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Burns/Novick's Vietnam War: John Negroponte "decent"? Really?

Brian Sat, 2017-09-30 18:28

There's something that's annoying the bejeezus out of me as I watch the Burns/Novick documentary on the Vietnam War. They've got these guys/gals talking at you, and all you're told about who they are, so you can judge what they're saying, is a name, and "Marines," or "Pentagon." You're not told anything about them.

Since Burns/Novick start the series by asserting that the American effort in that war was started by "decent people," it seems to me we have a right to assume they'll have decent people talking to us about it, no?

White Cops: Do we really need 'em?

Brian Mon, 2017-07-10 22:01

(Achtung! Sarcasm alert!)

There's been a lot of concern lately about police violence in the United States. Police kill over 1,000 people, mostly fellow Americans, every year.

Perhaps not surprisingly, in a country where race is at the root of so much of its history and culture, African-Americans are disproportionately the victims, astonishingly so.

Intercept in bed with the dark side: OMG! Russian hackers!

Brian Tue, 2017-06-06 21:26

One of yesterday's big stories, at least on my Facebook wall, was a The Intercept big scoop. They published a story on a National Security Agency (NSA) document that had been leaked to them.

(The federal contractor employee involved has been arrested and charged with nefarious national security offences. But that's a tragic story I won't be able to deal with here.)

Putin not our "friend"? So what?

Brian Tue, 2017-05-30 22:33

One of the big problems of today, as far as I'm concerned, is the staying power in the "West" of Russophobia, or, more specifically, Putin-phobia. Considering how close we are to nuclear war with Russia, for no really good reason, it seems to me a lot of people ought to smarten up.

One of my favourite internet authors, one Caitlin Johnstone, is a major critic of the current wave of Russophobia that's clearly driving otherwise sensible people in the United States, mostly Democrats, to lose their minds—the apparent belief that every major problem in the U.S. is Vladimir Putin's fault.

Bernie Sanders wants us to Drink the Kool-Aid

Brian Sat, 2017-05-20 13:10

(Achtung! I despise Donald Trump. Maybe even more than you. I've despised him for many, many years, since long before he decided to run for POTUS. This is not a pro-Trump piece. I discuss here what I believe to be the actual situation.)

A couple days ago Bernie Sanders served us a great Big Gulp™ of kool-aid about Trump and Russia.

Concentration Camps for gay men in Chechnya? WTF!

Brian Mon, 2017-05-01 20:25

In Chechnya, they're throwing gay men into concentration camps! Doesn't that piss you off? I know it would me. Except — wait for it — it appears not to be true.

Sometimes Things Don't Go as Planned

Brian Wed, 2017-03-22 18:40

Sometimes things just don't turn out the way we'd planned.

March 21, 2017, mission: Start out early morning from Cà Mau, Viet Nam, and take a leisurely drive 110kms to Đất Mũi, at the foot of QL (Highway) 1, the southernmost point in Viet Nam. "Check in" on FB...

On the Challenges of Travelling Alone

Brian Sun, 2017-03-19 21:09

When travelling alone, and making your own arrangements, you make your own mistakes. And you spend a lot of time you could otherwise be spending on the beach or eating fabulous seafood making those mistakes.

On Friday, 17 March, in Việt Nam, instead of enjoying being there I spent a very large portion of the day dealing with this problem: Now that I've got myself and my motorcycle to Phú Quốc, how exactly do I get it back to the mainland?

US State Dept WaPo on Viet Nam, 1965 (and now?)

Brian Sat, 2017-01-28 13:24

(As the Democrat wing of the anti-Trump "movement" careens around, blathering on about Russian aggression in US elections, brandishing a "report" agreed to by all 17 "intelligence" agencies of the US Government, a "report" which even those agencies that "agreed" to it won't endorse as factual, I came across this article from the old IF Stone Weekly from 50+years ago. It's instructive to read now because it perhaps demonstrates why USG leaders no longer supply any evidence for their accusations against official enemies.

IF Stone: Nixon and the Arms Race

Brian Tue, 2017-01-03 19:11

(This is a reprint from legendary journalist I.F. Stone's five-volume magnum opus, A Nonconformist History of our Times. I'm republishing it here because it exposes one of the major differences between the US's military procurement "system," and those of their "enemies," for example, Russia. The US system is there to make profits for the already-wealthy, while the, for example, Russians design and procure things they actually need.

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