'Legendary Vietnam Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap dies.' 'Vo Nguyen Giap, the brilliant and ruthless self-taught general who drove the French out of Vietnam to free it from colonial rule and later forced the Americans to abandon their grueling effort to save the country from communism, has died. At age 102, he was the last of Vietnam's old-guard revolutionaries.' 'To military scholars around the world, he was one of the 20th century’s leading practitioners of modern revolutionary guerrilla warfare.' [more inside]
Sentencing reform for drug offences is expected be announced by the US Attorney General. Eric Holder will announce Monday that he is mandating the Justice Department modify its policies so that certain non-violent drug offenders will no longer endure “draconian mandatory minimum sentences,” according to excerpts of his remarks to American Bar Association. [more inside]
Your Favorite Army General Actually Sucks. Tom Rick's new book The Generals focuses on professional shortcomings of high-ranking Army officers, and offers a new (old) solution: fire them. "But as far as I can tell, no general has been fired for incompetence in combat since Maj. Gen. James Baldwin was fired as commander of the Americal Division in 1971." [more inside]
First Class was a titanic "electronic" tea time BBC general knowledge quiz show in the late 1980s, presented by heartthrob Debbie Greenwood (now a regular on QVC UK) with the aid of a BBC Micro called Eugene. Two teams of teenagers represented their schools as they battled for supremacy playing a random selection of arcade games like skateboarder 720 degrees and Hypersports, the ultimate prize an Acorn Archimedes. Now, the nail-biting encounter between Armthorpe School in Sheffield and Montagu School of Kettering is on YouTube [parts 1, 2 & 3]
A "remarkably ill-conceived car ad campaign", General Motors tells students to "stop pedaling. . . start driving". GM backpedaled and pulled the ad, according to ABC news (and others).
Born into War. In 1863, a 3 yr old John J. Pershing was pinned to the floor by his mother to protect him from confederate raiders. In 1886, he left West Point for the western frontier, having been elected class president four years in a row. In 1890 he was present at the Wounded Knee Massacre. In 1898 he fought with Buffalo Soldiers in Cuba, commanding a black cavalry regiment at San Juan Hill. From 1898 to 1901 he was fighting Philippine insurgents. In 1905 he served as an observer in the Russo-Japanese War, arguably the first "modern" war. In 1906 Teddy Roosevelt promoted him to Brigadier General, skipping over 862 senior officers. In 1916 he was hunting Poncho Villa in Mexico. In 1917, Pershing was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Entire American Expeditionary Force of WW1, in which he built an army almost from scratch, organizing, training, and supplying an inexperienced force that eventually numbered two million. 1919 saw Pershing promoted to the highest U.S. Army rank in history, "General of the Armies", a position held previously by George Washington. Pershing lived to see Allied Victory before his death in 1948.
Life after Capitalism - Beyond capitalism, it seems, stretches a vista of... capitalism: [more inside]
Following days of uncertainty not witnessed since 1974, David Cameron makes a hasty entrance to 10 Downing Street, an hour or so after Gordon Brown made a surprisingly hasty exit. [more inside]
"It's just a thing ... I worked so hard to get that title." And with that, her political enemies pounced. Sen. Barbara Boxer upbraided an Army general for repeatedly calling her "ma'am" in a hearing. The moment is now campaign fodder for Republican candidates, including former HP CEO Carly Fiorina.
Acquitted of the murder of Francis Scott Key's son by the first successful pleading of temporarily insane? Check. Civil War Union general? Check. Medal of Honor winner? Check. Amputated leg on display to the public? Check. Lover to the deposed Queen of Spain? Check. Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce you to Major General, Foreign Minister, and Congressman Daniel Edgar Sickles. [more inside]
Please, do mention the war. Really, it's hard not to. After all, in a sense football is war, as the General famously joked. Sometimes it's peace. Same goes for that other football, by the way.
Blair wins third term in UK overcoming public outcry against his handling of the war in Iraq. His Labour party was elected despite attracting votes from only 22% of those eligible to do so.
General Zod on Valentine's Day Sorry Cupid, it doesn't look like Superman is going to be able to save you this time. But I guess that's what you deserve for making Flavor Flav and Brigitte Nielsen fall for each other. It's time for you to Kneel Before Zod!
Implications of a 4-Star Command in Iraq. In an small press release, it was recently announced that Iraq *may* be getting a 4-star general, but *not* to replace the current 3-star military commander of that nation. So what difference does a single star make? "...In other words, the Defense Department is putting forward the idea of another regional command because it anticipates the possibility of intensifying combat operations throughout the region. The war in Iraq might be coming under control, but from the standpoint of the Defense Department, the end of the Iraq campaign is the preface to follow-on campaigns."
Pentagon asks for help - from Hollywood screenwriters and directors. Hilarious, yet true. Some of the makers of MacGyver, Die Hard, Death Wish II, and Grease, among others were invited to "brainstorm possible terrorist events and solutions" and return this information to Army Brigadier General Kenneth Bergquist. Everyone's doing their part (including Spike Jonze).