In Africa- Geneticists Are Hunting Poachers. (Many of the big traffickers are Vietnamese and Chinese!) NYT

Published by David Lindsay

Many of the big traffickers are Vietnamese and Chinese!
“South African authorities long had eyes on Rogers Mukwena. They knew the former schoolteacher was wanted in Zimbabwe for poaching rhinoceroses and selling their horns, which can command hundreds of thousands of dollars.

He’d jumped bail and fled to northern Pretoria, but it was vexingly difficult to catch and prosecute him — until a scientist helped make the case against him with rhino DNA.

His subsequent conviction resulted from a new tactic in wildlife preservation: The genetic fingerprinting methods that have been so successful in the criminal justice system are now being used to solve poaching crimes.”

DNA databases holding samples from thousands of rhinoceroses and elephants are helping to convict illegal traffickers.
NYTIMES.COM

Posted in: Bullies and Scoundrels, China, Population Growth, Species Extinction

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Review: ‘The Road Not Taken’ in Vietnam – (Edward Lansdale) – WSJ

By Robert D. Kaplan Jan. 5, 2018 4:34 p.m. ET 15 COMMENTS

Review: ‘The Road Not Taken’ in Vietnam

“Edward Lansdale (1908-87) was one of America’s most important military thinkers and practitioners, and yet he is barely known to the wider world. In “The Road Not Taken,” Max Boot aptly calls him “the American T.E. Lawrence ”: eccentric, rebellious and charismatic, a man who had an uncanny way of bonding with Third World leaders and who believed that the art of war was, as Mr. Boot puts it, “to attract the support of the uncommitted.” He changed the. . .”

Source: Review: ‘The Road Not Taken’ in Vietnam – WSJ

I guess Edward Lansdale was my kind of warrior.  As I researched my historical novel of eighteenth century Vietnam, The Tay Son Rebellion, I realized late in the 17 year book effort that I had not read Sun Tzu, the great Chinese military historian,  but one by Musashi, So I finally read The Art of War by Sun Tsu. Is is too bad our military hadn’t studied it before Vietnam, because you can be sure the Vietnames Generals all knew of these ancient tactics, and lived by them.

Know your enemy as well as yourself. Always use dipolomacy, or espionage. Military force shows your incompentance. Never fight unless you are sure you will win. If you are not sure you can win, retreat, and wait for odds to change while you set ambushes and traps. Never invade another country for any long period of time. Always get in, do your business, and get out. If you occupy a foreign country, your supply lines will be long, and your host country will slowly eat you alive.  More at www.TheTaysonRebellion.com

Posted in: Vietnam-American War, Vietnamese History, Vietnamese Literature

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Trial Over Theft of Wind Technology Spotlights U.S.-China Tensions – WSJ

By Erin Ailworth Jan. 6, 2018 7:00 a.m. ET 21 COMMENTS

“A dispute over the alleged theft of wind-turbine technology is slated to go to trial in Wisconsin on Monday in a test case for intellectual-property battles between the U.S. and China. Federal prosecutors accuse Chinese wind-turbine maker Sinovel Wind Group Co. Ltd. of stealing the source code for software that controls wind turbines from American Superconductor Corp. AMSC 6.64% , a Massachusetts-based engineering company that once counted Sinovel as its biggest customer.

The trial in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin could result in billions of dollars in fines for Sinovel, which has previously denied wrongdoing.

Prosecutors in 2013 indicted the company, along with two of its executives and an American Superconductor employee, on criminal charges of stealing trade secrets.

John W. Vaudreuil, then U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, called it “nothing short of attempted corporate homicide.” ”

Source: Trial Over Theft of Wind Technology Spotlights U.S.-China Tensions – WSJ

Ouch. Here is the top WSJ comment, which I endorsed, even though its tone is harsh.

Posted in: Business and Finance, China, Intellectual Property Rights

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Opinion | The Beatles of Vietnam – Vietnam ’67 – NYT

Published by David Lindsay
“As so many rock ’n’ roll stories do, the CBC Band’s began with the purchase of a guitar behind the back of a disapproving father.

When he was a young child in Vietnam, Tung Linh wanted a guitar, so his mother bought one for him. His father, Phan Van Pho, was a cook for French officials in Hanoi, and he wanted his children to become doctors or engineers, not musicians. When he found the guitar, he smashed it.

But his wife, Hoang Thi Nga, nurtured Tung Linh’s interest in American music, which he shared with two of his seven siblings: Bich Loan, a singer, and Tung Van on drums. When their father died in the late 1950s, Ms. Hoang went to work as a custodian on a Republic of Vietnam naval base. The family was poor, and those years were hard, but she wanted her children to be happy, so she nurtured their desire to perform American music.”

How three poor siblings in Saigon became the CBC Band, one of the hottest acts of the war.
NYTIMES.COM

Posted in: Vietnam-American War, Vietnamese Theater Music and Dance

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Is Hong Kong Really Part of China? – by Yi-Zheng Lian – NYT

HONG KONG — One could say that long before 1997, the year that Britain handed Hong Kong back to China, the leaders of the city’s major pro-democracy parties had come to a tacit understanding with the Chinese government. The pan-dems, as these politicians are known here, would support the absorption of Hong Kong into a greater, unified Chinese state on the understanding that in time Beijing would grant Hong Kong genuine electoral democracy. That, at least, seemed to be the intention driving Hong Kong’s found

Source: Is Hong Kong Really Part of China? – The New York Times

Posted in: China, Hong Kong

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Was America Duped at Khe Sanh? – The New York Times

In late 1967, Giap concentrated some 40,000 soldiers in the hills of northwest South Vietnam and orchestrated a series of assaults on a string of American combat bases in the highlands, not far from a Marine base called Khe Sanh, which the North besieged in January 1968. Giap later called these attacks a “diversion” to trick the Americans into moving forces from the populated areas to defensive positions in the hinterland. Most American leaders fell for it; one of the few who didn’t, Adm. U. S. Grant Sharp,

Source: Was America Duped at Khe Sanh? – The New York Times

Posted in: Vietnam-American War

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Merrill McPeak | Bombing the Ho Chi Minh Trail – NYT – & response

The Tây Sơn Rebellion on Facebook
Published by David Lindsay2 mins

Merrill McPeak ends with, “But when Saigon fell, it was not a swarm of ragtag Vietcong guerrillas who overran the city, but columns of Russian-made T-54 tanks, leading a modern field army complete with artillery and surface-to-air missiles, all delivered by those tough-guy truck drivers down that seemingly indestructible Ho Chi Minh Trail.”
I hope that Gen. McPeak reads of Vietnamese history, which I believe is the key to understanding the country, its people, and it extraordinary ability to wage war. The Chinese invaded in 101 BC, and tried to make Vietnam part of China, but almost a thousand years later, in AD 938, the Vietnamese rose up and threw the Chinese out in military conflict.
By the time Ho Hue, later called Nguyen Hue, the third son of the famous three brothers who led the Tay Son rebellion, defeated 200,000 Chinese army regulars in pitched battle, it was the seventh time, counting 938. The Viets defeated an army sent by Kublai Khan, and another army of 500,000 sent by his son Kublai Khan. Vietnamese military historians have reported that many of the booby traps used against US soldiers were part of an old technology perfected by the Vietnamese in the 13th century against one of the larger Chinese invasions. Over time, the Viets determined the southern border of China.

No matter how many times we attacked it, the North Vietnamese transit network remained. In the end, it’s how they won.
nytimes.com

Posted in: David Lindsay, The Tay Son Rebellion, Vietnam-American War

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A tsunami of human-made troubles in the Indonesian capital poses an imminent threat to the city’s survival. And it has to deal with mounting threats from climate change. By MICHAEL KIMMELMAN, Photographs by JOSH HANER

The Tây Sơn Rebellion
Published by David Lindsay20 mins

“In fact, Jakarta is sinking faster than any other big city on the planet, faster, even, than climate change is causing the sea to rise — so surreally fast that rivers sometimes flow upstream, ordinary rains regularly swamp neighborhoods and buildings slowly disappear underground, swallowed by the earth. The main cause: Jakartans are digging illegal wells, drip by drip draining the underground aquifers on which the city rests — like deflating a giant cushion underneath it. About 40 percent of Jakarta now lies below sea level.

Coastal districts, like Muara Baru, near the Blessed Bodega, have sunk as much as 14 feet in recent years. Not long ago I drove around northern Jakarta and saw teenagers fishing in the abandoned shell of a half-submerged factory. The banks of a murky canal lapped at the trestle of a railway bridge, which, until recently, had arched high over it.”

“Jakarta’s former governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, ordered the eviction. He is ethnic Chinese, a geological engineer by training. As governor, he tackled several of Jakarta’s big problems, or tried to. He tried, but failed, to wrest control of the water supply from the private companies. He assembled a sanitation crew, called the Orange Army, to remove sediment and garbage from rivers and canals.

Workers repairing a sea wall that failed, flooding homes in a nearby kampung.

And he cleared out some of the kampungs that obstructed waterways. The efforts began to make a difference. Rains that once caused days of floods drained within hours.

But many people forced out, like Topaz, resisted the moves, convinced that the evictions were really intended to enrich developers, not improve drainage. Akuarium became a hotbed of protest against the governor.

Capitalizing on residents’ resistance and the piety of the urban poor, the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front teamed with some of the governor’s political rivals and religious conservatives to tap into a vein of anti-Chinese populism. Ahok’s enemies escalated what had been a conflict over the displacement of a fishing community into an argument about whether a non-Muslim should lead a Muslim-majority city.

The governor found himself regularly attacked at Friday prayers. He lost his re-election bid, and the Islamists, who exploited anger against him, had him brought up on charges of blasphemy. He is serving two years in prison.”

David Lindsay:  These stories make a good argument for communism, or fascism. Democracy hasn’t worked for Jakarta.

It seems like they are repeating an old meme from the Christian bible stories,  the sins of the world were cleansed by Noah’s flood.

 

Countless human-made troubles in the Indonesian capital pose an imminent threat to the city’s survival. And it has to deal with mounting threats from…
NYTIMES.COM

Posted in: Environment, Population Growth

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Google Missed Out on China. Can It Flourish in India? – The New York Times

“JODHPUR, India — Every month, about four million more Indians get online. They include people like Manju, a 35-year-old seamstress in this city of ancient palaces, who got her first internet phone last week.

“It’s necessary for me to learn new things,” said Manju, who uses only one name. She was so thrilled to discover YouTube and other streaming video services that she quickly burned through her monthly data plan. Now her phone carrier, Reliance Jio, has relegated her to a trickle of low-speed data until next month, when her plan resets.

“It’s all finished,” she complained on Monday when a Google researcher came to visit to ask about her online habits.

Photo

Manju, who uses only one name, holding her Reliance Jio phone on Monday, when the visiting researcher, Ted McCarthy, showed her how to use Google Assistant.CreditRebecca Conway for The New York Times

Source: Google Missed Out on China. Can It Flourish in India? – The New York Times

Posted in: India, Information Technology

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A Tesla Too Pricey? E-Bikes Offer Entry-Level Electric Transportation – The New York Times

“Electric cars remain something of a novelty, commanding premium prices and presenting charging challenges, but another kind of electric vehicle has been gaining momentum: the e-bike. Globally, electric cars — battery and plug-in hybrids — account for only about 1 percent of all vehicle sales, with about 1.15 million expected to be sold worldwide this year, according to EV-volumes.com. Compare that with the 35 million e-bikes expected to be purchased this year, according to Navigant, with countries like Ger. . . “

Source: A Tesla Too Pricey? E-Bikes Offer Entry-Level Electric Transportation – The New York Times

Admittedly, this article is not about Vietnam. But it is for Vietnam, and everywhere else.

Posted in: Climate Change, Sustainable Development

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