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Mysterious ‘Space Balls’ Investigated

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The metal balls fell from the sky, scaring local residents.

Vietnam’s military is investigating the appearance of three mysterious metal balls — believed to be debris from space — which landed in the country’s remote north, a senior army official said Friday.

Two metal balls were discovered in northwestern Yen Bai province on January 2, army spokesman Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan told AFP.

Later a larger ball weighing some 45 kilograms (100 pounds) landed in a maize field in neighbouring Tuyen Quang province, he said.

“We are still identifying where they came from,” he said, adding the army had determined they did not contain explosives or hazardous material.

The metal balls fell from the sky, he said, scaring local residents.

“Before and after these objects were discovered, the Vietnamese army was not conducting any military activity in the region,” Tuan said.

 Witnesses told state-run media that they heard what sounded like thunder before the balls plunged to the earth.

Read the rest of this entry »

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When Islamic State Starts Hitting Ships

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Radical Islamists may soon gain a foothold on the Mediterranean. The U.S. Navy must be ready

Mr. Cropsey, the director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower, served as a naval officer and as deputy undersecretary of the Navy in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Seth Cropsey writes: The slaughter of 21 Egyptian Christians by Islamic State militants on Feb. 15 took place on the Libyan shore of the Mediterranean. Former Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan recently told the Times of London that unless order is restored in his country, ISIS will secure territory on Libya’s Mediterranean coast within two months. This would increase its potential for attacks in Italy, Greece and elsewhere in Europe. An October ISIS publication pictured St. Peter’s Square under a black flag, and ISIS’s sentiments about Christians are clear.

Greater ISIS access to the Mediterranean would be deeply troubling to the region and a large strategic advance for the terrorist group. ISIS’s prospects for significant naval power are remote. But small boats, fishing vessels, smugglers, and merchant craft that carry concealed weapons could hijack, sink, or rake commercial shipping including cruise liners in the central Mediterranean. This would divide the eastern part of the inland sea from its west and expose Europe’s southern littoral to attacks and kidnappings.

[read the full text here, at WSJ]

Tehran today wields considerable power over two landlocked capitals of the region, Baghdad and Damascus. Its sea control is more expansive. Besides Iran’s border on the Persian Gulf it is now the major power in Beirut on the Mediterranean and San’a, the capital of Yemen, on the Bab El-Mandeb, the narrow strait that sits astride the southern gateway to and from the Suez Canal.

Turkish naval combatants’ current incursion in the Eastern Mediterranean—to escort a natural gas exploration vessel operating without permission in Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone—has ended the stability that existed in the region since the Cold War standoff between U.S. and Soviet naval forces. And in 2013 Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to establish a permanent squadron in the Mediterranean. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] What If You Could Live for 10,000 years? Q&A with Transhumanist Zoltan Istvan

“I’m not saying let’s live forever,” says Zoltan Istvan, transhumanist author, philosopher, and political candidate. “I think what we want is the choice to be able to live indefinitely. That might be 10,000 years; that might only be 170 years.”

“I’d say the number one goal of transhumanism is trying to conquer death.”

Istvan devoted his life to transhumanism after nearly stepping on an old landmine while reporting for National Geographic channel in Vietnam’s demilitarized zone.

“I’d say the number one goal of transhumanism is trying to conquer death,” says Istvan.

Reason TV‘s Zach Weissmueller interviewed Istvan about real-world life-extension technology ranging from robotic hearts to cryogenic stasis, Istvan’s plan to run for president under the banner of the Transhumanist party, the overlap between the LGBT movement and transhumanism, and the role that governments play in both aiding and impeding transhumanist goals.

Approximately 10 minutes. Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Justin Monticello and Paul Detrick. Music by Anix Gleo and nthnl.


GLOBAL PANIC OF 2014 REACHES CHINA: Freakishly Large, Bizzare Flying Insect Found in Sichuan Province, Experts Say

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World’s largest flying aquatic insect, with huge, nightmarish pincers, has been discovered in China’s Sichuan province

Large enough to cover the face of a human adult, this scary-looking insect is also known among entomologists as an indicator of good water quality.

(CNN) – According to the Insect Museum of West China, local villagers in the outskirts of Chengdu handed over “weird insects that resemble giant dragonflies with long teeth” earlier this month.

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“Let me be clear. This species was not found in our hemisphere. It was found over there, in China.”

Several of these odd critters were examined by the museum and found to be unusually large specimens of the giant dobsonfly, which is native to China and Vietnam.

 "I think the media is overreacting. I can kick that bug's ass"

“I think the media is overreacting. I can kick that bug’s ass”

The largest one measured 21 centimeters (8.27 inches) when its wings were open, according to the museum, busting the original record for largest aquatic insect held by a South American helicopter damselfly, which had a wingspan of 19.1 centimeters (7.5 inches). Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] REWIND: The Fall of Saigon

Last

Vietnam War

FALL OF SAIGON

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H/t – Doug Potratz, Reclaim Our Republic, Brittius.com

 


[VIDEO] China Ships Evacuate Thousands from Vietnam: Xinhua

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Policemen ask people to leave a street near the Chinese embassy in Hanoi on May 18, 2014 (AFP Photo)

Beijing (AFP) – Almost 2,000 Chinese citizens were evacuated from riot-hit Vietnam by sea on Monday, with another two ships following, as Hanoi stifled fresh protests over a territorial dispute and foreign investors counted the cost.

The passenger vessels Wuzhishan and Tongguling left the central Vietnamese port of Vung Ang, each with more than 900 evacuees on board, China’s official news agency Xinhua reported.

They were among four Chinese ships — each with a capacity of about 1,000 people — sent to Vietnam, Xinhua said, with another two on standby.

Workers voiced relief as they boarded the vessels, the agency reported, with some declaring: “Finally home.”

Relations between communist neighbours Vietnam and China have plummeted following Beijing’s move earlier this month to send a deep-water drilling rig into contested waters in the South China Sea. Read the rest of this entry »


Up in Smoke: Factories Torched in Anti-China Protest in Vietnam

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HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Anti-China mobs torched up to 15 foreign-owned factories and trashed many more in southern Vietnam as anger over the recent deployment by China of an oil rig in disputed Southeast Asian waters span dangerously out of control, officials and state media said Wednesday.

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The unrest at industrial parks established to attract foreign investors was the most serious outbreak of public disorder in the tightly controlled country in years. It points to the dangers for the government as it manages public anger at China and also protests itself against the Chinese deployment in a part of the South China Sea it claims as its own. Read the rest of this entry »


Anti-Chinese Anger Fuel Street Protests in Vietnam: A Test for Authoritarian Rule

Vietnam China Anger

The two Asian nations have a history of conflict going back 1,000 years, and the streets of Vietnam’s cities are named after heroes in those fights. Yet the two countries share a Communist ideology and close economic ties, making the China-Vietnam relationship a highly sensitive topic. 

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnamese anger toward China is running at its highest level in years after Beijing deployed an oil rig in disputed waters. That’s posing a tricky question for Vietnam’s leaders: To what extent should they allow public protests that could morph into those against their own authoritarian rule?

“Facing the danger of Chinese aggression appropriating the sacred East Sea, the source of livelihood of the Vietnamese over generations, we are determined not to compromise.”

— From a statement widely circulated on Facebook and dissident blogs calling for protests on Sunday morning in Hanoi outside the Chinese Embassy and a Chinese cultural center in Ho Chi Minh City.

At one level, the ruling Communist Party would like to harness the anger on the street to amplify its own indignation against China and garner international sympathy as naval ships from both countries engage in a tense standoff near the rig off the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

“We cannot continue to compromise and be vile and sinful to our heroic ancestors and feel ashamed before our future generations.”

But Vietnam’s government instinctively distrusts public gatherings of any sort, much less ones that risk posing a threat to public order. And they also know that members of the country’s dissident movement are firmly embedded inside the anti-China one, and have used the issue to mobilize support in the past. Read the rest of this entry »


South China Sea: Standoff Over Oil Rig Escalates, Vietnam Says China Rammed Ships

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(Reuters) – Vietnam said on Wednesday a Chinese vessel intentionally rammed two of its ships in a part of the disputed South China Sea where Beijing has deployed a giant oil rig, sending tensions spiraling in the region.

The Foreign Ministry in Hanoi said the collisions took place on Sunday and caused considerable damage to the Vietnamese ships. Six people suffered minor injuries, it said.

See also: The Battle for the South China Sea Is Officially On in The American Interest

The standoff between China and Vietnam over an oil rig under construction in the South China Sea has escalated to dangerous levels, the New York Times reports

…Whether purposely timed or not, Beijing has escalated its rhetoric and backed up words with action ever since President Obama’s tour of East Asia. ”It is increasingly obvious that Washington is taking Beijing as an opponent,”warned one editorial in China Daily as soon as President Obama returned to the U.S. ”Ganging up with its troublemaking allies, the U.S. is presenting itself as a security threat to China.” The editorial also called U.S. actions in East Asia ”malicious.”

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“On May 4, Chinese ships intentionally rammed two Vietnamese Sea Guard vessels,” said Tran Duy Hai, a Foreign Ministry official and deputy head of Vietnam’s national border committee.

See alsoVietnam dispatches 29 ships to intercept Chinese oil rig in South China Sea; standoff with 80 Chinese ships in China Daily Mail

Vietnamese naval vessels and Chinese ships collided Wednesday, a Vietnamese government official said, as Hanoi sought to prevent a Chinese oil rig from setting up in a disputed part of the South China Sea.

The official said no ammunition had been fired and there were no reports for injuries as a result of the standoff, the most serious in years between the two countries in the sea. If neither side step downs, some analysts said they feared full blown skirmishes could break out between the two navies in what has long been regarded as a possible global flashpoint.

“Chinese ships, with air support, sought to intimidate Vietnamese vessels. Water cannon was used,” he told a news conference in Hanoi. Six other ships were also hit, but not as badly, other officials said. Read the rest of this entry »


Not Your Father’s Cold War

President Obama is seen talking with Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, in 2012. More than 95% of Crimeans voted for the Ukrainian region's accession to Russia in a controversial referendum on March 16, according to preliminary results. The White House said that Obama told his Russian counterpart that the U.S. would not recognize the Crimean vote as it violated the Ukrainian constitution and that the US was "prepared to impose additional costs on Russia for its actions." (RiaNovosti / EPA / March 17, 2014)

President Obama is seen talking with Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, in 2012. More than 95% of Crimeans voted for the Ukrainian region’s accession to Russia in a controversial referendum on March 16, according to preliminary results. (RiaNovosti / EPA / March 17, 2014)

The actual nature of the threat posed by Russia is being obscured or distorted by the talk of a new Cold War.

Jonah Goldberg writes:  Will everyone please stop talking about a new Cold War?

However badly things work out between Russia and the United States and the West, a new Cold War isn’t in the cards because Russia today isn’t the Soviet Union. Sure, we are in a diplomatic and geostrategic conflict with Russia, which was the heart of the old Soviet Union. Also, Russia wants much of the real estate that belonged to the Soviet Union before it collapsed. And Vladimir Putin is a former KGB colonel who now waxes nostalgic for the good old days. That’s about it.

“Western Europe was especially slow to realize this. Its politicians and intellectuals convinced themselves that they had created a continental “zone of peace” through diplomacy, when in reality they were taking U.S. protection for granted.”

That’s hardly nothing, but the Cold War was far more than a conflict with Russia. Everyone should agree on that. Communism, anti-communism and anti-anti-communism divided Americans for decades, particularly among academic and media elites. Right and left may still argue over the merits of those divisions, but no informed person disputes that the topic of communism — the real version and the imagined ideal — incited riots of intellectual and political disagreement in the West for a half century.

Read the rest of this entry »


Searchers Report Spotting Plane Debris

A relative of a passenger on Malaysia Airlines flight 370 cries out at a hotel in Beijing. Investigators were struggling to piece together what happened to the flight, which carried 239 people. Feng Li/Getty Images

A relative of a passenger on Malaysia Airlines flight 370 cries out at a hotel in Beijing. Investigators were struggling to piece together what happened to the flight, which carried 239 people. Feng Li/Getty Images

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia A search-and-rescue plane spotted suspected fragments of a missing Malaysian airliner in the first potential breakthrough in the investigation of what happened to the flight after it disappeared early Saturday morning.

The fragments were believed to be a composite inner door and a piece of the plane’s tail, Vietnam’s ministry of information and communication said on its website. The objects were located about 50 miles south-southwest of Tho Chu island.

“Never have I seen an aircraft losing control and losing all communication.”

— Mark Martin of aviation consultancy Martin Consulting

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, carrying 239 passengers and crew, went missing early Saturday morning, local time. WSJ’s Jason Bellini has the latest developments.

Officials released a photograph of one fragment floating in the waterMalaysia Airlines said it had received no confirmation regarding the suspected debris.

The mystery over what happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, baffled investigators and airline officials for much of the weekend. Read the rest of this entry »


JFK: A Hawk in Life, a Liberal in Death

In this Nov. 22, 1963 file photo, President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, arrive at Love Field airport in Dallas.

 Nov. 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy, arrive at Love Field airport in Dallas.

What he was, he was:
What he is fated to become
Depends on us.

– W.H. Auden, “Elegy for JFK” (1964)

BOSTON — George Will writes:  He has become fodder for an interpretation industry toiling to make his life malleable enough to soothe the sensitivities and serve the agendas of the interpreters. The quantity of writing about him is inversely proportional to the brevity of his presidency.

He did not have history-shaping effects comparable to those of his immediate predecessor or successor. Dwight Eisenhower was one of three Americans (with George Washington and Ulysses Grant) who were world-historic figures before becoming president, and Lyndon Johnson was second only to Franklin Roosevelt as a maker of the modern welfare state and second to none in using law to ameliorate America’s racial dilemma.

The New York Times’ executive editor calls Kennedy “the elusive president”; TheWashington Post calls him “the most enigmatic” president. Most libidinous, certainly; most charming, perhaps. But enigmatic and elusive? Many who call him difficult to understand seem eager to not understand him. They present as puzzling or uncharacteristic aspects of his politics about which he was consistent and unambiguous. For them, his conservative dimension is an inconvenient truth. Ira Stoll, in JFK, Conservative, tries to prove too much but assembles sufficient evidence that his book’s title is not merely provocative.

Read the rest of this entry »


The New York Times v.s. America

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Nazis, Hutu murderers, Japanese rapists, Americans at war: All pretty much the same, according to the NYT. Dennis Prager challenges the Left’s defamation of America and of its facile use of false moral equivalence

Dennis Prager writes: This past Saturday, the New York Times published an article, “Behind Flurry of Killing, Potency of Hate,” on the roots of monstrous evil. The article largely concerned a former paramilitary member of the Irish Republican Army, and as such was informative.

But when it ventured into a larger discussion of evil, the moral confusion and contempt for America that characterize leftism were on display.

The article contains a breathtaking paragraph that exemplifies both qualities. After noting that atrocities against groups of people are often the result of the dehumanization of the victimized group, the writer gives four such examples:

“The Hutus in Rwanda called the Tutsis cockroaches, the Nazis depicted the Jews as rats. Japanese invaders referred to their Chinese victims during the Nanjing massacre as ‘chancorro,’ or ‘subhuman.’ American soldiers fought barbarian ‘Huns’ in World War I and godless ‘gooks’ in Vietnam.”

This paragraph is noteworthy for its use of false moral equivalence to justify its anti-Americanism.

Let’s begin with the moral equivalence — equating how the Hutus viewed and treated the Tutsis, how the Nazis viewed and treated the Jews, and how the Japanese viewed and treated the Chinese with the Americans’ views and treatment of the Germans in World War I and Vietnamese during the Vietnam War.

Read the rest of this entry »