Finland Named World’s Happiest Country for Fifth Consecutive Year

It makes me happy to see the results of this annual report on happiness. The description sums it up: "The Experts say social support, honesty and generosity key to wellbeing." How much social support, honesty, and generosity is there in your country? For the uninitiated, this survey uses a variety of criteria to generate a … Continue reading Finland Named World’s Happiest Country for Fifth Consecutive Year

“And where there is sadness, joy” by Kent Nerburn

The image is linked to the book on Amazon.com This is a story written by US writer Kent Nerburn that went viral as The Last Cab Ride. Originally entitled The Cab Ride I'll Never Forget, it appeared in his 1999 book, Make Me An Instrument of Your Peace. I reprint it here because I want … Continue reading “And where there is sadness, joy” by Kent Nerburn

A Local Example of How Global Capitalism Works

During my early trips to Vietnam and Cambodia in the mid- to late-90s, I began to learn more about what has been called the North-South gap and the potential for obscene profits through exploitation. Lest we forget, "labor" refers to most people who have no choice but to sell their labor to an employer, fellow … Continue reading A Local Example of How Global Capitalism Works

Why Vietnam Should Not Go Nuclear

I decided to post this article here because I could only access it via TOR. Given that the Vietnamese government is not considering acquiring nuclear weapons, I'm not sure what the author's point. The fact that "some scholars have suggested that Vietnam pursue nuclear weapons in order to balance against China" is neither here nor … Continue reading Why Vietnam Should Not Go Nuclear

You can’t eat money: the cost of unlimited growth

A woman stands at her collapsed house damaged by landslide along the Mekong river in Can Tho, Vietnam, December 17, 2018. Photo by Reuters/Kham My latest essay for VNExpress International. The Vietnamese version will be up soon. Here are the first two paragraphs. In a 1972 book chapter entitled "Conversations with North American Indians," Alanis … Continue reading You can’t eat money: the cost of unlimited growth

Tourism in Vietnam: A Tale of Two Tastes?

Recently, I've thought a lot about tourism in Vietnam for a couple of reasons. First, I'm concerned about the lack of regard for the environment on which we all depend for survival, which often takes a back seat to (over)development and revenue generation. Secondly, I'm well aware how important it is to Vietnam's economic well-being … Continue reading Tourism in Vietnam: A Tale of Two Tastes?

Overstay Rates for Nonimmigrant Students and Exchange Visitors (F, M, J Visas)

Here's a brief comparison of the overstay rate of Vietnamese students with those from Cambodia, China, and Thailand in FY 2020. Vietnam: 4.49% China: 0.66% Cambodia: 2.74% Thailand: 3.09% Overstay rates are statistics that consular sections look in the aggregate and by institution. As you can see below, the overall rate was 1.43%. Vietnam has … Continue reading Overstay Rates for Nonimmigrant Students and Exchange Visitors (F, M, J Visas)