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AMERICA ON A MARCH TOWARD ANARCHY

(This Op-Ed was published in Florida Today  on line)

By Marshall Frank, Community columnist 

I expect division because party systems call for division. It was normal in Kennedy’s days, in Obama’s days and even under FDR, whom most folks credit with saving our union. It was also an issue during colonial times. Jefferson and Hamilton never saw eye to eye on anything.

But it’s never been so frightening as it is today.

Robert Lee, an ESPN broadcaster, was removed from calling a game in Virginia, because his name is Robert Lee. Minus a middle initial, Lee has committed a racist act by virtue of his birth name. Have we gone nuts?

The crazies are finally running the institutions.

Honorary statues are tumbling and being defaced around the nation because of points of view of 250 years ago. 

A best-selling author/columnist was invited to speak at Berkeley University in April to address a counter point of view on the issue of immigration. Threats of violent acts and demonstrations convinced the school to cancel Ann Coulter, thus plunging another nail in the coffin of free speech and tolerance.

Somali-born author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who suffered as a child under repressive religious dogma,

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FOUR REASONS TO EXCLUDE TRANSGENDERS FROM MILITARY

Some folks may label me a bigoted, anti-everything, but I happen to agree with the president’s order to exclude transgender people from service in the United States military.

     Notice I did not say Lesbians, Gays, or bisexuals, and neither did the president. Transgender represents the “T” in the now-famous acronym, LGBTQ. Critics might broad brush supporters of the president’s order as anti-gay or anti-lesbian, which is simply untrue. Gays and lesbians have been serving honorably in the armed forces for years. But the big “T” is a whole other dimension. So, let’s dispense with false labels.

     The military must operate as efficiently as possible. It does not exist to be a politically correct entity to include each and every American no matter the differences. There are standards, rightly so. The Army has a minimum requirement for applicants to pass aptitude tests. Those who fail are not accepted. Is the U.S. Army bigoted against intellectually-challenged people? People are excluded from military service for various reasons, such as age, education, medical/mental health and physical restrictions. Perhaps we should drop all of that because it discriminates?

     Transgender folks pose a unique problem to military forces, which most people are unaware. Intellectual author, Dr.

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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “KIDNAP” – 8.5

“KIDNAP”  – 8 ½

In a word:  Intense.

     This is a good movie, because it entertains, raises heart rates, captures dire emotions between mother and child, while the 1 hour and 34 minutes fly by like it was half that time. It is packed with “intensity” from beginning to end.

     Halle Berry’s character, a restaurant waitress, is a single mom of a six-year-old boy, in the throes of a custody battle with an ex-husband.  She brings her boy to a local carnival when she takes a brief phone call about the impending court battle and tells her boy to “wait right here.” Moments later, she realizes the child is gone which triggers maternal panic, especially when she spots, at a distance, the child being loaded into a vehicle by a strange bedraggled woman. Berry goes ballistic, racing after the car on foot, to no avail. From there she boards her own vehicle which begins the hour-long, plus, nerve-wracking chase through highways and by-ways, causing too many crashes along the way. But…this is a movie.

     It exudes the same emotions as the movie “Taken” only in this film all the events take place during a single afternoon of a harrowing

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U.S. VOTING SYSTEM SHOULD BE UNIFORM

(This Op-Ed appears in the July 14 edition of Florida Today.) 

     “U.S. voting system should be uniform for all”

     Marshall Frank, Community columnist

 

Apart from state laws that vary across state lines, federal laws are a national standard. Criminal and civil matters, federal law enforcement, income taxes, military and international issues are guided by laws under one umbrella in the United States. Federal laws are no different in California than in South Carolina, Alaska or Maine … with one exception: voting.

It’s no wonder federal elections and states administering them are in such a quagmire about voter identification. Consider this:

  • There is no uniform system across America for establishing identification of prospective voters. The state in which people live determines how voting is administered. Five independent systems currently exist that may or may not require identification, with and/or without photo.
  • Eighteen states, including New York, California and Pennsylvania, plus Washington, D.C., require no ID at all. Anyone can walk into a voting station and assume any name, be a convicted felon or an illegal immigrant, yet be provided the opportunity to vote — illegally. Without ID, there is no way to establish their eligibility.
  • The U.S. Constitution requires voters
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A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “THE BEGUILED” – 6.5

“The Beguiled.”  –  6 ½

     In a word:  Slow.

This is the antithesis of an action film. Directed by Sofia Coppola, (daughter of Francis Ford Coppola) it is a remake of a 1971 movie of the same title, which starred Clint Eastwood.

     Set in rural Virginia, 1864, as the Civil War blazed in the distance outside the frames of the camera, the entire setting for the story is in and around a mansion in the woods – nothing else — that has been converted into a girl’s school of some four students who are sheltered from the war. The property is owned by Martha, a stoic, discipline-minded woman deftly played by Nicole Kidman.

     While alone in the woods collecting mushrooms, one of the young girls stumbles upon a wounded union soldier lying under a tree. Though this is a staunch Confederate region, the girl assists the soldier (Colin Farrell) to the mansion where Kidman takes charge and reluctantly treats the soldier’s wounds, with the objective of releasing him back to the field once he is ambulatory.

     The soldier’s presence ultimately creates a wave of interesting relationships and curiosities among the four students, one adult teacher and Kidman, of which Farrell’s

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TEN VALID REASONS TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY

(The following Op-Ed appears in the June 23, 2017 edition of Florida Today.)

 

     “It’s time to put death penalty to rest in U.S.”

By Marshall Frank, Community columnist  

     One innocent executed is one too many — and that’s just one reason to abolish capital punishment. 

Now that the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that juries must vote unanimously for the death penalty in order to validate a sentence, we can anticipate many new appeals and/or commutations of sentences for over 200 death row inmates to whom this will apply. Such appeals, or new trials, would be an extreme cost to the taxpayer.

Thus, we re-examine the death penalty once more. As a 30-year career cop and former Miami-Dade homicide detective, I’ve seen the worst of criminal behavior. I’m no bleeding heart.

I propose 10 valid reasons why capital punishment should be abolished, not only in Florida, but throughout the entire nation.

Too many risks of executing the innocent: In Brevard County, we’ve been witness to at least three life terms in which human beings have wrongfully served 27 years, 22 years and four years as innocent men. Had they been given a death sentence, two would probably be dead

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REMEMBERING A FATHER ON FATHER’S DAY

This story is for those people who don’t always have the best relationships in families, especially fathers.

    Marshall Strauss was ten years of age when the man he called “Dad” passed away after a long illness. His mother came home from the hospital, sobbing, telling of what a good man William Strauss had been. Later that afternoon, she composed herself and called her son over to have a serious talk.

     “What’s the matter, Mom?”

     “I have something to tell you. The man who died this morning loved you and wanted the best for you. But…he wasn’t really your father.”

     Marshall was stunned. “Wha…what do you mean?”

     “He adopted you when you were two years old, that’s why your name is Strauss. Your real father’s name was Arthur Frank.”

     Many thoughts swirled through the boy’s mind, most of all, why he was never told the truth before. “Do you mean my name is really Marshall Frank?”

     “Yes, honey. We wanted for you to not have any confusion, so that we all had the same name. We didn’t think it was necessary to tell you.”

     “But I want to know. I want to know more.  Who was my real father? Where is

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