“Hearts and Minds”

Sep. 21st, 2017 01:55 pm
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Posted by Robert Farley

Vietnamese refugees on US carrier, Operation Frequent Wind.jpg
I haven’t yet decided whether to watch the new Ken Burns series on the Vietnam War (“What?  No Shelby Foote? Count me out”), but it has generated some good content.  Here’s George Herring on the contradictions inherent in “hearts and minds.”

In the bonanza atmosphere that followed Americanization, South Vietnam’s economy centered upon serving the needs of the new arrivals. Prostitution became a special problem. As the number of Americans in Saigon surged into the tens of thousands, the number of houses of ill repute expanded proportionally, provoking criticism in the United States and South Vietnam. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas fumed that Saigon had become an “American brothel.” South Vietnamese Catholics and President Nguyen Van Thieu were especially concerned about prostitution, and pleaded with American officials to do something about the suffocating presence of so many troops.

The result was Operation Moose (Move Out of Saigon Expeditiously), implemented mostly during 1967. Thousands of G.I.s moved to base camps outside the city (where the prostitutes soon followed), some joking that they had been “Moosed.” Saigon was also declared off limits for R & R. The pace was sufficiently slow that the operation was unofficially tagged Goose (Get Out of Saigon Eventually).

A well-made, popular documentary series on the Vietnam War would be a very good thing; the confusion and misunderstanding in public memory of the US intervention in the Wars of Southeast Asian Liberation is as thick as, well, that surrounding the US Civil War. And that confusion is not limited to the hawks; whenever I read the term “liberation of Saigon” I cringe.

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SIGNAL BOOST and also a check in

Sep. 21st, 2017 09:52 am
balsamandash: Kat (Eastwick) clasping her hands together and looking off and up (ew] the heartlines on your hand)
[personal profile] balsamandash
We are in Ohio and well! We've had a [personal profile] forests_of_fire on and off and are gonna explore North Market a little later today. We fell in love with Tim Horton's coffee and our hotel has great waffles and I apparently calm down a lot on planes once the initial take-off is done, so. Everything is good!

Now on to more important things: [personal profile] analise010 is a wonderful, awesome person who I have been lucky enough over the last -- near-year? Something like that. She is great, and she is also having problems with jobs. Her goal is to become an actuary -- which requires a test, which requires a truly ridiculous amount of money to charge people.

She is looking to raise money, and offering Tarot/Oracle readings. Her readings are great, so if you have a little extra to spare, please take a look and see if you can help.
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Posted by Doktor Zoom

Bwana he no smart.

Following his breakout success playing Gen. Buck Turgidson in a dinner theater production of “UN General Assembly” Tuesday, Donald Trump followed up yesterday with a smash performance as “Generic Clueless Colonialist” during a meeting with African leaders. He did at least manage to stick to his prepared text long enough to say

In this room I see partners for promoting prosperity and peace on a range of economic, humanitarian, and security issues. We hope to extend our economic partnerships with countries who are committed to self-reliance and to fostering opportunities for job creation in both Africa and the United States.

Then it was time for one of those famous Trump ad-libs!

Africa has tremendous business potential. I have so many friends going to your countries trying to get rich. I congratulate you. They’re spending a lot of money.

Donald knows how to connect with people. All he has to do is toss in a personal perspective like that, or maybe threaten to rain down nuclear destruction. Strangely, the African leaders didn’t seem to find it all that funny, almost as if that hasn’t worked out terribly well for them in the past. Not getting the applause he thought he deserved, he returned to the text and repeated the “business potential” line and noted that “six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies are in Africa.” To everyone’s relief, Trump didn’t add that he hoped to someday travel up Africa’s beautiful Congo river and meet that great entrepreneur Mr. Kurtz. But he might want to bless the rains while he’s there.

Trump later recited a list of achievements by various African nations which he had clearly never heard of before reading from his text, and invented a new nation, “Nambia,” whose health system “is increasingly self-sufficient”:

CNBC helpfully confirmed that “A White House transcript confirmed that Trump meant to say Namibia.” Nonetheless, Yr Wonkette has learned that protests were lodged with the State Department by representatives from Namibia, Zambia, Narnia, and Freedonia. Also, Twitter was quick to grind the most obvious joke into the mineral-rich ground:

Today at the United Nations, Mr. Trump is expected to meet representatives from Germany and from the Czech and Slovak Republics, and to announce he supports the annexation of the Sudetenland.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Click here to help us with our continuing mission to photoshop funny hats on Donald Trump.

[RawStory / CNBC]

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Posted by Dominic Gwinn


Morning Wonketariat! Here’s some of the things we may be talking about today.

Last night’s SCOOP O’CLOCK: Was Paul Manafort acting like a crappy spy for Russia just to get paid? Was Russia trying to get a golden shower from Trump? Sexciting!

Robert Mueller may not need to pull Trump’s tax records as there’s already a treasure trove of chatter between Trumpkins about Comey and Mike Flynn that seems damning.

Chuck Grassley has pussed out on bringing in Paul Manafort to talk about Trump-Russia; instead he’s sending out subpoenas to the FBI for Comey crap.

Looks like Robert Mueller is eye-fucking Sean Spicer and his naughty notebooks for the Trump-Russia investigation? MMM, just deserts!

As a reward for all their loyal service, Trump has given a bunch of campaign staffers gigs at the USDA, and they’re just as clueless about farm policy as you’d expect.

The only thing in the EPA Scott Pruitt has expanded is his 24/7 protection detail, pulling investigators who would normally be looking for enviro-crime.

Trump says he’s made up his mind about the Iran Deal, and sources are telling NBC that he’s going to bail out. Of course, all that’s news to Rexxon.

As the Democratic party does some serious soul searching, people are wondering what’s in store if hard-liners won’t come to the table.

SURPRISE! Former employees of Trump’s DC trash palace are alleging racial discrimination from staff and guests after wanting to get paid the same as the white guys.

While it’s all fun under the sun in Hawaii, locals are preparing for nuclear holocaust. Remember, kids, duck and cover!

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is demanding that charges be dropped against journalists arrested during its kettling tactic this past weekend, highlighting the seriously fucked up maneuvers being used to silence and screw with people.

Here’s some thinkery for you to get uneasy about: Russia seems to be helping North Korea skirt US fuel sanctions. LOL, remember yesterday when Trump tweeted about the lines at DPRK gas pumps?

Paul Manafort might be under investigation for all his Not American blood money, but that hasn’t stopped him from branching out to the Middle East where he’s helping to push for an independent Iraqi Kurdistan. What could go wrong?

Foreign policy nerds think Trump should shut his burger hole unless he’s actually trying to help dictators.

Trump’s digital ad wizards are buying up ads on Facebook to tell your batshit relatives the wall is coming. Eventually.

HUH. Russian Facebook fuckery in Florida during the 2016 election geared towards gullible Trumpkins happened over a dozen times. I think that’s just the beginning.

Twitter is now in the sights of Trump-Russia investigators who believe that it might have been used for Russian chit-chat during the 2016 election.

A federal court told victims of the OPM hack that they’re not getting any money from Uncle Sam, even though large swaths of personal information on government employees is floating around the web. .

The SEC says a filing system was hacked last month and that the thieves/hackers may have run off with personal info.

Trump and his White House have a secret hard-on for CNN’s Jim Acosta. It must be the hair.

That video of Lawrence O’Donnell having a bitch-fit on camera seems to have Andy Lack shenanigans written all over it.

And here’s your late night wrap-up! Stephen Colbert found the worst campaign ad of 2018 (so far); Jimmy Kimmel thinks Brian Kilmeade is a star-fucking ass-kisser with a nose covered in shit; Seth Meyers checked in with Dana Rohrabacher; The Daily Show and Lewis Black ‘splainer the real problem with healthcare; James Corden found the address for Trump’s legal defense fund; Samantha Bee sent Allana Harkin and Michael Rubens out to find hope at Netroots.

And here’s your morning Nice Time! Baby Kangaroos!

We’re supported ONLY by readers like you, no ads, no nothin’, so give us some money! Please, k, thx, bye!

Bigotry and Pen Pals

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:48 am
lydamorehouse: (yaoi)
[personal profile] lydamorehouse
I have written here, in the past, about how I have suspected that some of my International Pen Friends, who have sent me "rejection" letters, after a few back-and-forths, might have done so because I chose to come out to them as a lesbian. I have no ACTUAL proof, of course.  No one has ever written to say, "I'm sorry I can't write to you any more; you are a disgusting queer."  Mostly, they say, "Oh, jeez, look at the time. I committed to writing to you, but suddenly I can't because.... uh, BUSY.  HONEST." Yet, these letters (I've gotten two) would IMMEDIATELY follow my telling them that, yeah, actually "Shawn" is a lady, and my wife.

Now, I should be clear, I've had a number of success stories. My pen pal in Netherlands who loves "F.R.I.E.N.D.S." has a lesbian daughter, so coming out to her was a no-brainer. Both of my Australians could care less. Another one of my German pen friends is clearly a LITTLE prickly about it, but my sense is she's kind of prickly about a LOT of things. :-)

But, here's a new piece in the puzzle of "What is up with the conservative streak in pen friends?"  

A couple of entries ago, I explained FBs (Friend Books).  Several days ago a random person in Maryland who found my name on a FB, sent me a pile of them.  Most of them were half-way full and this Maryland correspondent had included her name in all of them, like you do.  However.  One of them was from that someone I shall call "Cass," who started one for herself.  She had a long entry on her front cover about the various things she was interested in and things she'd be willing to swap, all very typical stuff.  Then she adds, "I am bi, open-minded pen pals only, please." 

No one had added their name.

Not one soul.

Not even the person who sent it to me, who had put her name in literally every other FB.

Despite a plea from Cass that the FB be "passed quickly." 

I know I live in the era of Trump, when people boldly and proudly wear their bigotry on their sleeves. Yet, pen palling, by its nature, seemed to me to be the sort of hobby that would naturally attract people who were interested in other people. It's a hobby that requires you to talk to strangers. The entire POINT of pen friends is to reach out, sometimes across international borders, with a hand out in friendship.  

Of course I wrote to Cass. I sent her a picture of my family, a short introductory note that suggested that we could be pals, and sent her a pile of FBs to "swap," hoping that somewhere in all of them, she would find someone else who would write back.  I added my name to the FB that she started and sent it on to a friend who I know is open-minded, even though she isn't part of the pen palling community.  

But, I don't entirely understand it.  I mean, yes, pen palling is an old-fashioned kind of hobby. I guess maybe that 'old-fashionedness' lends itself to certain stereotype of a stay-at-home mom, who is lonely... but I still don't see how that lends itself to "eew, gay!" Also what are these people worried about? That we're going to write long letters detailing our sex lives?  No, I'm just as boring a pen pal as anyone else. I talk about my failed garden projects and my cats.  Do you suppose other pen pals are worried about being hit on?  Even though I explain I am MARRIED with kids.

It's weird and baffling, and it makes me sad.

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:54 am
nanslice: ([FFXV] eeeeehhh)
[personal profile] nanslice
I dropped my day classes! It is done. My advisor was super understanding while my professors were disappointed but also understanding. Fortunately other people's disappointment runs off me like water off a duck so I'm not worried. :3

I missed the signups for [personal profile] spook_me which is kind of disappointing but I'm not going to worry to much about it. I'm going to focus on Inktober (which I'm still really excited about) and not worry about signing up for other things. Even though Halloween is my favorite holiday and I really like doing fandom things to celebrate it. OH WELL. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Speaking of which, since it's so much easier to post things on instagram and twitter, I'll probably be posting Inktober things there before posting here. [twitter.com profile] nan_the_ghost and [instagram.com profile] heartfelt_ghost. They'll definitely get here! But not with the immediacy that those two platforms get.

Also dead

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:44 am
supergee: (mourning)
[personal profile] supergee
Harry Dean Stanton: the life of a Repo Man (or an apostle) is intense

Lotfi Zadeh: Fuzzy Wuzzy wuz a logic.

Len Wein: beloved comics guy

Jake LaMotta: lasted remarkably long, for a boxer

Lillian Ross: wrote a fascinating peek into that great big wonderful dysfunctional family known as
The New Yorker. (She did a deliberate Good Grief, It’s Daddy)

Stanislav Petrov: saved the world

Drabble: Charges

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:39 am
alisanne: (Green_harry)
[personal profile] alisanne
Title: Charges
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Pairing/Characters: Severus Snape/Harry Potter.
Word Count: 100 x 6
Rating: PG
Challenge: Written for [community profile] snarry100/[insanejournal.com profile] snarry100/[livejournal.com profile] snarry100's prompt# 594: Moral.
Summary: Hermione makes some discoveries.
Part Twenty-Nine of the Wisdom Series (LJ/IJ/DW).
Beta(s): [personal profile] sevfan and emynn.
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.

Charges )

Fifteen Characters Meme: the answers

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:41 am
el_staplador: Three-quarters crop of Victor from the opening credits sequence of Yuri!!! on Ice (victor)
[personal profile] el_staplador
The characters:

1. River Song (Doctor Who)
2. Eugénie Danglars (The Count of Monte Cristo)
3. Victor Nikiforov (Yuri!!! on Ice)
4. John Tracy (Thunderbirds)
5. Romeo (Romeo and Juliet)
6. Liz Shaw (Doctor Who)
7. Lady Penelope (Thunderbirds)
8. Petrova Fossil (Ballet Shoes)
9. Edmond Dantes|The Count of Monte Cristo (The Count of Monte Cristo)
10. Dorothea Callum (Swallows and Amazons etc)
11. Madame C-|Lady B- (The Comfortable Courtesan)
12. Dickson McCunn (Huntingtower etc)
13. Miss Marple
14. Rudolf Rassendyll (The Prisoner of Zenda)
15. The Dowager Duchess of Denver (Lord Peter Wimsey)


The answers )

L'Shana Tovah

Sep. 21st, 2017 04:54 am
sartorias: (candle)
[personal profile] sartorias
L'Shana Tovah, all. L'Shana Tovah.

I no longer get the hang of Thursdays

Sep. 21st, 2017 12:40 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Had my passport interview today. Everyone told me it was fine and normal but I thought it was weird and intrusive. How many of your bedrooms look onto your back garden? Where did your parents go on their honeymoon? But it was done quickly and kindly, by a big guy with amazing facial hair and who had actually heard of Minnesota because he's an American-football player.

The worst thing about it was that we had to go all the way to Salford for it, which took ages. I turned out to also need to go back to the university because you can't sign up for language classes online, you have to go in person to the place I was twice yesterday where no one told me this. (I presume it's because they need to check the level people are at if they want to do anything other than beginner's level in their language, because there was a lot of that happening. But surely abject beginners should be able to apply with the system we have to use to do everything else?) But I filled out the form so hopefully that's done.

Which means all my bureaucracy should be done that can be done for now, which is good as all of tomorrow will be taken up with volunteer training at Manchester Museum (which is just a different kind of in-person bureaucracy, as little or none of it will be relevant to my role).

And I had a smear test today, and that's all this morning, so frankly not only am I done with today, but I think I need a medal.

For future reference, though, having a lot of local friends means a lot of them share the same doctor's surgery, and I'd heard a lot of good things about the new nurse who frankly could hardly have been worse than the old one. And she lived up to everything I'd heard about her; she didn't mention my weight, even though she did mention my blood pressure a lot which is fair enough as it was high when she checked it. She even took my height and weight which I know will be for bullshit BMI things the NHS makes them do, but while she said "Five four" as she read my height off the thingy, she then looked at the scale and said "weight...[mumbly mumble]" like she was just reminding herself long enough to go write it down (which is exactly what she was doing) so far from making a big deal of it she ensured I didn't know it at all which is the best thing for my mental health.

And when she asked if I wanted a sexual health screening done at the same time I said it was a good idea because I have two partners but it's okay and they know about each other and etc., she actually said "Oh, so you're poly?" Which left me really taken aback! I've never had a health professional know the word before. And she asked me if the partners were "male, female or other" so didn't assume sexuality or binary gender, which made me happy.

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masquerading as a man with a reason

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