In Shanghai

(zerohedge) To be sure, the surge in cases is partially a factor of the latest mass-testing regime, but that hasn’t stopped the CCP from imposing the most draconian lockdown since Wuhan (as we explained earlier, backing down would be an intolerable capitulation for President Xi and local authorities, whose careers are now in jeopardy due to factors that are completely out of their control).

Following an unceasing torrent of scandals, including separating COVID positive children from their parents, covering up nursing home deaths and failing to address shortages of food and medicine, the population of Shanghai has reached its breaking point.

It’s a good article. Shanghai may be part of the PRC on the books but the only thing that’s keeping the place from balkanizing and separating itself from Big China is the People’s Liberation Army. There is long-standing antipathy toward Beijing in Shanghai. When I write this, I do so from personal experience, having spent time in Shanghai among the City-State’s elite, among the police, etc. I realize that there is often incredulity that people in China would speak openly about the desire to separate from Beijing, but it was a regular topic of conversation among the uniformed police, the secret police and shot callers in government and business.

The feeling then was that Beijing sucked the life out of Shanghai and gave nothing in return. From personal observations, that would seem to be the case.

And now a big plague in Shanghai – with most cases asymptomatic – please forgive me if I pronounce that bullshit. Xi is putting his thumb on Shanghai.



During an interview with ABC on Tuesday aired on Tuesday’s edition of “Nightline,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram stated that China provides chemicals “to Mexico, to the criminal drug networks that are then mass-producing” fake prescription pills that are sold as though they’re prescription drugs but are actually laced with fentanyl.

Milgram said, “[W]e do see a large number of young people who are purchasing pills. What we know is that China is providing chemicals to Mexico, to the criminal drug networks that are then mass-producing these fake prescription pills. They’re being sold as if they were Xanax, as if they were Oxy, as if they were Percocet. But there’s no Xanax, no Oxy, no Percocet in them. They’re fentanyl. But it isn’t just young people that we see, it’s also older Americans. Right now, this is the leading cause of death. Overdoses are the leading cause of death for men between the age of 18 and 45. There are more overdose deaths than car accidents and gun violence.



Historic Interlude

MikeW might wish to comment on this original/colorized photoset. February 1, 1968. Nguyen Van Lem is escorted through Saigon before being executed by police chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan in retaliation for Lem’s murder of Loan’s family.

Nguyen Van Lem did not murder all of the Saigon Police Chief’s Family. Nguyen Ngoc Loan’s daughter,  Anh,  married a friend of mine who MikeW also knows.

MikeW is still working on memoirs from the Vietnam War based on a recent e-mail to me. I know that a few of you are interested in reading more. Some of those chapters were published on this blog in December 2021.

In the photo (right), Nguyen Ngoc Loan carries out the execution of the North Vietnamese agent/assassin. Loan was also known as “Laughing Larry”. He took the murder of his family very hard and dealt with the murderer as I would have and as I suspect many of you would. Swift, severe and certain, without lengthy court appeals. The press had a field day with the photo, but the murderer had it coming.

He opened a pizza shop in New Jersey after the war.

“Make it a Romeo Foxtrot, shall we dance.”

Like a snail crawling along a straight razor…



Russian mercenaries head toward the Ukrainian Front… just kidding but not fully kidding.


    • Certain of it.

      If you look closely at the photo where I am standing at the park that borders the Huangpu River with Pearl of the Orient (communications tower) behind me, and focus on my tiebar, you’ll see that it bears the image of 人民警察 or Rénmín Jǐngchá – The PRC National Police. The tiebar is one way that members of the un-uniformed police/secret police identify each other at a glance. At the time, I was a ‘visiting professor’, teaching at the People’s Public Security University in Beijing. I also taught courses in Shanghai in that timeframe. My specialty is/was (among other things) Chinese systems of money laundering.

      Shanghai is one of the world’s great cities, for those of you who didn’t have the opportunity to visit. It is very much a “first world city”, and the architecture is second to none. I learned a great deal about modern China in my travels, pre-Xi. The place was opening up in those days, the Internet was unfiltered and widely used. I was able to speak frankly the Chinese police and they reciprocated. The “cop on the beat” in Shanghai often had a master’s degree. Some had PhDs. It’s not what most people think of when they think of China.

  1. I’d never seen this picture of Loan in his pizza shop before; thank you for sharing that. Living well is the best revenge.

    Loan was well within the code of war to execute an enemy combatant dressed in civilian clothes on the spot, never mind the personal aspects of it. After what the VC did with their lists in Hue City, I have no sympathy for those of Nugyen Van Lem’s ilk and nothing but contempt for the so called “journalists” who have deceitfully spun this story ever since. Also he freed up a couple of his shooters to go shoot other VC instead of guarding the prisoner. Win-win.

    • War is Hell. That war went on and on. Sort of like Afghanistan. It could have been won, but we chose not to. Now, the place is at peace and war tourism is a big business. I went there in the early 1980s when a US Navy CT-39 crashed in the Spratley Islands in about. 100′ of water near a secret Vietnamese navy installation. The back story was innocent, but the Vietnamese took it as some sort of spy mission, which it was not. The Saberliner pancaked down and the crew of three escaped the aircraft before it sank. They were picked up by a Soviet Era Vietnamese frigate – I think that it was a Krivak I but my memory of that is faulty. I was there to debrief the crew (2 men, 1 woman). The Vietnamese sent divers down to the wreck and satisfied themselves that it had no cameras or electronic equipment onboard.

      The Navy didn’t know what happened to the aircraft. It just didn’t reach its destination in the Phiippines and had been declared lost. Then the Viets reported that they had the crew. Initially, they slapped them a little, denied food and soap, light handling. When their story checked out, they treated them ok, gave them tea and the French food that Saigon is famous for – and waited for the Americans to arrive to reclaim them. My involvement was a fluke but the Navy tacked me onto the manifest.

      I expected things to be different because the war hadn’t been over for long – a decade or so – and I had hard feelings toward the NVA. As has been the case in my life, I was surprised at the attitude of the Vietnamese, who just wanted to get on with life. The war was over.

      • Yeah, LL, I had occasion to work with some of them about 15-years ago on some export business and was more than a little surprised. Tough negotiators, but fair and we got along well. I did not feel the need to take a Clorox shower afterward, like with the Chinese. We did not discuss the late unpleasantness. But I worked with some folks up in the Central Highlands (Pleiku) who I’m reasonably sure did not get out in ’75. I think they probably died when the evacuation out of the Highlands failed, and it’s hard to overlook some things. But in fairness, it’s hard to overlook the crap Nixon, Kissinger, Ford and the Congress pulled on those folks as well.

        I forget the guys name, I’d go lookit up if I wasn’t so lazy, he was a B-24 navigator who wrote his memoirs titled Old Man in a Baseball Hat. Good read, if you want. I think about this a lot, now that I myself am an old man in a baseball hat. He had a lot of hard feelings over losing friends whilst bombing Germany but about that he said sooner or later, you have to sign your own separate armistice, or it consumes you. I give him a lot of credit for turning my head around on the subject. I define Viet Nam, goddammit, Viet Nam does N-O-T define me.

      • Viet Nam was despairing to reestablish normal relations with the US and the West back then, to find a counterpoint to the USSR and China. The joke in diplomatic circles in the ’80s and early ”90swas that Viet Nam would declare war t the US again, surrender as soon as the US accepted, and rake in the development aid. It was easy for them to welcome you after the crash was determined to be an accident: the US had been defeated while the real enemy was up north.

        The real sad aspect is that no one took a long, hard look at Viet Nam’s history with their northern neighbour, which repeated itself in ’79. It’s a bit better today.

        I visited Shanghai and bits and pieces of the PRC a few years after those pictures. The contrast between that city and the rest of the country was striking.

        • In the country, they still have water buffalo pulling the plows. I’ve seen that side too. Grinding poverty. I always brought a big bag of candy for any children I encountered. I have stories of that too.

          Vietnam lost millions of people to war. Today, they’re coming back and they hate China as much now as then. In fact, the Boat People were in large part ethnic Chinese who had been the subject of ethnic cleaning.

  2. “Photographer Eddie Adams always regretted the damage done to the general by that photo.
    Two people died in that photograph: the recipient of the bullet and General Nguyen Ngoc Loan. The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapons in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths. … What the photograph didn’t say was, “What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American people?”. … This picture really messed up his life. He never blamed me. He told me if I hadn’t taken the picture, someone else would have, but I’ve felt bad for him and his family for a long time. … I sent flowers when I heard that he had died and wrote, ‘I’m sorry. There are tears in my eyes’.”

    • I think that he was living in Connecticut when he died. My friend, his son-in-law attended the funeral, of course. Laughing Larry was a decent guy with a horrible job in the middle of a horrible war.

    • That Eddie Adams quote is interesting and shows far more self awareness than I’d expect these days from almost any person working in the newsmedia. There are far, far more persons like Susan Sontag in the news racket. Sontag claimed that Loan shot the decedent as a photo-op.

      But of course, Sontag is the bisexual, NYC mansion-dwelling political activist who famously said: The white race IS the cancer of human history, so I’m not inclined to trust her judgment. NB Sontag was probably not including herself in the tumor mass, since her birth name was Rosenblatt which therefore made her “not white”.

  3. Thank you for clarifying this “incident”. I grew up “knowing” this killing was horrible…because the media made it so. Fake news has been around a long time. Case in point:

    Every Lefty shill worked overtime to cover for Corn Pop Joe…until this week. The tone has suddenly changed. NOW THEY ARE SHOCKED! Indignant even.

    An e.mail went out, marching orders given, and the switch was flipped. While it LOOKS like prior supporters are turning on Joe, do not be fooled. This is scripted. Part of the plan. Joe did his job. That was the deal. Then, like magic, the Kenyan god (small ‘g’) reappears after 5 years…”The Fawning” begins.

    Watch what happens next, there will be showy cries of “Off with their heads!” from those same Lefty outfits, affording ‘O’ to make a king’s grand entrance to save the day…for The Left. The rest of us will eat cake crumbs.

    • I thought Joe Brandon would be finished off by last June (as you may recall) but they kept him around and he may be gone by THIS June. Yes, it’s all scripted. Democrat talking points are repeated over and over. You have to admire the party’s discipline.

      Will the Republicans defend the Republic? Damned few.

      • I’m not hopeful, R’s have a hard time getting out of bed and putting their boots on before the D horse is halfway across the county….like it’s on purpose. We’re being ruled by a bunch of useless old scalawags, including the addled clown sitting in the Oval Office who is trying not to blend in with the curtains.

      • I was talking to my wife about this last night.
        If they 25th Biden, they get Harris, his insurance.
        How do they get him to dump her to put O in the Veep slot?
        He’d have to be totally complicit, or Jill would have to be, I should say.
        As soon as O was in, commence the 25th.
        Is there another play?

        • – Harris steps down as agreed
          – The Dem’s vote in “an experienced leader” (The Nan won’t scan well, so gotta be O)
          – Wait some short period then 25A Biden out, moving O up to President slot.

          As I have read from those in the know, it’s Constitutionally clean. If you can see their desired outcome, everything preceding that makes perfect sense.

          • I can see how you arrived at that point, but do you honestly think that Pelosi would give up the chance to be POTUS?

            If Pelosi resigned, it would go to the House and they’d elect somebody, but those who are seated donkeys may not want to vote in some mountebank because of the November election. Obama again? In all that turmoil? He’s chronically lazy. I don’t see it. HRC is in the middle of the special counsel scandal. It would be a mess and whoever takes the job will be ruined.

          • At this point I do think she’d pass it up…aging fast, and since everyone has a boss, she’s too is getting orders from higher up.

            ESPN Obama is a lazy bum, but as a frontman he is their best option for a smooth talker to avoid a complete shellacking in November by energizing their vacuous base. In comparison to addled Joe, once he opens his mouth they’d wet their pants with joy.

            The Dem’s are admirably in solidarity, but completely hollow; every news feed states “KBJ vote happening for THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN for SCOTUS”…like her race matters to whether she can do her job, which she will be a menace to the court. But that’s what important to these mentally vacant people. (as you say, “Look! a squirrel!)

            If not The Black Messiah, then who? They have no one else who’s less a fool.

          • Jill won’t, she likes her status, putting her husband out there knowing he was in decline. Her helping him walk off stage indicates this was a plan, but Joe went to mush faster than expected.

        • I think Nan could be persuaded to go home to her freezers full of ice cream. What is it about old Donks and their ice cream? Well anyway, she’s a team player and there’s always the “or else” thing growling in the closet. So, pretty sure she didn’t kill herself. It’ll be natural causes. As in, natural to their profession.

          • Pelosi has the coof. She can get “long covid” and retire due to ill health and some big fat bribes.

            I would hope that she dies of it, but I think she already died and it still didn’t rid us of her.


        • Barky The Magic Mulatto, The Great Unifier?
          Can he bring his lovely graceful ‘Civil Partner’ [pauses to hork]?

  4. Seems I’m always attracted to trivia. The escort on the left seems to be carrying an AK-47. Was that common among the South Vietnamese?

    • They usually carried M-16’s but in his case, he’s carrying the AK-47 that Nguyen Van Lem used in the assassination, so technically he’s carrying evidence.

  5. Lem, justice served. I too had never heard the rest of the story. In hindsight it makes sense, the news media has been leftist pawns for decades.

  6. Off topic but interesting…some blogs are quoting Russian news media that Russian forces have captured US LtGen Coutier in Mariupol where he was advising AZOV brigade. Courtier is a real US commander. No comments from US gov.

  7. So I’m on an Airbus A321 on the tarmac at Boston Logan. Flight’s already delayed 90 minutes due to lack of crew. They scrambled a crew and let us board. Now we’ve just been informed that both the pilot and co- will go illegal during the flight. So they’re a no go. Airline is supposedly going to bring pilots up from Hartsfield. (/eyeroll)

    Some young (20’s) people next to me are confused by “illegal”. An older woman is trying to explain about limitations in pilot flight hours. I’m unconfusing the issue by raising my fist and saying in a voice of outrage “No pilot is illegal! How can a human being be illegal? Let them ALL in!”

      • The airlines have all been pushing veteran pilots to retire if they are white males. Nobody wants a toxic male captain and first officer flying an airplane. So they run short because people don’t want to put up with their harassment. That’s the game.

        • Nice one, Mike_C !

          If you need to be bailed out for Public Mockery of the Holy Left, send an e-mail.

          If you need to be busted out instead, I bet LL can handle it!


          • Thanks, Kle! If I get myself into hot water at PVD I’ll know who to call.
            There was a time when there were incredible flight deals out of Providence, but I haven’t flown from there (or MHT) for several years. Plus, gasoline being so dear now, it’d have to be a substantial savings to justify the time and fuel costs to and from airport. Sigh.

            Last night it turned out that Delta was indeed bringing up pilots from ATL and they’d arrive at 0106. Everyone had to get off the plane in the interim. I didn’t want to arrive at 0400 trying to get a ride or a rental car so I had them reschedule me for tonight. We shall see….

            PS. It seems that one has to be of a certain age to get the “No human being is illegal” reference. The 50-ish woman who was trying to explain things to the youngsters was annoyed with me but also trying not to laugh. The kids just looked at me blankly. I probably should have said “Open skies and open borders!” instead of “Let them ALL in!” but I was improvising.

          • Gah.

            They seriously thought that delaying an afternoon flight departure to 1:30 AM was adequate service?

            It seems like only yesterday, that America wasn’t part of the 3rd World.


  8. I never saw that photo of the execution as bad. To me, even before I learned all the facts, the executed was acting as a spy, therefore tough nuggies on him.

    Too often during that war the news media lied to us and the world.


    As to Singapore, are they getting the full “Hong Kong” treatment yet? And when is the PRC cracking down on the other ‘free cities’ like Macau?

    • Many of the people of Singapore are starving. Those who put food away for a rainy day are not. There is a lesson in that. Hong Kong was a crown colony and free. Singapore has been under the boot for a long time so the reaction is different.

      Some human suffering in this world is unavoidable and dealing with that brand of suffering is one thing. The situation in Singapore is caused by the CCP. That’s something altogether different. The Canadians, Australians, and Americans have felt the same (and clearly not the same) government boot. How they deal with it is up to them.

  9. I will keep my comments regarding Adams photo short. In my opinion Adams later comments, as quoted by Jim are entirely self-serving. He took the photo, he sold the photo for his thirty pieces of silver, without any explanation of the context, and went on his merry way. The other left-wing, Communist scum, and the usual assortment of useful idiots, from the mainstream media and academia, then had a field day fabricating all sorts of falsities which continue to this day. These bottom feeding lowlifes then hounded the General until his death. To use a colloquial Australian expression, I would not “piss on any of them if they were on fire”.

    General Loan was an honourable man, who had a tough job, in a hard war. He was well within his rights to shoot Lem. Even if Lem had not done what he had, he would have still been eligible for killing. I know, if there are any lawyers reading this, they will disagree with what I am about to say. Lem was in civilian clothes, and, in my opinion, could not claim to be an enemy combatant as Wild+Wild+West suggests. As far as I, and others who did a similar job often said, the Geneva Conventions did not apply to the Viet Cong or the NVA, as they had not signed them in the first place. I would have shot him on the spot, regardless of whether he was in uniform or not.

    With regards to WellSeasonedFools question regarding the AK-47. Yes, it was quite common for South Vietnamese units, particularly those you could call “irregulars”, for want of a better word, to carry them. In our unit many on the pseudo-Armed Propaganda Teams carried them, and so did my team on occasion. I also, frequently, carried an Ithaca 12 gauge pump action shotgun, with a duck bill choke which, according to some, was also against the Geneva Conventions. I never had any complaints from the people I used it on though. In my opinion, and I know many will disagree, the AK-47 was a far better weapon, and more suited to a counterinsurgency war in the rice paddies, than the M-16. In this instance, as Larry says, the AK-47 was “evidence”.

    With regards to Larry’s comment regarding our mutual good friend who I will refer to, as Larry has done previously, as Person X. Yes, person X was married to Anh, who was a very attractive, very sensible, and a very lovely lady.

    I recall one time walking into the lobby of the Westin St. Francis, in San Francisco, where I was staying and finding Person X and Anh sitting there. As soon as he saw me Person X said “We heard you were in town so we drove up to see you”. How he knew I was there I will never know. By driving up he meant they had come all the way from Orange County, where they were then living. When I say they drove I don’t mean them personally, as Person X had a driver. Whether it was the ex-SAVAK guy on this occasion I don’t know, as I never saw him. When I asked where they were staying, he said “With you.” Luckily, the room I had had two large double beds in it. I had to go back out, so I left Person X and Anh in the room to rest up. When I returned, I found Person X had drunk the entire contents of the mini-bar and, when they refilled it, he had drunk all that too. He was most indignant when I told the hotel not to refill it again.

    On another occasion, Person X and I were having a late evening drink with other friends in the Club Hollywood, a bar on Clement Street, San Francisco, owned by another friend of ours, Bosco, a member of the local Chinese criminal milieu. Person X began telling me about some new life ending disease he was suffering from, and that he expected an early demise. This was a regular occurrence in those days, with him claiming to be suffering from some disease or other and always being at deaths door. However, on this occasion he began telling me about how he was bequeathing all his worldly goods to his friends. Some of these I knew and some I didn’t. When he got to the end of listing his bequests he said, “And to you, my dear friend, I have left my most valuable possession, Anh.” I asked him what he meant by leaving me Anh and he said ”You are the only one I trust to look after her”. I asked him what Anh had to say about this. He looked at me and said, “Don’t you like Anh?” When I said yes, that I liked Anh, he said “Well she likes you too. So what is the problem?.” What the connection was, in Person X’s mind, between me liking Anh and Anh liking me, and me being left her in his will, I have no idea. In the event, he didn’t depart this Earth at that time, and he and Anh subsequently separated, so what the end result would have been I have no idea.

    I do know it was the ex-SAVAK guy driving on another occasion, when Person X and the Chinese nutjob, Ping I think her name was, if I remember correctly, drove overnight from Las Vegas to San Francisco to get married. That was an interesting day, with the nuptials being conducted by His Honour Mayor Willie Brown in his office.

    • When I returned, I found Person X had drunk the entire contents of the mini-bar and, when they refilled it, he had drunk all that too. He was most indignant when I told the hotel not to refill it again I remember one (other time) when you and I carried Person X to his room at the St. Francis Hotel. He had a drinking problem. To his credit, he has been sober for a long time now and seems to be happy with his tenth wife. Sometimes you have to keep trying until you get it right.

      I told Person X not to marry Ping. She was working in a whorehouse in the San Gabriel Valley at the time and I made inquiries on his behalf. Mamasan said that Ping was crazy, but they kept her around because she was a good earner. After Person X married her, Ping opened her own whorehouse in Las Vegas. Then Person X went to prison for arson when he burned it down.

          • The thing is, for us armchair viewers, it ain’t braggin’ if you’ve done it. To know what’s written above is real, and only one anecdote of a life lived like Hunter or Baldacci or Childs (etc) wrote, is fascinating to me. It’s a side that 85% of Americans have no clue exists, and necessary. And so many who chime in have “been there, done it.” Truly impressive. Major western hat tip.

      • Larry. Yes, I remember that occasion too my friend. It wasn’t his room though, it was mine (again). He was still with Anh then and they were sharing (well they had arrived and moved in at any rate) my room. I was smarter that time though, as I had the hotel empty the mini-bar before Person X could ravage it. For some reason the St. Francis always gave me a room with two double beds. Why I do not know. Maybe those who shall remain unnamed had it wired.

        I remember another occasion with Person X. We were with Tom, and, after having dinner in a restaurant whose name now escapes me, had made an evening of it going from bar to bar in Chinatown. We ended up in a Korean bar somewhere, and the air conditioning was that cold you could see your breath in front of you. The hostesses were all scantily clad, and you could see their n*****s poking through their see through tops. I always carried a pocket full of small clip-on Koalas (gimmicks for the tourists visiting Sydney), which I was wont to present to any hostess/cocktail waitress who took my fancy. There was one particular girl here, very tiny and petite who, when I gave her one of these Koalas, clipped it onto one of her n*****s and wandered around the bar for the rest of the evening with it so attached. Much to the amusement of Tom and Person X I might add.

        • Nobody knew how to host a bar crawl through San Francisco’s Chinatown like Tom. Usually, we ended up at that bar his Korean wife owned. It’s the one where you had to go down the spiral staircase like two levels to water the horse. And then climb back up.

          • Now that I think about it, we did haul him off to YOUR room. The Savak limo driver slept in the white limo. I recall one time that he rented an entire floor at the Mandarin Oriental in HK for a week.

          • You mean Mina, the bipolar one? I remember one time, when she had not been taking her medication, she completely lost it. Threw a full, unopened, can of pineapple at Tom’s head. Luckily, he ducked, or sidestepped, and only ended up with a very badly split lip. Their wedding was something else. As I recall, it was a spur of the moment thing. It was at a Soldier of Fortune Convention in Las Vegas, which we all had been attending. Wofat as there too, and in fine form. I am not sure if Cord H was there. He didn’t usually attended such scenes of debauchery, although he knew many of the participants. Who the officiating padre was, I cannot recall. I think he was a friend of Bob Brown’s and, as far as I know, was a real one. The guests included such luminaries as myself, Wofat, Bob Brown himself, Jim Morris, and Jim Coyne (he was married to, or later married, a girl named Thuy, who worked as an analyst with the DEA). Now, she was something. Very pretty and petite, but with a temper. When she was married to Rich LaMagna it is alleged she took a knife to him, which is what, it is further alleged, led to their their divorce.

            I think the ex-SAVAK guy spent a lot of nights sleeping in the back of the limo. Person X had him on twenty four hour availability. Yes, Person X has always had a propensity to spend money. He can be a millionaire one day, flat broke two days later, and a millionaire again by the end of the week.

        • I’d forgotten her name. Yes, Mina. Wofat told me about the wedding at SOF and later Tom did too. Going to an SOF convention was a lot like going to Tailhook. Different people, but the same convention, really. Those days are long gone.

    • Wait, there’s a Chinese guy called “Bosco”?

      One of my customary stops in the High Desert area (Victorville, CA) is a hole-in-the-wall called Bosco’s Diner set in an office park next to a shady lawyer’s office and other mysterious enterprises that seem to require mirrored glass and curtains up front. Bosco’s is run by tiny people who look to be SE Asians, but they serve good regular American diner food. The only slightly weird thing is that a side of white rice is standard with many dishes. I’m partial to their pot roast. Anyway, I’d always assumed that the name is from a previous incarnation* of the business. Maybe not…

      * On previous business incarnations: In another town in the Midwest I occasionally ate at a place called “Steve’s” which was run by a Korean. Eventually I asked if he was Steve. He looked at me as if I was an idiot. “No! I not ‘Steve’! Signs expensive! Why buy new sign?”

      • Yes indeed there is, or at least was, a Son Yee On Triad guy in the San Francisco underworld named Bosco. He no longer owns Club Hollywood and the meaningful bottle of Jack Daniels no longer rests in eternal slumber behind the bar. The place was a nexus for the more notorious in the Bay Area including MikeW when he was in town from Sydney, Australia. The first time I went there (by invitation from Tom), Bosco was pouring (long pour) for Anthony Alexander Poshepny (Tony Po). He was loosely the model for the Col. Kurtz character in Apocalypse now. I asked Tony how it was swinging and he said, “Like a f*cking Louisville Slugger, Lambo.” I shouldn’t have been surprised that he drank at Club Hollywood too.

        Poshepny told Roger Warner (Shooting at the Moon): “I used to collect ears… I had a big, green, reinforced cellophane bag as you walked up my steps. I’d tell my people to put them in, and then I’d staple them to this 5,000 kip (Lao currency) notice that this ear was paid for already, and put them in the bag and send them to Vientiane with the report.. I still collected them, until one day I went out on an inspection trip… and I saw this little Lao kid out there, he’s only about 12, and he had no ears. And I asked: `’What the hell happened to this guy?’ Somebody said, ‘Tony, he heard you were paying for ears. His daddy cut his ears off. For the 5,000 kip’

        Bosco only had the finest bar girls. He told me, “Don’t worry, girls are clean as a whistle.” I replied, “Clean as the last whistle they blew.” Bosco gave me an inscrutible smile.

        • You guys are national treasures – your collective anecdotes strung together as if they occurred weekly, would make fabulous TV or movies, if anybody still made fabulous TV or movies any more….

          Paul M hit it right on the head.


    • I’ve inadvertently stepped on Mike W’s toes, and he is right, of course. Certainly, I misspoke when I mischaracterized Lem as an enemy combatant. Lem was no more of an enemy combatant when he murdered those folks than Calley and the rest of his shooters were at My Lai. They were all murderers. I apologize for my mischaracterization, and hope that Mike W will accept it in the spirit in which it is offered.

      • Wild+wild+west. Please don’t worry. I meant nothing by it, I was only giving my opinion, for what it is worth.. Just being pedantic, I guess. I will blame it on old age.

        • Thanks much. I was in a hurry and didn’t think it through. I’ll try to be more careful.

  10. The Democrats have spent 50 years arranging the current overdose deaths situation, so I sure don’t know why the hell they are complaining about their plans having come to fruition.

    I had no idea Nguyen Ngoc Loan had a pizza joint in Jersey. I would totally have bought a pie from that guy.


    • I’ve never had a Vietnamese pizza. I usually stick with Pho or a Vietnamese Bonmi sandwich.

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