Happy 1st Birthday, Little Soldier!

This has become a custom among some members of Vietnam's nouveau riche. I took this photo at a five-star hotel in HCMC. I grimaced when I saw this baby dressed up in a military uniform. The teddy bear adds a special touch. Talk about an alienation effect! The formula is simple. Rent out a large … Continue reading Happy 1st Birthday, Little Soldier!

A Poem About the Passage of Time

The poem below is by Ricardo Gondim, a Brazilian theologian and progressive pastor. It is often misattributed to Mário de Andrade (1893-1945), poet, novelist, essayist, musicologist, and one of the founders of Brazilian modernism. Check out this 2020 post “My Soul Has a Hat” by Mário de Andrade Is Fake News for more information. (I'm … Continue reading A Poem About the Passage of Time

Chi phí của sự tăng trưởng không giới hạn

This is a Vietnamese translation of my 8.9.22 article entitled You can't eat money: the cost of unlimited growth that originally appeared in VNExpress International and was subsequently reprinted by CounterPunch. Translation by Nhã Uyên. (Cảm ơn đồng chí!) Shalom (שלום), MAA Ca-na-đa, một trong những quốc gia giàu có nhất, hoạt động trên một nền kinh … Continue reading Chi phí của sự tăng trưởng không giới hạn

US Student Visa Update for FY2022: That’s a Wrap!

This is a continuation of a post from 8 August 2022 that includes information for the entire fiscal year, i.e., from 10-1-21 to 9-30-22. The good news is that the Vietnam market for US-bound students is making a strong recovery in the new normal era. Student visa issuances are inching up to pre-pandemic levels. This … Continue reading US Student Visa Update for FY2022: That’s a Wrap!

Vietnamese Enrollments in the US Holding Steady

Here are the latest Vietnam-related stats from the September 2022 SEVIS update. (You can also access these data for Vietnam and other countries using this interactive map.) There was a modest 4% decrease from May to the new school/academic year, which is to be expected as a short-term legacy of the pandemic. The good news is that … Continue reading Vietnamese Enrollments in the US Holding Steady

“Graffiti is visual pollution, an eyesore Vietnam can do without”

Here's my latest essay for VNExpress International. Below is the unabridged version. Shalom (שלום), MAA Graffiti as Visual Pollution Graffiti vandalism as seen on walls of buildings in HCMC's District 1. Photo by MAA In addition to the usual types of pollution afflicting Vietnam and affecting our quality of life, including air, water, and noise (e.g., … Continue reading “Graffiti is visual pollution, an eyesore Vietnam can do without”

Không gì là không thể lại không thể nhắc đến sự thật về Việt Nam

This is a Vietnamese translation of my 29 April 2022 article entitled “Nothing is Impossible” Finds It Impossible to Tell the Truth About Vietnam that originally appeared in CounterPunch. Translation by Nhã Uyên. (Cảm ơn đồng chí!) Shalom (שלום), MAA Ngay trước Tết Nguyên đán, tôi cuối cùng đã nhận được bản đánh giá của mình … Continue reading Không gì là không thể lại không thể nhắc đến sự thật về Việt Nam

Family Ties to New England

Rockport, Maine During an early summer trip to the US, we spent a few days visiting friends in Maine via Boston. Knowing my interest in genealogy, one friend joked about my settler-colonizer ancestors resting eternally in the cemetery near his house. After doing some research, his comment turned out to be half-in-jest. Some distant cousins … Continue reading Family Ties to New England