The Transformation from the Old to the New Continues Unabated in Hanoi

This is a building that I've kept an eye on ever since I moved to Hanoi over 16 years ago. It was a pharmacy back in the day. It also happens to be located in the Hoan Kiem District, a short walk from the lake, one of the most expensive areas of the city. Don't … Continue reading The Transformation from the Old to the New Continues Unabated in Hanoi

The Pentagon as Pentagod

I highly recommend this spot-on essay by William J. Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) who earned his D.Phil in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He blogs at Bracing Views - Making Sense of a Vexing and Perplexing World. Astore is one of a growing number of former insiders who has turned against … Continue reading The Pentagon as Pentagod

The Lasting Legacy of Good Teachers

The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery. -Mark Van Doren Teacher’s Day is a special day for the appreciation of teachers, a once-a-year opportunity to remember, honor, and thank them for their contributions to the education of our young people and to society. For me, it’s one of many times throughout the … Continue reading The Lasting Legacy of Good Teachers

Vietnamese Student Enrollment in the US Drops by 9% in 2020/21

The US experienced a dramatic but not unexpected decline of 15% in its 2020/21 international student population bringing the total to under 1 million. The primary reason cited is the COVID-19 pandemic. Another important reason is the Trump administration. IIE probably didn't introduce this rather large (orange) elephant in the room because Open Doors (OD) … Continue reading Vietnamese Student Enrollment in the US Drops by 9% in 2020/21

The latest chapter in Vietnam’s valiant battle against the Delta variant

The good news is that most Vietnamese and expats are beginning to bask in the light at the end of tunnel. Hanoians getting exercise after the COVID-related restrictions were lifted in September 2021. Photo: Khanh Huy/ The Hanoi Times A revised and updated version of this article, originally published on 28.10.21 by CounterPunch, appeared in … Continue reading The latest chapter in Vietnam’s valiant battle against the Delta variant

Vietnamese Billionaire to Donate $211 Million to University of Oxford College

An announcement on the International Vietnamese Academics Network's Facebook page jumped off my screen. Ly Le, who posted it, mentioned that while it was Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao's (Nguyễn Thị Phương Thảo) money and she could do what she wanted with it, she was sad for Viet Nam and for the donor. Ms. Thao is … Continue reading Vietnamese Billionaire to Donate $211 Million to University of Oxford College

“Higher Ed as a Weapon” Revisited

Below is a diplomatic cable that was leaked in the spring of 2008 by someone working for the US Embassy in Hanoi. I became aware of this document when it magically appeared in my inbox. Keep in mind that this was in the pre-Wikileaks era. Obviously, someone wanted the world to know (thank you, someone!) … Continue reading “Higher Ed as a Weapon” Revisited

The Latest Chapter in Vietnam’s Valiant Battle Against the Delta Variant

Here's my latest essay for CounterPunch. Reading time: ~17 minutes. The hectic, sun-drenched streets of the capital have fallen silentIn the middle of the dayThe empty parks surrounded by yellow ribbons that exclaim,Keep out! Shuttered stores and barricaded neighborhoodsLivelihoods diminished; plans put on hold; dreams deferredMasked people shuffling around like otherworldly figuresWaiting patiently, resolutely, and … Continue reading The Latest Chapter in Vietnam’s Valiant Battle Against the Delta Variant

VinWonders Vinpearl Safari: Fantasy or Reality?

Location of proposed VinWonders Vinpearl Safari on the outskirts of Hanoi. Here's what's behind Door #3, dear readers, as alluded to in a previous post. This is an example of things that go bump in the night in broad daylight, assuming this Frankensteinian project gets the green light. There are plans to build a VinWonders … Continue reading VinWonders Vinpearl Safari: Fantasy or Reality?