Archive | Politics

Phil Jackson Was Right About Terrorism in 1991

imageFrom The Jordan Rules, by Sam Smith in 1991:

Who wants the troops to go into Baghdad and go after Hussein?” he asked.

The hands of most of the younger players went up. Jordan, Pippen,, and Grant particularly said the troops should go in and get Hussein.

In the corner, Hodges could barely contain his anger. Jackson, in a way, agreed.

Do you understand, he explained that these are people who will never forget, the people who lose their father or a brother or a relative? They or their children or even their children’s children. Do you want to see, Jackson wondered, your son killed someday in an airplane explosion because we’ve made Iraq a terrorist nation from what we’ve done? A guy with a bomb can just drive into the London Tunnel or walk into the Sears Tower and kill thousands. Is this what you want to see and have it affect your children or their children?

Jackson wanted them to think a little more about the consequences of war. Everyone did.

I am about 2/3 of the way through the book and I cannot figure out how the Bulls are going to put everything together and win a championship.

I do know, however, that Michael Jordan is a total a**hole, but Scottie, at least in this contract year, wasn’t much better. (I knew about Jordan but had heard Scottie was a great teammate)


Support 7554! [And Finally Kill the White Man]

And finally kill whitey (the white man)…in a video game, of course.

Before you accuse me of of being brutal or profane, do remember that war games have been killing non-cool (non-Americans and their allies) people in visually-realistic war games (Call of Duty, Medal of Honor) for a long (I wrote about one experience 7 years ago in Vietnam: The Adventure) time, so it’s about time for the other side to get virtual frags in.

I recently heard about 7554, a FPS (first person shooter) for the PC coming out from Emobigames.

It’s about a topic that I care about, the battle for Vietnamese independence, in particular the events of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu versus the French in 1954 – I wrote about a similar idea (but more of a MMO) regarding a Dien Bien Phu FPS game over 5 years ago: Stanford GSB Application, Essay A

I’m pretty excited about it because it’s the first commercial game that I’ve heard of from Vietnam, other than those sourced (such as mobile games) for other markets. It’s a FVBV (think FUBU) game, and something to be proud of as someone from a developing nation.

It’s going to be about $10 USD, a very affordable amount for local citizens, and if you’re Vietnamese, interested in the game, and still not willing to try to save money for it, it will certainly be possible to pirate it. However, I’d say if you want the gaming industry here to thrive, to grow larger and create new local jobs (which may include you, directly and indirectly), support these guys.

To be realistic about things, I do not expect an amazing game. Hopefully it’s a fun game, reasonably stable with a good framerate. From the trailer, the graphics aren’t particularly good compared to current-generation blockbusters, and the gameplay and UI is obviously Call of Duty inspired (which I actually do not like), but I think it will be very interesting to check out and certainly worth the money.

I am not sure if my 4 year old laptop can even run it, but worst case, I’ll bring it back to the US on vacation and play it from a friend’s house.

7554 comes out on Dec 16th, purchase a copy online at Vinabook or Halo Shop in Saigon.


The Washington Post’s 5 Myths Series

I really enjoy and learn from The Washington Post’s 5 Myths Series. Every couple of weeks, there’s a new argument about a much-argued and often emotional subject for many, taking a look at what people often believe about that subject. Here are snippets from 5 Myths about gun control:

This helps explain why, even though the United States has overall rates of violent crime in line with rates in other developed nations, our homicide rate is, relatively speaking, off the charts. (1. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.)

Data from 2008 in Chicago show that 81 percent of homicides were committed with guns and that 91 percent of homicide offenders had a prior arrest record. (2. Gun laws affect only law-abiding citizens.)

Our research suggests that as many as 500,000 guns are stolen each year in the United States, going directly into the hands of people who are, by definition, criminals.

The data show that a net increase in household gun ownership would mean more homicides and perhaps more burglaries as well. Guns can be sold quickly, and at good prices, on the underground market. (3. When more households have guns for self-defense, crime goes down.)

I personally believe all handguns should be banned in the US. In Vietnam they are, and though I’m sure guns do exist in the country (there are gangs and gangsters here, after all), I have always felt secure that I would never be shot, no matter where I was or what time at night. Maybe it’s all mental? Maybe. Nonetheless, most things are all in our minds.

Some other recent articles from the Post:

5 Myths about California politics (By Bruce E. Cain, June 6, 2010)

5 Myths about working mothers (By Naomi Cahn and June Carbone, May 30, 2010)

5 Myths about who gets into college (By Richard D. Kahlenberg, May 23, 2010)

5 myths about Supreme Court confirmations (By Kashmir Hill and David Lat, May 10, 2010)

5 Myths about the European debt crisis (By Carmen M. Reinhart and Vincent R. Reinhart, May 9, 2010)

5 Myths about immigration (By Doris Meissner, May 2, 2010)

5 Myths about green energy (By Robert Bryce, April 25, 2010)

5 Myths about the Catholic abuse scandal (By David Gibson, April 18, 2010)

5 Myths about China’s economic power (By Arthur Kroeber, April 11, 2010)

5 Myths about your taxes (By Roberton Williams and Rosanne Altshuler, April 4, 2010)


Human Rights Ads in Vietnam (Witnessorg)


While accidentally searching for “Twitter” the other day, I saw a human rights advertisement (it won’t always come up, you may have to reload the page a few times to see it) on Google at the top. This might not seem like a big deal, just an ad for a Twitter account, but this is Vietnam, where talking about this stuff is very sensitive. For example, it would not be a good idea for me to start a blog site to talk about human rights.

When you advertise with Google, you can target your ads by location, so it’s guaranteed Witnessorg wanted this advertisement seen by Vietnamese (You can tell I’m on by the way) or expats here. If you look at their Twitter site (image below), their bio says: “WITNESS ( uses video to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations.” This is basically an ad to tell people in Vietnam to document violations on video and share.

Yikes. Like I said, sensitive stuff.