Archive for February, 2018

Singer, Songwriter, and Freedom Fighter Viet Khang Has Arrived in the United States

Posted in I. News, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2018 by Ian Pham

Viet Khang Arrival California(Dan Huynh/Nguoi Viet)

A couple of weeks ago, on the afternoon of February 8, 2018, the Vietnamese singer, songwriter, and former political prisoner Viet Khang touched down at Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California, after being jailed for four years by the communist government in Vietnam for his dissenting political views.

Upon arrival, Viet Khang was greeted by a warm and welcoming crowd, attended mostly by members of the Vietnamese-American community.

Viet Khang, real name Vo Minh Tri, rose to international prominence among Vietnamese audiences worldwide in late 2011, when he recorded and released two protest songs criticizing the communist government in Vietnam for their cowardice, corruption, and treason against the nation of Vietnam and its people. Simultaneously released, the two songs are “Viet Nam Toi Dau?” (“Where is My Vietnam?”), and “Anh La Ai?” (“Who Are You?”).

The firstly mentioned song, “Where is My Vietnam?” deals with the issue of the current quiet invasion of Vietnam by Red China, and how the impotent and cowardly communist government in Vietnam is doing nothing to defend the country against foreign encroachment.

In his second song, “Who Are You?” the singer addresses the brutality and barbarity of the communist police in Vietnam, who, in the pattern of all totalitarian states, walk around terrorizing, stealing, violating, and murdering the population with impunity.

Through his music, Viet Khang shined a spotlight on a commonly known, but largely unspoken (at least inside Vietnam, because dictatorships) truth about the Vietnamese Communist Party: That they are corrupted, cowardly, and treasonous, not to mention brutal and evil.

In Vietnam, the communist government commits horrendous human rights abuses, such as (but not limited to) breaking into peoples homes at will, forcing bribery and taking citizens’ money at will, seizing and destroying property at will, beating and terrorizing men, women, and children at will, and overall, creating a society of banditry and fear.

On the international stage, an aggressive and expansionist China kills Vietnamese fishermen, builds oil rigs and artificial islands close to Vietnam’s shores, seizes Vietnam’s islands in the eastern sea (wrongfully dubbed the “South China Sea”), and established a one-sided open borders practice with Vietnam that allows Chinese people to come and go in Vietnam without any form of paperwork, while at the same time imposing harsh restrictions on Vietnamese people who wish to travel to China. All of this not only goes unpunished by the Vietnamese communist government, but also seems to be welcomed, even promoted by the Vietnamese communist government.

In general, the communist government in Vietnam behaves brutally and terrifyingly against its own defenseless population, but weak, feckless, and pathetic in its dealings with outside powers.

Viet Khang’s music, through a few simple chords and an unwavering dedication to the truth, shook the foundations of the communist regime in Vietnam, and left even the top members of the Vietnamese communist high command shaking in their little Made in China commie boots.

As a result of his two songs, Viet Khang was jailed by the communist government in Vietnam for four years, finally completing his sentence in December of 2015. Following his release, Viet Khang faced another two to three years of house arrest, as part of his sentencing.

Recently, however, thanks to a collaborative effort of lobbying and advocating by music producer and democracy activist Truc Ho, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and members of his team, which includes Vietnamese-American lawyer Ms. Minh Thuc, a deal was reached between the U.S. and Vietnamese governments, allowing Viet Khang to depart from Vietnam and come to the United States as a refugee.

Viet Khang is a freedom fighter and a patriot who, even when locked away in the dirty confines of communist prison, continued to spread his message to the world.

Upon his arrival in California, it was revealed that another popular Vietnamese protest song, “Tra Lai Cho Dan,” (“Give Back to the People”), had been authored by Viet Khang as well. The song surfaced on Vietnamese overseas media some time after Viet Khang’s sentencing, while he was in prison. It was performed by many overseas Vietnamese musicians, and became popular in Vietnamese communities across the world, even inside Vietnam. With no known author at the time, many suspected that Viet Khang had written the song while in jail, and then finding a way to leak it to the outside world. Since his arrival in the United States, this theory has proven to be a reality.

As a courageous person who speaks his mind, Viet Khang has suffered tremendously at the hands of the communists. It is great that he has finally found some measure of peace for all of the pain he endured. This peace comes in the form of freedom, marked by his arrival in the United States. As a member of the Vietnamese freedom community, I wish Viet Khang the best.

Welcome to America, brother.

God bless.

 

Note: An earlier version of this article failed to include Truc Ho as one of the key players in Viet Khang’s transfer from Vietnam to the United States. Truc Ho was instrumental in this successful operation, spearheading the operation and working closely with Senator McCain and his team to accomplish the task. The error has been corrected. (February 22, 2018).

Reporting for this news article courtesy of Hoang Tat Thang (Dan Lam Bao), Do Dzung (Nguoi Viet), and Nguyen Huy (Nguoi Viet).

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CNN is Losing Money, Viewers, and Laying Off Employees, Because Evidently People Don’t Like Fake News

Posted in IV. Columns, Politics with tags , , on February 17, 2018 by Ian Pham

Fake News CNN(YouTube/CNN)

Earlier in the week, news outlets reported that CNN, the left-leaning, major multibillion-dollar media corporation, often labeled as “Fake News” by President Donald J. Trump, has been yielding disappointing revenues, and as a result, is taking countermeasures to deal with the money troubles.

Despite trying to put a positive spin on the overall situation, an article from Vanity Fair, another left-leaning publication, reports that there are “as many as 50 jobs around the globe scheduled to be eliminated this week… the exact number could still be in flux.” Furthermore, the report states that those employees affected will include “CNN Money, video, product, tech and social publishing,” as well as “Several high profile initiatives” such as “CNN’s virtual reality productions and its efforts on Snapchat.”

The situation is also reported by Mediaite, who adds that as part of the cuts, CNN has shut down the $25 million video startup Beme, which was acquired from YouTube star Casey Neistat a little over a year ago. According to Buzzfeed, CNN purchased Beme and hired on its creator, Neistat, in late 2016, with hopes of bringing “a new generation of news consumers” into the CNN viewership. However, shortly after one year of the purchase, Neistat would become frustrated with the company, CNN would struggle to meet their ambitious plans, and, as recent events show, the entire project would be shafted.

As described by the cited Vanity Fair and Mediaite sources, the year 2017 saw missed revenue projections for CNN, as well as news companies Buzzfeed and VICE. Though “still profitable,” according to Vanity Fair, CNN had fell short of its profit goals “by tens of millions of dollars.”

This period of unsatisfactory numbers aligns with a time of widespread criticism of CNN, who, in the previous year, has been exposed repeatedly for spreading either false, distorted, or unsubstantiated information, most often with the explicit and malicious intent of slandering, discrediting, and generally damaging the White House under the administration of President Donald Trump.

It is no coincidence, as argued here, that this period of weak profits is happening in tandem with declining viewer confidence in a once reputable news corporation.

To provide some perspective on the woes of #FakeNewsCNN, in the week of Feb. 5, 2018, according to Adweek, the network ranked #9 in the Total Day (Total Viewers) category with 674,000 viewers, getting crushed by Fox New, which ranked #1 with 1,529,000 viewers in the same category. In the Prime Time (Total Viewers) category, CNN did not even crack the Top 10, ranking #13 with 888,000 viewers, once again getting destroyed by Fox News, which captured 2,605,000 viewers, and taking the #1 spot in this category as well.

These statistics represent the most recent happenings on cable news, but is very telling of the trend that has been developing since last year.

An analysis of Adweek statistics by the Daily Wire during the summer of 2017 reported similar findings, with CNN struggling to crack the 800,000 viewer territory during that time period as well.

Over the last year, with its dishonest and malicious reporting on the Trump presidency, frequently launching personal attacks on the president himself, his supporters, his friends, and even members of his family, many viewers of CNN, such as myself, became disillusioned and fed up with the media giant’s blatant bias and lack of respect for its audience and the general public. It is for this reason that I, through no conscious plan of my own, have found myself not watching CNN on television for nearly ten months now.

From its disappointing numbers, its cuts, and its layoffs, it seems I am not the only one to stop watching CNN. I had no clear intention of actively boycotting CNN, but incidentally, that is what happened. Although there is no time frame for this convenient boycott, I simply do not see myself tuning in to CNN again anytime soon.

I know I’m not missing much.