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The War That Never Ends

November 12, 2017 — Leave a comment

In watching The Vietnam War, a viewer, hearing American officials pondering options, is tempted to burst out “stop, no, make the other choice.” But those making decisions did not know how the story would turn out. They had to act with the experiences they had lived through, not those we have accumulated since, based on imperfect knowledge and the typical set of “all bad” options.

 

But this comes only after 100 minutes of almost unceasing negatives on the war: from a Vietnam Veterans Against the War-heavy focus on the minority of veterans who bitterly opposed to it to Jane Fonda in Hanoi, John Kerry’s Senate testimony, drug-addicted U.S. soldiers, the Pentagon Papers, My Lai, and extensive footage of South Vietnamese army (ARVN) troops retreating in Laos and initially in the Easter Offensive (although ARVN soldiers won that battle). The plurality of Americans still supporting the war, which in that period included most veterans, got little airtime. A viewer could easily ask whether Burns and Novick were describing the same country that gave Nixon an overwhelming victory in 49 states in the 1972 election.

 

But beyond Vietnam-specific lessons, The Vietnam War lays out in a non-didactic, illustrative manner strategic truths of great import, including for us today. The four that matter most are about containment, incremental versus major war tactics, definitions of victory, and the criticality of determination in conflict.

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/11/10/war-never-ends/

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According to the latest survey from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a D.C.-based nonprofit, one in two U.S. millennials say they would rather live in a socialist or communist country than a capitalist democracy.

What’s more, 22% of them have a favorable view of Karl Marx and a surprising number see Joseph Stalin and Kim Jong Un as “heroes.”

 

The survey, which was conducted by research and data firm YouGov, found that millennials are the least knowledgable generation on the subject, with 71% failing to identify the proper definition of communism.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/millennials-communism-sounds-pretty-chill-2017-11-01

https://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/things-to-do-on-the-acadian-peninsula-new-brunswick/

This, more than anything, is what is so unsettling about Mr. Coates’s recent writing and the tenor of the leftist “woke” discourse he epitomizes. Though it is not at all morally equivalent, it is nonetheless in sync with the toxic premises of white supremacism. Both sides eagerly reduce people to abstract color categories, all the while feeding off of and legitimizing each other, while those of us searching for gray areas and common ground get devoured twice. Both sides mystify racial identity, interpreting it as something fixed, determinative and almost supernatural. For Mr. Coates, whiteness is a “talisman,” an “amulet” of “eldritch energies” that explains all injustice; for the abysmal early-20th-century Italian fascist and racist icon Julius Evola, it was a “meta-biological force,” a collective mind-spirit that justifies all inequality. In either case, whites are preordained to walk that special path. It is a dangerous vision of life we should refuse no matter who is doing the conjuring.

Why I Prefer Baseball

September 29, 2017 — Leave a comment

Set to one side that the reason most Americans can sing the words to their national anthem is that for generations, every American attending a professional baseball game has stood to look at the flag while someone sings “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Many Americans think the last words of the national anthem are “Play ball!”

Baseball is about baseball. The NFL and NBA seem to be about more things than I can process—some of them political, some of them personal.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-i-prefer-baseball-1506551969?mod=nwsrl_declarations&cx_refModule=nwsrl#cx_testId=16&cx_testVariant=ctrl&cx_artPos=15

Chancellor Angela Merkel clinched a fourth term in Germany’s election Sunday, but her victory was clouded by the entry into parliament of the hard-right AfD in the best showing for a nationalist force since World War II.

Merkel, who after 12 years in power held a double-digit lead for most of the campaign, scored around 33 percent of the vote with her conservative Christian Union (CDU/CSU) bloc, according to preliminary results. It was their worst score since 1949.

Its nearest rivals, the Social Democrats and their candidate Martin Schulz, came in a distant second, with a post-war record low of 21 percent.

But in a bombshell for the German establishment, the anti-Islam, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) captured around 13 percent, catapulting it to become the country’s third biggest political force.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/merkel-heads-german-poll-win-hard-afd-first-020926172.html

On Fanatics.com, sales of Villanueva’s jersey skyrocketed, launching up to the third highest-seller in Pittsburgh Steelers jersey as of just before 8 PM Eastern time, behind only a custom Steelers jersey and Antonio Brown‘s jersey. Villanueva’s jersey also jumped into the top sellers around the league, and as of 7:45 PM EST trailed only Marshawn LynchDerek CarrCarson Wentz, Brown, and Aaron Rodgers in sales.

https://pit.247sports.com/Bolt/Alejandro-Villanueva-Pittsburgh-Steelers-jersey-sales-skyrocket–107932265/Amp