Politics Archives

I wish this category did not exist.

Cuddly Communism

When I think of Vietnam, my first thoughts tend toward the Vietnam War (which I’ve taken a liking to calling the “American War” as they do locally), and not that they are one of the few remaining communist states. This fact was immediately brought home as we left the airport and were greeted by banners displaying the hammer and sickle draped from every lamppost. I laughed to myself.

From all outward appearances, it’s “communism in name only” after the market reforms of Doi Moi (similar to perestroika in the Soviet Union) that occurred in the late 1980s. Vietnam today is booming. That said, they still go all out with the communist symbolism, albeit with a warm and flowery kawaii-esque makeover. I’d call it “pastel propaganda”—much of it related to the Tet Festival that was happening while we were in HCMC.

Communist billboard in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam during Tet Festival 2011
Communist billboard in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam during Tet Festival 2011
Communist billboard in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam during Tet Festival 2011

Continue Reading

Could someone explain this to me?

Please tell me I’m not the only one who saw a hot dog and hamburger taped to his head? (Hint: it’s his ear!)

An opposition supporter with pieces of bread taped onto his head shouts slogans during an anti-government protest in Sanaa February 3, 2011. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
Photo by REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

File this under “captions that do not do their photograph justice”:

An opposition supporter with pieces of bread taped onto his head shouts slogans during an anti-government protest in Sanaa February 3, 2011. Tens of thousands of Yemenis squared off in street protests for and against the government on Thursday during an opposition-led “Day of Rage”, a day after President Ali Abdullah Saleh offered to step down in 2013.

Me and rms

Justin Watt and Richard Stallman
Justin Watt and Richard Stallman, aka rms

At the San Francisco WordCamp today I got to see Richard Stallman give his free software talk and then perform his crowd-pleasing St. IGNUcius bit. I don’t usually do this, but afterwards I stuck around so I could get my picture taken with him.

Shalom Salaam Peace

Shalom Salaam Peace
Source: Wikipedia: Peace symbols

I was taken by how similar the word for “peace” is in Hebrew and Arabic, not just the sound of the words, but the very letter shapes themselves.

Something we can all agree on

John Edwards: proof that abstinence-only sex education DOES NOT WORK

Abstinence-only sex education DOES NOT WORK
–a message from John Edwards