Archive for the Videos Category

What Jovie From the Movie “Elf” Taught Me About Courage and Leadership

Posted in Film, Music, Opinions, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2016 by Ian Pham

zooey-deschanel-in-elfImage via Fanpop

This is going to be a bit of a stretch, but I’ll give it a shot anyways.

First off, if you haven’t seen the movie “Elf,” there are going to be some spoilers ahead. Secondly, if you haven’t seen the movie “Elf,” you should do yourself a favor and check it out ASAP. Chances are high (basically 100%) that some channel on TV is playing it right now, as we speak, as I type this article, and then actually right now, as you read this article. It’s an incredible movie, full of laughs and whimsy and Will Ferrell being Will Ferrell at his comedic best.

I won’t give too much of the movie away, but there is one scene in the film where Buddy the Elf’s (Ferrell) love interest Jovie (played by Zooey Deschanel) steps up on a carriage and sings in front of a mob of people in Central Park. Her purpose in doing this is to bring up New York’s Christmas spirit so that Santa, Buddy, and the reindeers can follow through with their mission to save Christmas. It’s a zany, lighthearted, and adorable film that will surely either cheer you up or make your day even brighter than it already is.

Here’s the scene I am talking about. Give it a watch, and I will follow up with the discussion shortly after. But, before you press play, remember: SPOILERS are contained in the clip.

Pretty cute, right?

I won’t get too deep into the politics that I usually talk about, but I do want to point out this simple message that I received from this adorable movie: It only takes one brave voice to make something happen. It only takes one voice to start a change.

If you read this site often, you already know where I’m going with this.

And yes, I know it’s not as easy as I’m making it sound right now. Singing a song in the middle of Saigon or Hanoi won’t make the communist regime fall just like that. It’ll take more than a song to bring down the totalitarian communist dictatorship and bring freedom to Vietnam.

However, what I want to say is that if you are someone who has something to say to the communists in Vietnam, then go for it. It may not be as simple as singing a song to raise Christmas spirit for Santa’s sleigh, but, and I’m talking real life now, if you have a message that you believe people need to hear, if you want to speak out against the communists, then use your voice to break the silence.

Zooey Deschanel’s scene in “Elf” is just a lighthearted musical number in a fun comedy movie, but to me, it is a beautiful illustration of the idea that, with just one brave voice, something extraordinary can happen. One person with the courage to step up, speak up, and be the guiding light that leads a movement to accomplish something incredible and magical. In “Elf,” this incredible thing is saving Christmas, in our real world, it is saving Vietnam from Communism, and bringing freedom, democracy, and human rights to Vietnam.

In this real life scenario, Vietnam is our Christmas, and Jovie, that voice that breaks the silence, is a person we have not met yet, but is definitely out there somewhere.

To the Jovie of Vietnam, if you’re reading this, the world is waiting for you. Raise your voice, take a chance, and make something incredible happen. You can do it. Believe in yourself.

Well, that’s my motivational speech this Christmas.

Hopefully you’re all doing well, and, while I may not always have the time to write on here as much as I want to, my thoughts are always with you, and with Vietnam. I wish I got paid to write on here, but hey, you can’t get everything you ask for. Still, though, a guy can dream, right?

Merry Christmas, everybody. Happy Holidays, and have a Happy New Year!

See you in 2017.

Ian Pham.

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I’m Done With Donald Trump

Posted in Opinions, Politics, Videos with tags , , , , , , , on December 22, 2015 by Ian Pham

Donald TrumpImage via CNN

Several months ago, when the GOP leadership race was just kicking into high gear, I wrote a column expressing my unexpected support for billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump. I praised his willingness to tackle the difficult issues, to speak his mind, and to get straight to the point without being bogged down by political correctness. During that time, in the late summer/early fall of this year, I said that my views of Trump were slowly switching from disdain for a “buffoon,” and “imbecile,” to admiration for a strong and assertive leader with effective, yet unconventional solutions. He was changing my mind, or so I thought.

Well, it is now December, and things have gone full circle. I went from initially thinking he’s an idiot, to slowly becoming intrigued by his audacity, to briefly actually believing that he’s just the guy that America needs, to occasionally asking myself, “wait, did he really just say that?” and now, definitively, to knowing that he’s an absolute idiot.

Yeah, I admit it. Throughout this autumn, while closely paying attention to the GOP leadership race, I legitimately entertained the idea of a Trump presidency. Although I didn’t agree with his choice of words on tackling immigration, I respected his courage in pressing the issue, and defending his position non-apologetically despite the enormous backlash throughout. Moreover, it was his outward criticism of China and their poor conduct in world politics and economics that really gained my attention, and thus winning me over to the Trump campaign. Throughout this time, I actually believed, if only for a short time, that the eccentric Republican front-runner would follow through with his pledge to “Make America Great Again.”

As time went on, however, and as The Donald spoke more and more, it became apparent to me that this guy legitimately has no idea what he is talking about most of the time. More alarmingly yet, is that despite knowing nothing about the issues at hand, Trump shows no reservations on pushing forward thoughtless and dangerous solutions to these problems that, again, he does not understand.

In response to the heinous terrorist attacks in Paris this November, Donald Trump suggested that the U.S. government start monitoring mosques in America. He then went even further to say that, as president, he would strongly consider shutting some mosques down. In addition, Trump advocated that all the Muslims in the U.S. be registered in a national database, so that they would be easier to track. These proposals, presented by Trump, unabashedly single out and discriminate against every single Muslim in the United States. Furthermore, it disregards the fact that these terrorist acts were committed by savages, a few violent extremist animals who do not represent Islam as a whole, or even represent Islam at all, for that matter.

I support hunting down ISIS, and killing ISIS. I support monitoring and screening potential refugees before deeming them safe to enter the country. I support America’s fight against international terrorism, and the world’s greater fight against international terrorism.

What I don’t support, however, is bigotry, xenophobia, and blind hatred against an entire population of people, all because of the truly horrible actions that were committed by a few. The enemy is not Islam as a whole, the enemy is a small, distorted, and extremist bastardization of the religion and is called Radical Islam, the enemy is international terrorism, the enemy is ISIS.

Instead of working with the Muslim population in America and abroad to combat ISIS and their radicalization tactics, Trump is doing the opposite, antagonizing all the Muslims in the U.S. and around the world, and hurting American efforts to combat ISIS and international terrorism.

This argument can be further exemplified by Trump’s suggestion after the tragedy in San Bernardino just earlier this month. According to CNN, Trump responded to the terrorist attacks in California by pushing forward the proposal to ban absolutely all Muslims from coming into the U.S., whether they be refugees, or simply tourists visiting the country.

Like his previous suggestions, the Muslim ban drew furious backlash for Trump, and in usual Trump fashion, he stood his ground, with no apologies whatsoever. Sure, it is respectable that he stands by what he says, but by now, it has become apparent to me that although Donald Trump is a steadfast person who approaches issues with vigor, he is also a moron who does not know what he is talking about, nor does he care to educate himself on the matters even after his mistakes are made.

In regards to national security, and specifically in regards to this Syrian refugee crisis, I believe that due diligence and proper screening processes are an absolute must before letting any refugee into the country. Safety of the American people, and the security of the country as a whole, is paramount. Trump’s swift and blanket ban on all Muslims however, is a poorly thought out, over-simplistic, and reckless solution to a complicated issue. As outlined by fellow GOP candidate Jeb Bush, America has allies in Muslim countries such as Jordan, Turkey, as well as ethnic groups such as the Kurds, who are among the most effective fighters against ISIS. A blanket ban on all Muslims would alienate all of these allies, making it much more difficult to effectively destroy ISIS. Donald Trump does not seem to understand that, nor does he seem interested in trying to understand.

Lastly, on this timeline describing my slow and gradual deterioration of support for Trump, we come to the latest instance that proves he’s an easily manipulated moron. This was made possible last week thanks to the miscalculations of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose kind words towards Donald Trump revealed just exactly how susceptible Trump is to flattery, and how easily he will bend when being told what he wants to hear.

After being praised as a “bright and talented man” and “the absolute leader of the presidential race” by Putin, Donald Trump responded in kind, complimenting the Russian President on his leadership, and even saying that it is better than the current leadership in America.

Look, I get it. I too am disappointed in Obama’s leadership. I too am fed up with his feckless conduct against China in the Pacific, Russia in Crimea, Bashir al-Assad in Syria, ISIS in Iraq and the Middle East, and so many other instances on the international stage. He’s a joke, a non-factor, an afterthought in the eyes of international leaders everywhere, and just in general, a weak leader, and a weak president. However, he is still not a ruthless dictator like Vladimir Putin.

For all of the shortcomings in his leadership, from which there are many, Barack Obama is still one who upholds democratic ideals and respects human rights. He does not murder journalists or political opponents, nor does he silence all opposition or try to establish absolute dictatorial rule over the country he presides. To compare him to a dictator/gangster such as Vladimir Putin, and furthermore, to suggest that Putin is the better leader, is absolutely ludicrous. But, that is exactly what Donald Trump has done, and again, this is exactly what Trump is steadfastly defending in the face of heavy criticism from his political opponents and his critics.

Why is Trump defending Putin again? Right, because Putin complimented him, and we must remember, that Trump loves compliments. He loves compliments so much that he is willing to defend the dictator of an antagonistic country to the U.S. in order to keep that compliment. Little did he know that by reacting so gleefully towards the pleasantries sent his way by Putin, he just played right into the hands of the Russian leader.

When pressed by Joe Scarborough of “Morning Joe” about Putin’s tendency to kill Russian journalists and opponents to his political power, Trump defends Putin, and takes a shot at America by saying that, “… our country does plenty of killing, also, Joe, so, you know…” It seems that Mr. Trump is unable to distinguish between the type of killing that the U.S. carries out, and the murders that Putin orchestrates. Mitt Romney, in a tweet, spells out the differences for Trump in less than 140 characters:

Yeah, it really speaks volumes that The Donald can’t tell the difference.

It is not yet clear why Putin would release such a statement at this point in time. Was it a calculated move to trap Donald Trump into saying something stupid? Or was it a miscalculation, an attempt to win over and exploit someone who Putin believes to be the future president of the United States, only to have the idiot accidentally screw himself over? According to Christian Whiton, it falls somewhere closer to the latter, where Putin, in sending out praises to the Republican front-runner, is looking to use the idiocy and arrogance of Donald Trump as a means to further Russia’s national interests. Whiton contends that the Russian leader is “happily” pocketing “Trump’s naivete,” and as a cunning former KGB officer, Putin has been trained to “look for character flaws that can be used to enlist a target as an agent or, short of that, an unwitting helper.” To put simply, Putin is playing on Trump’s self-absorbed personality to get what he wants, and Trump is falling for it without fail.

Sadly for Putin, however, it doesn’t look like Trump will be his man. The Donald is still leading in the polls right now, which is unsettling, but I highly doubt that it will remain that way for much longer. The increasingly ignorant comments against Muslims in the U.S. and abroad, followed by the equally idiotic solutions to these problems that he clearly does not understand, it has become clear to me that Donald Trump is not fit to be America’s commander in chief. The latest “bromance” with Vladimir Putin only reaffirms this notion, because it demonstrates how easily it is to manipulate Donald Trump. Apparently all it takes is some patience and a few flattering words, and Trump is putty in your hands.

This is where it has come with my support for Donald Trump. After watching him legitimately present a plan to implement a police state against all Muslims in the U.S., effectively spitting on the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments of The Constitution; after watching him make audacious statements that will alienate all of America’s allies in the Middle East; and, after seeing how easy it is for him to be manipulated by Vladimir Putin, I’ve decided that Donald Trump is not the candidate for me.

It’s been a good run, I approached it with an open mind, but now it is clear: Trump is an idiot, and possibly a fascist, but I’ll digress on that one, because I’m tired of talking, and I’m sure you’re all tired of my ranting.

Before I conclude, however, I would like to leave you all with a few more examples of Trump’s general lack of knowledge, and reiterate my position that Trump really doesn’t know what he is talking about most of the time.

Here is Trump trying to bluff his way through a question about the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the fourth GOP debate on November 10, 2015. Rand Paul puts Trump in check at 1:09:

And this is from the latest GOP debate on December 15, 2015, when Trump stumbles on a question about the nuclear triad, with Senator Marco Rubio graciously picking up the pieces:

That’s it, people. I’m done here. It’s over. Shut it down. Shut it all down.

I’m done with Donald Trump.

This National Anthem Video Will Remind You of What a Badass Nation South Vietnam Was

Posted in IV. Columns, Modern History, Politics, Videos with tags , , , , , , , on November 15, 2015 by Ian Pham

South Vietnam Soldier SaluteImage via Youtube

And it really was, too.

This is just a video off Youtube of South Vietnam’s national anthem. Sung by a chorus, the video displays footage of military parades and other patriotic imagery, played along to the music. It really gets the patriotic blood pumping, and makes you remember why we, along with our parents, siblings, and relatives are so proud of where we came from.

Got a minute? Check it out below:

Pretty awesome, right?

This was the nation to tell Communist China to fuck off when the PRC invaded Paracel back in 1974, fighting vehemently against the invader until the very end. This was also the nation to stand against Ho Chi Minh and the communists, a story that we all know very well.

South Vietnam was a democracy, a young and fledgling democracy, but undoubtedly a democracy nonetheless. It’s national motto was, “Fatherland, Honor, Duty,” and in the face of Chinese aggression and North Vietnamese Communist aggression, the Southern country stood proud and strong.

This is just a small example of what a great nation South Vietnam was, and how proud we are to come from it.

Damn proud, mighty proud.

I Don’t Know Who Mondega Is, But He Performs “DMCS 2,” It’s in English, and You All Should Listen

Posted in Music, Politics, Society, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2015 by Ian Pham

DMCS 2 Performed By MondegaImage via Youtube

The headline pretty much speaks for itself. Rapper Nah’s Youtube channel has this alternate version of “DMCS,” aka “Fuck Communism” on it, performed by a rapper who goes by the name Mondega, and, great news, it’s all in English.

This track has a different beat and different lyrics than the original, but the subject matter is still the same. The communists are garbage, they ruined the country, and they deserve to die. It’s a good listen, and for my people overseas, the song, like I said, is in English, so you can all enjoy it! Sadly, there is no Vietnamese translation for those of you reading from Vietnam, but if you’re already reading this, then you can understand it anyways, so it’s all good!

(Note: I wouldn’t use the close captions (CC) button for this one, it’ll just make you laugh.)

Here’s “DMCS 2/Fuck Communism 2,” performed by Mondega. Enjoy!

Some notable lines from the song:

“… Communism sounds good until you grow up in this shit.”

“This is the predicament, underneath the politics.

I just think democracy’s a better way to live.”

“It’s about to be a war, I’m just raising my army.

I check my website and Hanoi seems to be on it.”

“If I should die a martyr, I just hope you see my vision.

I’m just a freedom fighter, disguised as a musician.”

Keep spittin’ that truth, Mondega.

Fuck communism.

Here is the Movie Trailer for “Ride The Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Victory & Betrayal”

Posted in Film, Modern History, Politics, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2015 by Ian Pham

Here is the trailer for the new major motion picture, “Ride The Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Victory and Betrayal,” produced and directed by Fred Koster, and executive produced by Richard Botkin.

So, what do ya think? Pretty incredible, right?

Ride The Thunder Movie PosterOfficial movie poster via Ride The Thunder Movie

Here is the synopsis, according to the official website:

“Ride The Thunder” is the true heroic story of a friendship between American Military Legend, John Ripley and Vietnamese Hero, Le Ba Binh. The storyline follows their fight together against the communists during the Vietnam War and then the ensuing aftermath of the fall of Vietnam as Ripley goes home to a divided America and Binh is imprisoned in a communist re-education camp.

Since the movie’s limited release, “Ride The Thunder” has trumped its big-name Hollywood competitors in respective theaters, ranking #1 in America for box office ticket sales during its opening weekend. The movie is continuing to expand to theaters across the United States.

Fred Koster, the film’s producer and director, explains the coming challenges for the film:

“It’s exciting to see the movie expanding across the United States but we know that as an independent film we have challenges ahead in promoting to a wide national audience on a limited marketing budget.  It is simple, where we market well we do great, where we don’t market well we struggle.  People will only come to see our film if they know about it.”

There you have it, the continued success of the film depends on our support. Tell your friends, tell your family members, and let others know about the movie through social media (Facebook, Twitter, and whatever other social network doohickeys you crazy kids are using these days). Most importantly, make some plans to go see the film when it comes to your area. You can demand it in your area here, let the producers know to come to your town!

Above, in this article, is the official movie poster for “Ride The Thunder.” Download it at the official website.

I absolutely can’t wait to see this movie.

Fighting Fire With Fire: Protesters in Binh Thuan Fight Back Against Communist Police With Rocks and Molotov Cocktails

Posted in Politics, Videos with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2015 by Ian Pham

Binh Thuan ProtestPhoto via Dan Lam Bao

The following event occurred just last month, on April 14 and 15, 2015, only two weeks after the major labor strikes that engulfed Southern Vietnam for eight days.

In the province* of Binh Thuan, inhabitants took to the streets to express outrage at the Vietnamese Communist Party’s continued concessions to the People’s Republic of China, whose aggressive and intrusive actions in Vietnamese territory go on unabated, even fostered, by the government in Hanoi.

According to Dan Lam Bao, the people of Binh Thuan have grown fed up with the extensive pollution and environmental damage on their land brought forth by the construction of the Chinese Vinh Tan 2 thermoelectric plant. Prior to the protests, citizens of Binh Thuan were already concerned with the Vietnamese government’s decision to contract Binh Thuan land out to a Chinese company. Many attempts were made by the people to express these concerns to the government, but their objections went continually ignored by the VCP. As a result, with the construction projects going forward and wreaking havoc on the environment in Binh Thuan, the people took to the streets to make their voices heard.

The protesters came out in droves, in the thousands, and, as usual, the Party sent in the police to forcefully suppress the demonstrations. However, following the welcome trend in Vietnam as of late, the protesters fought back against the crackdown forces of the VCP. The authorities were met with fierce resistance. Many protesters threw rocks at the government forces, while others were resourceful enough to use Molotov cocktails to combat the communist police.

As China steadily maintains its encroachment on Vietnam’s territories, using the diplomatic, military, and economic means at their disposal, the VCP seems content on yielding in every case. The Vietnamese communists often avoid the issue at hand in the face of public criticism, all while citing the “friendship” that the two communist nations allegedly share, despite what reality clearly illustrates. The cowardice and treason of the government in Hanoi has sparked anger and disdain among the people of Vietnam.

The protests were captured on video and can be seen below:

Here are some highlights:

Vietnamese Protesters Throw Rocks at Communist Police

A flurry of rocks and other objects are thrown at the communist police. Jeers and insults can be heard from the crowd as they unloaded on the VCP forces.

Binh Thuan Protest

Protesters throw Molotov cocktails at the suppressive police forces on the streets of Binh Thuan.

Binh Thuan Protest 2

VCP police fire shots to intimidate the crowd, only to have them mockingly laugh and taunt in response.

The protests have since subsided. However, I think it is high time that the people of Vietnam stood up more to the VCP and their repressive measures, the way they did in this video, and in Saigon several weeks before that.

I support this development. It’s time to stand up.

Source:

Dan Lam Bao

* Correction: A typo was made saying the “city” of Binh Thuan. This has since been corrected to “province” of Binh Thuan. Apologies for any misunderstanding.

Video: Last Week’s Protest in Saigon

Posted in Politics, Society, Videos with tags , , , , on May 17, 2014 by Ian Pham

This is a video of the anti-China protest in Saigon last Sunday, May 11, 2014. It may seem like old news at this point, as this week bore witness to some truly groundbreaking developments across the country. The movement is only gaining steam, and within hours from now, further protests are set to take place inside Vietnam.

I still feel inclined to post this video though, because certain parts of it are just too great not to share.

What makes this video so share-worthy? This, right here.

Flag Pull Down

For anyone unsure of what is happening in this picture, I’ll break it down for you:

That red flag is Vietnam’s communist flag. According to news circulating around the web, some communist party jerks were instructed to attend the protest and insert that flag into the crowd in an attempt to simulate public support for the VCP (Vietnamese Communist Party). This young lady, clearly offended by this idiotic ploy, took it upon herself to rip down the flag and show the communists what the real deal was.

Take that, communism.

Good luck to everyone out there in Vietnam. We’re all with you. Give ’em hell.