Trump Chooses H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser – The New York Times

“General McMaster has served as director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center at Fort Eustis in Virginia since 2014. A West Point graduate with a doctorate in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he commanded a unit that clashed with Iraq’s Republican Guard in one of the biggest tank battles of the Persian Gulf war in 1991, earning him the Silver Star.

But he came to prominence with his 1997 book, “Dereliction of Duty,” which critiqued the Joint Chiefs for not standing up to President Lyndon B. Johnson during the Vietnam War. He cemented his reputation in 2005 during the second Iraq war when he led the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment in regaining control of Tal Afar.”

Here is the top comment, which I recommended and gives me hope:


Cincinnati 2 hours ago

“This is one terrific pick; a flower in a field of toxic waste.

McMaster was passed over for promotions because of his brilliant book about how we stumbled into a full blown war in Vietnam. “Dereliction Of Duty” became sort of a samizdat among many in the officer corps. Heaven help them should they get caught with a copy by their senior officers.

Given the General’s deep understanding of history, war and his independent nature, I seriously doubt he will take any garbage from the likes of Bannon, Bolton and their similar others. In fact, McMaster will not hesitate to speak truth to power when it comes to directly dealing with his boss. Maybe he will finally be able to give That Man In The White House a reality check where national security is concerned.

Good luck, General. You’ll need it.”

Posted in: Foreign Affairs and U.S.ForeignPolicy, Vietnam-American War

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Việt Nam willing to join int’l efforts in protecting sea environment – Politics & Laws – Vietnam News

“Viet Nam News Politics & LawsViệt Nam willing to join int’l efforts in protecting sea environmentUpdate: February, 14/2017

“Vice National Assembly Chairwoman Tòng Thị Phóng delivers a speech at the discussion on maritime economic resources at the annual hearing of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations in New York. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Hữu HoàngViet Nam NewsNEW YORK – Việt Nam is willing to join hands with the international community in efforts to protect the marine environment while exploiting economic resources in a reasonable and effective manner in combination with the safeguarding of peace, security and sustainable growth of the country, said Vice National Assembly Chairwoman Tòng Thị Phóng. In her speech at the discussion on maritime economic resources at the annual hearing of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations in New York on Monday, the Vice Chairwoman said that Việt Nam had paid special attention to the development of sea-based economy in line with the protection of marine environment.

She noted Việt Nam is a coastal state, with an important position in the international waterway, adding that the country is also vulnerable to climate change, including sea level rise. She held that protecting maritime resources and environment is the shared responsibility of many countries, especially those owning financial strength and advanced technology. Amidst the imbalance of sea exploitation and environment protection that leads to serious consequences affecting sustainable development, Vice Chairwoman Phóng underlined that peace and security is the prerequisite condition for sustainable growth.

At the hearing, titled “A World of Blue: Preserving the oceans, safeguarding the planet, ensuring human well-being in the context of the 2030 Agenda,” she also made a number of proposals to ensure the harmony of sea resources exploitation and environmental protection, including the full implementation of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to ensure security and safety at sea as well as the settlement of disputes through peaceful measures in line with international law. ”

Source: Việt Nam willing to join int’l efforts in protecting sea environment – Politics & Laws – Vietnam News | Politics, Business, Economy, Society, Life, Sports – VietNam News

Posted in: Environment, News and current events from Vietnam

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Guan Yu – Quan Công (the God of War) – Wikipedia

“Guan Gong” redirects here. For other uses, see Guan Gong (disambiguation).This is a Chinese name; the family name is Guan.

(Guan YuGuanyu-1.jpgA portrait of Guan Yu in the Sancai TuhuiGeneral of Liu BeiBorn (Unknown)Died 220[1]NamesCourtesy name Yúncháng (云长; 雲長)Posthumous name Marquis Zhuangmou (壮缪侯; 壯繆侯; Zhuàngmóu Hóu) 1Buddhist name Sangharama Bodhisattva (伽蓝菩萨; 伽藍菩薩; Qiélán Púsà)Deity name Guān Dì (关帝; 關帝; “Divus Guan”) Guān Gōng (关公; 關公; “Lord Guan”) Guān Shèng Dì Jūn (关圣帝君; 關聖帝君; “Holy Ruler Deity Guan”)Other names Guān Èr Yé (关二爷; 關二爺; “Lord Guan the Second”) Kwan Yee Gor (关二哥; 關二哥; Guān Èr Gē; Gwaan1 Ji6 Go1; “Lord Guan the Second Brother”) Měi Rán Gōng (美髯公; “Lord of the Magnificent Beard”) Chángshēng (长生; 長生) Shòucháng (寿长; 壽長)^1 See General worship for more posthumous titles.)

Guan Yu

Guan Yu (Chinese characters).svg”Guan Yu” in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese charactersTraditional Chinese 關羽Simplified Chinese 关羽[show]Transcriptions

Guan Yu (died 220 CE),[1] courtesy name Yunchang, was a general serving under the warlord Liu Bei in the late Eastern Han dynasty. He played a significant role in the events that led to the collapse of the dynasty and the establishment of the state of Shu Han – founded by Liu Bei – in the Three Kingdoms period. After Liu Bei gained control of Yi Province in 214, Guan Yu remained in Jing Province to govern and defend the area for about seven years. In 219, while he was away fighting Cao Cao’s forces at the Battle of Fancheng, Liu Bei’s ally Sun Quan broke the Sun–Liu alliance and sent his general Lü Meng to invade and conquer Liu Bei’s territories in Jing Province in a stealth operation. By the time Guan Yu found out about the loss of Jing Province after his defeat at Fancheng, it was too late. He was subsequently captured in an ambush by Sun Quan’s forces and executed.[2]As one of the best known Chinese historical figures throughout East Asia, Guan Yu’s true life stories have largely given way to fictionalised ones, most of which are found in the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms or passed down the generations, in which his deeds and moral qualities have been lionised. Guan Yu is respected as an epitome of loyalty and righteousness.

Guan Yu was deified as early as the Sui dynasty and is still worshipped by many Chinese people today in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and among many overseas Chinese communities. In religious devotion he is reverentially called the “Divus Guan” (Guāndì) or “Lord Guan” (Guāngōng). He is a deity worshipped in Chinese folk religion, popular Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese Buddhism, and small shrines to him are almost ubiquitous in traditional Chinese shops and restaurants. His hometown Yuncheng has also named its airport after him.”

Source: Guan Yu – Wikipedia

Guan Yu was made famous, to the point of being almost deified, in the famous historical novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, one of the four most famous novels of early Chinese literature.

Posted in: The Tay Son Rebellion, Vietnamese Literature

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Ministry cracks down on antibiotics use in aquaculture – Society – Vietnam News

“…….Several companies said they only used antimicrobial material in food for sea animals, although in reality they sold them to veterinary units, which would eventually sell them to marine animal farms, Dũng said.

During a product examination, a company purchasing shrimps in southern Cà Mau Province found antibiotic residue in up to 15 per cent of the total quantity of shrimps, according to the ministry’s Specialised Inspection Division.

“The ministry’s inspectors will continue highlighting the issue in a key inspection programme next year to put an end to the use of antibiotics in aquaculture.Such programmes needs close collaboration with the health sector to be effective, Dũng said. — VNS”

Source: Ministry cracks down on antibiotics use in aquaculture – Society – Vietnam News | Politics, Business, Economy, Society, Life, Sports – VietNam News

Posted in: Overuse of Antibiotics, Post War Problems in Vietnam, Public Health

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Community Spirit Of The Sustainable Development Enterprise – PNJ – News from the Saigon Times

“In addition to having a successful business year in 2016, Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company (PNJ) carried out many meaningful community activities in line with the sustainable development philosophy PNJ always pursues.2016 is regarded as an unforgettable year of PNJ with an impressive business performance. Aside from brand promotion activities, the highlight of PNJ in 2016 was CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).”

Source: Community Spirit Of The Sustainable Development Enterprise – Community Spirit Of The Sustainable Development Enterprise – News from the Saigon Times

Here is some good news, to leaven the darkness coming out of the Trump Administration.

Posted in: News and current events from Vietnam

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The Road to Tet – by George Herring – The New York Times

“In popular memory, America’s war in Vietnam begins sometime in the Kennedy administration. But its roots go much deeper, to the end of World War II and the revolution of Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh against French colonial rule.

As part of its broader — in this case misguided — Cold War policy of containing communism, the United States supported France’s war against the Communist-led Viet Minh, paying close to 80 percent of the cost by 1953. The war ended in 1954, with Vietnam divided at the 17th parallel, pending elections to be held in two years.”

Posted in: Vietnam-American War

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Health ministry wants two-child policy relaxed – Health ministry wants two-child policy relaxed – News from the Saigon Times

“HCMC – Concerned about the high possibility of population ageing in near future, the Ministry of Health has proposed relaxing the two-child policy in the draft population law.

The draft law, which has been sent to the Ministry of Justice for comment, presents two options for population planning: first, permitting couples and individuals to decide on the number of children they want to have but to an acceptable extent, and second, keeping the current two-child policy in place.

If the two-child policy is maintained, the population will age and the economy will face a labor shortage crisis in the next 5 to 10 years, said Nguyen Huy Quang, head of the Department of Legislation under the Health Ministry.

The current birth rate varies greatly among regions, cities and provinces. In certain places, the birth rate is far below replacement level, according to data of the ministry.For example, the rate is 1.45 children per woman of childbearing age in HCMC and 1.56 in Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Meanwhile, in most of the northern midland and mountainous provinces, the average fertility rate is 2.5 and the highest is 3.11 in Lai Chau.”

Source: Health ministry wants two-child policy relaxed – Health ministry wants two-child policy relaxed – News from the Saigon Times

Posted in: News and current events from Vietnam

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As the Earth Shook- They Stood Firm – The New York Times

“In January 1967, when the First and 25th Infantry Divisions of the United States Army began Operation Cedar Falls, their all-out offensive against the Communist strongholds of the “Iron Triangle” northwest of Saigon, Vo Thi Mo, 20, was ready.Born in Cu Chi, in the middle of the Cedar Falls battle zone, Ms. Mo had been in the fight against American troops and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam — the South Vietnamese force, known as ARVN — since the age of 13, when she helped to build the extensive tunnel system that southern Communist forces, known as the National Liberation Front (and to its enemies as the Vietcong), used as barracks, command center and communications network.”

Great story, with excellent comments.

Posted in: Vietnam-American War

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1967: The Era of Big Battles in Vietnam – The New York Times

“By never allowing their large units to engage American large units, the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese units could remain organizationally intact and live to fight another day. The “era of big battles” was supposed to put the Americans on an offensive footing, but 70 percent of all contacts were initiated by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. The Communists were fighting the war on their own terms and chose when, where and how long to fight, which ultimately would result in victory.”

Posted in: Vietnam-American War

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Vietnamese Traditional Instruments

Dan Nhi Two-string FiddleDan Nhi Two String FiddleThe Dan Nhi is popular among several ethnic groups in Vietnam. It is also referred to as Dan Co in southern provinces of Viet Nam.

Dan Nguyet – Two-String Guitar

Dan Nguyet    The Southerners of Vietnam refer to this instrument as Dan Kim. Dan Nguyet has two strings and the resonator resembles the moon, that is probably why it is named Dan Nguyet, which means moon lute.

Source: Vietnamese Traditional Instruments

Posted in: Vietnamese Theater Music and Dance

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