀ DÂN THỦ ĐÔ HÀ NỘI BẮT SỐNG TÊN JOHN SNEY MA CAN THIẾU TÁ KHÔNG QUÂN MỸ LÁI CHIẾC MÁY BAY A4 BỊ BẮN RƠI TẠI NHÀ MÁY ĐIỆN YÊN PHỦ  ĐÂY LÀ MỘT TRONG 10 CHIẾC MÁY BAY BỊ BẮN RƠI CÙNG NGÀY.”

Which translates to:

“ON 26-10-1967, AT TRÚC BẠCH LAKE, OUR FORCES AND THE PEOPLE OF THE CAPITAL OF HANOI CAPTURED ALIVE ONE MAJOR JOHN SNEY MA CAN [John Sidney McCain]. AMERICAN PILOT, FLYING A4, WAS SHOT DOWN AT YÊN PHỦ POWER PLANT. THIS IS ONE OF 10 AIRCRAFTS SHOT DOWN THAT DAY.”

MemorialFor a gift that is allegedly meant to commemorate, the message here only outlines the capture of McCain, reminding him that he was their captive, and all the painful implications of that event. Moreover, the message boasts that McCain’s was only one of ten other American planes shot down that day, a further insult to what they claim to be a gift for the Senator. Lastly, the term “TÊN” as used in the original plaque before naming Senator McCain, carries a negative connotation in Vietnamese, comparable to “Guy,” or “That guy,” in English. The term is opposite to a formal address such as “Mister,” and is used deliberately to show how little the Reds in Hanoi are trying to regard Mr. McCain.

The interpretation here is that Hanoi wanted to send a message to John McCain and the United States, signalling that the pro-China faction was dominant within the Communist Party, and that the U.S. should not get involved in Vietnam’s relationship with China. It didn’t work out the way they thought it would, though (it never does). There is so much stupidity in what Pham Quang Nghi did during this trip that one must wonder if these guys know what they’re doing most of the time (they don’t). There is a certain way for a statesman to behave when engaging in diplomacy, and this rude and vulgar conduct is no way to carry oneself when representing an entire nation. It’s not surprising, though. Everything the VCP does at this point is so painfully stupid that it shouldn’t even come as a shock anymore.

In sending a premeditated insult to the U.S. through Pham Quang Nghi, the leaders in the VCP were intending to humilate John McCain and the United States. However, in committing such a crude diplomatic act, the Communists have publicly humiliated themselves instead. The internet is exploding with criticism and ridicule from this episode, wondering how the VCP was capable of such stupidity. Well, anyone following this blog and Vietnamese politics will know that idiocy such as this is nothing new to the VCP. They are wrong for the country, and, to put it simply, they need to go.

China Removes Intrusive Oil Rig From Vietnam’s Nautical Territory, Its Reasons and Implications

Posted in Current Events, Editor's Note with tags , , , on July 22, 2014 by Ian Pham

COSL Oil RigBack in May of this year, the People’s Republic of China and the nation’s Chinese Communist Party moved a drilling rig into waters that were considered to be within Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The move is further example of China’s ongoing aspiration to gain control of Vietnamese territory, causing outrage among Vietnamese communities both inside and outside of Vietnam. The situation was particularly tense within Vietnam, as protests and riots broke out in response to China’s intrusive maneuver. China’s actions also drew heavy criticism from the United States and the international community, who deemed the PRC’s moves as provocative.

Last Tuesday, after months of international criticism and steady pressure brought about by the Vietnamese population, the PRC decided to withdraw its oil rig from the Triton Islands. The islands are part of the larger Paracel Island chain, which China claims to be ‘disputed’ territory. However, the Paracel as a whole has been under Vietnam’s administration since the Nguyen Dynasty, only falling into Chinese control in 1974 by naval invasion. In regards to their removal of the oil rig, the Chinese government claims that they have completed their drilling objectives and no longer need to station the rig at the location, which again, happened to fall into another nation’s EEZ.

ProtestIn moving the rig into Vietnam’s nautical zone, the PRC was trying to gauge the power balance in Southeast Asia. With an Obama Administration riddled with problems both inside and outside of the United States, the PRC was hoping to get their own piece of the international pie (as Putin had done in Crimea). Unfortunately for China, they never expected their actions to draw such strong criticism from the U.S. and the international community, most notably from Shinzo Abe and the Japanese. Thus, due to the unexpected backlash, the PRC had to ‘complete’ their objectives much sooner than they intended, and move their intrusive oil rig out of Vietnam’s territory.

In the midst of all this, and even now that this particular situation appears to be over, it is very interesting to note that Vietnam’s leadership (with very few exceptions, and even they are inadequate), the Vietnamese Communist Party, has been deafeningly silent on the matter. While the people in Vietnam protested, while America condemned these aggressive Chinese acts, and even in Japan, where Prime Minister Abe has been outspoken about Chinese aggression in the Pacific, those ‘comrades’ in the VCP said nothing, as the Chinese inched closer and closer to Vietnam’s doorstep. Actually, the Communist Vietnamese did say something during this time, although it is the complete opposite of what one would call a respectable response.

Phung Quang ThanhAt this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue 2014, held in Singapore this past June, the Vietnamese Minister of National Defense, Phung Quang Thanh, made a paltry statement claiming that relations between Vietnam and China are still friendly, and dismissed the Chinese invasive act as nothing but a “small disagreement among brothers.” Phung made this statement in the midst of social unrest in Vietnam (which the VCP was brutally suppressing), just mere weeks after China had moved its Haiyang 981 oil rig into Vietnam’s nautical territory. I wanted to give you all an entire article focused on Vietnam’s pathetic display at this conference, but unfortunately, I just didn’t have the time. What needs to be known from Shangri-La is that once again, the VCP failed miserably to represent the nation and people that they are supposed to be governing, and seem more content to be the lapdogs of the PRC.

The Chinese keep taking, the VCP keeps giving, and lastly, in trying to defend their nation, the Vietnamese people keep suffering. However, it is this suffering that will one day win for Vietnam freedom and independence. The situation in Vietnam is still hot, the party keeps getting weaker, and the people keep getting stronger. I’ve said this before, but it is important, and I know I’ll say it again: To the Vietnamese people inside, you are not alone. It is a long and arduous journey, but believe me when I say that we’re all in this together. Stay strong, never lose hope, and keep those protests coming.

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