Will @KenBurns “The Vietnam War” Whitewash USA Militarism? @PBS

I’ve only watched the first 30 minutes of the first episode, so I can’t answer this question. I do say that these first 30 minutes leave me suspicious. The opening narration begins at 6:20 in the online video. Bob Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall plays in the background.

6:20 Narrator: America’s involvement in Vietnam began in secrecy. It ended, 30 years later, in failure, witnessed by the entire world. It was begun in good faith by decent people, out of fateful misunderstandings, American overconfidence and Cold War miscalculation. And it was prolonged because it seemed easier to muddle through than admit that it had been caused by tragic decisions, made by five American presidents, belonging to both political parties.

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Among the Accomplishments of the Egyptian Military Government Is Facilitation of Suicide

20170812 facilitating suicide

In the wake of the horrific train accident in Alexandria, Egypt, this satirical tweet points out an important lesson for people in the United States who attribute chaos to the uprisings against the dictators and monarchs the United States government supports. Here’s my translation:

Before, the person who wanted to commit suicide had to throw himself under the wheels of the train. As for now, it is quite sufficient for him simply to ride it.

On May 14, 2017, Egyptian dictator Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi claimed that the recurring losses of the train system in Egypt precluded further investment:

By ignoring public health and safety and the environment and consumer protection, the U.S.-friendly governments of southwest Asia and north Africa kill far more people than ISIS or whoever the bogeyman of the month is. The ones they kill through torture, execution and the dire conditions of their prisons are simply icing on the cake.

The idea that dictators and monarchs provide stability is wrong. Ask your legislators to end US government support for these governments. Ending aid to Egypt and refusing cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are great places to start.

The United States is Becoming Like Egypt

Updated January 16, 2017. Colby Cooper removed his posts on Twitter & Facebook related to this incident. I’ve substituted the links to them with screenshots I took.

Two stories demonstrate how the United States is becoming Egypt. Both are associated with Trump, but it would be a mistake to believe that the roots of this transformation did not begin before him. If you’re studying for the SAT, you can use these to help you learn the meanings of obsequious and impunity. Continue reading

White Lives Matter: Eric Posner’s Call to Criminalize Speech Supporting ISIS

tumblr_ms5shyetg41rfgmbqo1_1280On December 15, 2015, weeks after the Paris and San Bernardino, California attacks, Slate published ISIS Gives Us No Choice but to Consider Limits on Speech by Eric Posner (Twitter). Even though many of the victims were non-white, Professor Posner’s article is a perfect illustration of White Lives Matter. Continue reading

The Dangers of USA Civil War Nostalgia & Romanticism

On November 5, 2015, author Robert Hicks (Twitter) talked about his book The Widow of the South and the place of the USA Civil War in history at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia, USA as part of the 5th Civil War Symposium. In my opinion, he oversold the position he took in his New York Times column on the 150th anniversary of the final day of the battle in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. What I heard, which may not be exactly or substantially what Mr. Hicks said, was that the federal government’s victory in the Civil War preserved the United States so it could play a saving role for humanity “twice” in the 20th century C.E. Continue reading