Doing the math on Trump’s claims that parents of KIAs from the Korean War asked him to bring their sons home

Here’s the money quote from the interview in the video above, with emphasis added by me:

“We have thousands of people that have asked for that. Thousands and thousands of people. So many people asked when I was on the campaign; I’d say ‘Wait a minute, I don’t have any relationship’, but they said, ‘When you can, President, we’d love our son to be brought back home.’

Time for some history and math!

The Korean War ran from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953. Readers who grew up in the 1970s may think it ran longer, but that’s because of the TV series M*A*S*H, which was set during that war, ran from 1972 to 1983, nearly four times as long.

Marine Sergeant Frank Praytor feeds a 2-week-old kitten named Miss Hap after her mother had been killed during a mortar attack in Korea. Click the photo to see the source.

Suppose the youngest of soldiers was recruited and sent to Korea in the last days of the war, when he was killed. At the age of 18, that puts his birth year at 1935.

Dean Martin — possibly sober — in 1918. Click the photo to see the source.

Suppose his parents were also 18 when he was born, which wouldn’t have been too out of the ordinary back then. That puts their birth year at 1917, which would make them 101 years old today, or 100 if their birthdays take place later this year.

Now remember, Trump said that thousands of these parents have asked for their sons’ remains to be sent home. Thousands of people who at least 100 years old.

Now, let’s consider Trump’s rather casual relationship with the truth, but at the same time, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Suppose what he’s saying is true, and that these parents exist, but he exaggerated their number. If we take those thousands and reduce their number by 90%, that would mean there are still hundreds of these 100-year-old parents of Korean MIAs.

Even if we took that number of parents and reduced that number by 90%, there’d still be dozens of these centenarians looking to bring their sons home.

Even if there were a single dozen of these 100+ year old parents, never mind thousands, they’d be in the news. In fact, given Trump’s ego, he’d trot them out in front the cameras.


Be careful out there — Florida’s in the final weeks of alligator mating season!

Gator mating season takes place in May and June in Florida, and you have to be a little more careful. A woman in Davie (inside Miami’s metropolitan area) was killed by a twelve-foot gator last weekend.

The usual gator advice applies:

  • Never feed alligators. Feeding them causes them to lose their natural wariness of humans and teaches them to associate humans with food.
  • Don’t toss fish scraps (or any other food) into the water. Put them in garbage cans; otherwise, you’re just feeding the gators.
  • Seek medical attention if you have been bitten. Sometimes you have to state the obvious.
  • Watch and take pictures of gators from a safe distance. They’re quicker than they look.

Current geopolitics, explained in a single meme

Trump’s the kind of guy who thinks the Hooters waitress likes him.

The result of the unneccesarily bromance-y Trump-Kim talks was an extremely vaguely-worded agreement that’s weaker than the one from the “Six Party Talks” of 2005, and in return, the US is halting joint military exercises with South Korea, which is one of the primary ways that “Naughty Korea” can be kept in check.

In short, here’s a scene from The Simpsons that summarizes the deal (and in case you were wondering, Trump is Homer Simpson in this scenario):

In the meantime, Trump has pledged to punish “the people of Canada” economically because of the post-G7 news conference in which Trudeau criticized Trump’s tariffs:

“That’s going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada. He learned. You can’t do that. You can’t do that. I actually like Justin, you know, I think he’s good, I like him, but he shouldn’t have done that. That was a mistake. That’s going to cost him a lot of money.”

Cozying up to lying, murderous dictators who flatter him, while threatening a staunch ally and loyal trading partner going back centuries. That’ll end well for everyone.


Once again, here’s NBC’s Tom Brokaw explaining Canada to Americans

In a time when the president of the United States is slandering Canada — its biggest trading partner and close ally — as a security threat, it’s important to have reminders such as this.

This was broadcast on NBC just before the 2010 Olympic Games’ opening ceremonies in Vancouver, Canada on February 12, 2010.


My reaction to the “Distracted Charlie Chaplin” meme

Click the meme to see it at full size.


The Ontario election, as explained by “The Simpsons”


“Adulting” tip of the day (plus bonus meta-tip!)