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Forum Activity by wirthling

NimChimpskyI've heard good things about American Vandal. Anyone (discerning) who sees it, let me know.

Well I--

NimChimpskyAnyone (discerning)


Oh.

:-(
Sep 22, 2017 4:29 PM
IFC's Baroness von Sketch Show is fine. I have been waiting a while to see if I had a stronger opinion about it but I still don't. Like all sketch shows, it's hit or miss. I do like that they boldly go low fairly regularly, even though the payoff often ends up being an uninspired fart joke, but I admire the spirit. The bulk of their sketches are satire about modern life and tend to produce more acknowledging smiles than LOLs. They do not venture into the absurd very often and I wish they would more because the show is funnier when they do.
Sep 22, 2017 4:03 PM
Oh yeah, Nathan For You is back. The season premiere was just a "where are they now?" thing about previous episodes. It was OK but missable.
Sep 22, 2017 2:50 PM
Last night's The Orville was a step up, even if its central dilemma was a bit of TNG-lite philosophy that was probably only thought-provoking to un-woke middle-of-the-road folks. Still, it earned the show at least a couple more watches from me for effort, along with a couple of lines that actually made me LOL. The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer stuff was pretty great.
Sep 22, 2017 2:46 PM
Infinitus Corsair
wirthlingLBJ and his staff had a discussion in late 1964 about whether to get out altogether or put boots on the ground. They already had a good sense that fighting in Vietnam was going to be unlike any other war the US had fought, in large part because the Vietnamese people hated us. The military analysis suggested that if we sent in troops there was only a 1-in-3 chance we would come out of it with a victory. And yet they went ahead, if only because LBJ was tired of Goldwater calling him a commie-loving pussy.

The sense I had had previously was that LBJ had gone in overconfident and then only after losses mounted did he realize his mistake. He had some advisors telling him it would be a cakewalk, sure, but he also had other advisors spelling out why and how we would fail if we went in and, as recorded conversations make clear, LBJ took them seriously. It puts a whole new light on things when you learn that LBJ was already aware we were probably fucked going into the thing. It's not like it's a surprise to learn that politics corrupts rationality, but this bit of history puts an exclamation mark on it.

Anyway, my point is that this is the sort of misconception this series is clearing up for me.

It's annoying that I read things and forget the details six months later but I read The Best and the Brightest earlier this year and the above feels like revisionism. There was plenty of sober and (in retrospect) accurate analysis but it's not like the consensus in 1964 was that we were unlikely to prevail and that winning over the Vietnamese people was a lost cause. That was a minority view among the senior staff and those who espoused it were systematically marginalized. The intelligence people in Vietnam--military and otherwise--who accurately appraised the situation had their reports suppressed by superiors and senior officials wedded to their larger project. It was very much like Iraq in that respect--fixing the analysis and expectations around pre-existing assumptions.

Maybe I overstated it. The point is made more than once in the show that LBJ was getting very mixed guidance from his staff. It seems like LBJ had zero appetite for foreign policy and hated even have to deal with Vietnam and so leaned heavily on his advisors. There is a recorded conversation from late 1964 where he seems very much in doubt of the mission but talks about he politically doesn't really have a choice but to do it. So yeah, they went about trying to figure out how to win it and to make it appear like they were winning it, even if privately several key players acknowledged it was going to be way more difficult than the public thought.

I just finished watching episode 4 and it goes at depth into how by 1966 McNamara was privately telling LBJ he was increasingly sure they were fucked, even though publicly, and to other staffers, he was the voice of calm confidence in the war effort.

ETA: Just googled for confirmation and found that the discussion I was talking about was actually from late 1965, and it was McNamara who told LBJ that they had a "one in three ...at best, one in two" chance of victory.

I think in breaking up my watch of episodes 3 and 4 over a couple of nights I am blurring some of the details together. One can retain details for six months? I give myself no better than one in three, one in two at best chance of that. I'm a goldfish. A fat, old goldfish.
Sep 22, 2017 3:55 AM
whathaveicreatedKim Jong Un might be a tyrannical, murderous dictator and a real existential threat to all of humanity, but dotard is a great word.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/svH0tql.jpg?1[/img]

That is kind of awesome. Points to House Kim.
Sep 22, 2017 1:09 AM
For those betting on The Vietnam War, the part where a soldier's letter is read aloud over "The Sound of Silence" occurs halfway through episode 4.
Sep 21, 2017 10:10 PM
"Whoops, I missed the part of the article where it said jews are hook-nosed, greedy vampires...my bad!"
Sep 21, 2017 6:16 PM
MeowValerie Plame is on twitter heroically claiming that American Jews orchestrate wars for profit and influence. Thanks, Valerie!

She said in the ensuing tweetstorm, "[font="Segoe UI", Arial, sans-serif]Re-tweets don't imply endorsement. Yes, very provocative, but thoughtful. Many neocon hawks ARE Jewish.[/font]" So does she agree with the article or not?

I wonder if she's day-drinking. Or as we OTers call it, drinking.
Sep 21, 2017 4:30 PM
Chili's knows more about healthcare than your average US Senator. And the queso is half-decent!
Sep 21, 2017 12:18 PM
LBJ and his staff had a discussion in late 1964 about whether to get out altogether or put boots on the ground. They already had a good sense that fighting in Vietnam was going to be unlike any other war the US had fought, in large part because the Vietnamese people hated us. The military analysis suggested that if we sent in troops there was only a 1-in-3 chance we would come out of it with a victory. And yet they went ahead, if only because LBJ was tired of Goldwater calling him a commie-loving pussy.

The sense I had had previously was that LBJ had gone in overconfident and then only after losses mounted did he realize his mistake. He had some advisors telling him it would be a cakewalk, sure, but he also had other advisors spelling out why and how we would fail if we went in and, as recorded conversations make clear, LBJ took them seriously. It puts a whole new light on things when you learn that LBJ was already aware we were probably fucked going into the thing. It's not like it's a surprise to learn that politics corrupts rationality, but this bit of history puts an exclamation mark on it.

Anyway, my point is that this is the sort of misconception this series is clearing up for me.
Sep 21, 2017 11:54 AM
Also, I think a case can be made that it was, in addition to a colonial revolt and a proxy war, a civil war. Ho Chi Minh's communists were not universally loved by the Vietnamese, which is why the French had enough support to push the Viet Minh into the North. Yes, Ho Chi Minh was amenable to an election to resolve the situation -- in large part because he knew he would win -- but obviously Diem in the South was not and he had enough backers, without outsider help, to force it to be resolved militarily.
Sep 21, 2017 11:33 AM
I already knew the French and Americans were dicks. The series is filling in my gaps on understanding the Vietnamese internal politics. Like, now I could produce a solid paragraph explaining why buddhist monks started setting themselves on fire, while before this series it would have been, "They were protesting...something, I think."

If the series is one-sided, I'm not sure which-sided it is. There are first-person accounts from all kinds of perspectives, including from people who hated the communists, the South Vietnamese governments, and the foreign invaders. That Ho Chi Minh letter that never reached LBJ (or was it JFK?) is in the show. I guess if forced to choose I'd say the series is sided against the US, but I'd imagine you'd have to have some pro-US bias going in to even think that. All the stuff about how JFK and then LBJ got the US into this because of domestic politics is very clearly documented and supported, often including their very own words on audio tape.
Sep 21, 2017 11:22 AM
The Good Place returns tonight.
Sep 20, 2017 8:00 PM
[img]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DKG6ENnUQAA7A8t.jpg[/img]

No.

(That thing is real.)
Sep 20, 2017 6:26 PM
The Republicans backing this bill, in response to those arguing (sensibly) that it will take insurance away from people, are basically using the 'we are giving block grants to states to let them experiment' angle to promise that the bill will deliver anything and everything, because x might happen. Given freedom from the shackles of federal slavery, Iowa will insure the health of every person, dog, cat, horse, cow and ear of corn in the state! Iowans will be able to fly and turn invisible! Every ugly guy gets a supermodel! Who knows?! States know!
Sep 20, 2017 4:26 PM
Paris the GoatThis article is rage inducing...Republicans cannot articulate, beyond broad terms like "states do it better" and "Obamacare is terrible," why they're voting for Graham-Cassidy.

Even this part is rage-inducing...

"[font=Balto, Helvetica, sans-serif]Look, we're in the back seat of a convertible being driven by Thelma and Louise, and we're headed toward the canyon. That's a movie that you've probably never seen --[/font]"
Sep 20, 2017 3:35 PM
Paris the GoatThis article is rage inducing...Republicans cannot articulate, beyond broad terms like "states do it better" and "Obamacare is terrible," why they're voting for Graham-Cassidy.

And I heard yesterday that there's an amendment to the bill that will prevent states from creating their own single-payer systems. So much for "states can do it better." I don't know if the amendment will get approved, if they even get that far, but fuck that fucking shit.

ETA: Ah, I see that's discussed in the article. Fuck that asshole.
Sep 20, 2017 3:31 PM
Two episodes into Ken Burns' The Vietnam War.

Turns out, war is bad. (Sorry, Zubes!)

But srsly, I'm learning a lot. I didn't really know much about South Vietnam president Diem, his brother Nhu, and his brother's wife Madame Nhu. Bunch of evil cunts.
Sep 20, 2017 3:21 PM
wirthling
And after Trump's UN speech...


@patsajak[font="Segoe UI", Arial, sans-serif]How undiplomatic! How confrontational! How unpolished! How refreshing![/font]


Loved this reply to that one...

[img]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DKHWqSWXUAAKrUw.jpg[/img]
Sep 20, 2017 3:06 PM