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Re-Education Camps of Vietnam
Re-Education Camps of Vietnam
Price: $1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven on Earth ... Not!, February 21, 2014
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This is book about the lives of the former officer of the south Vietnamese Army after “peace is at hand”. The stories is short and describe accurately what happen to those the North Vietnamese deemed to be “Nguy” [illegitimate] and what they suffered in the “Corrective Labored Re-education” camps which is nothing more than slave labored camps. It’s not “propaganda’ as some reader claimed unless you are completely ignore of Vietnamese history. For those who want to know more about what happened in Vietnam after “peace”, you can check out the following materials:
] Rummel, R. J., Death by Government. (Transaction Publishers, 1997). Desbarats and Jackson, “Vietnam 1975 1982: The Cruel Peace,” 8 Wash. Q. 4 (Fall 1985), at 169. Anh Do and Hieu Tran Phan, Millions of lives changed forever with Saigon’s fall. Orange County Register (Sunday April 29 2001). Sagan, Ginetta, and Stephen Denney. Violations of Human Rights in the SRV, April 30, 1975-April 30, 1983. (Atherton, California: Aurora Foundation, 1983).Như Hằng, Đời Ông Chủ. Tuổi Trẻ Online (April 13 2006). Nguyễn Văn Tiến Hùng. Những chuyện ai cũng muốn quên. Tuổi Trẻ Online (July 10 2008).

Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-75
Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-75
by George J. Veith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.54
42 used & new from $6.16

67 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finnalya balanced book about the final years of the VN War, May 7, 2012
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With George J Veith's "Black April" we finally, a book that tells a more complete tales about the final years of the Viet Nam War and make used of the latest de-classified documents from all sides to give the readers a more complete understanding of the end of the Vietnam War. Unlike many previous American "historians" who blamed the South Vietnamese for the lost of the Vietnam war. Black April shows that the drastic cut in military aids to South Vietnam for fiscal year 1974 to 1975 combines with some critical mistakes made by the South Vietnamese was the blame for the outcome of "Black April" 1975.

I have several family members who were directly involved in some of the events described in this book. One of my brothers was a First Lieutenant with medical staff of the ARVN 2nd Field Hospital in Kontum and was with the rear guard unit fighting at Cung Son. Another brother, Truong Pham was a First Lieutenant with the 52nd Regiment/18th Division. My brothers' discussions of events such as the withdraws from the Highland and the battle of Xuan Loc pretty much corporate Veith description of these events.

Thanks to Mr. Veith for telling the tales that is long overdue.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 24, 2012 4:16 PM PDT

MySQL Administrator's Bible
MySQL Administrator's Bible
by Sheeri Cabral
Edition: Paperback
Price: $40.61
44 used & new from $26.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Mysql DBA book on the market, September 3, 2009
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I have work as a DBA since 1993 and with Mysql for the last 9 years, and I have to say of all the DBA books that I have read, this is the best on the market at this time. The book is well written, Sheeri Cabal has hands-on experience working with Mysql, and it shows. Sherri is also no stranger to the Mysql community. My hat off to the authors for a job well done. In regard to the lone negative review of this book, if you have good experience working on other RDBMS but is new to Mysql, you should be able to make use of this book, if you have no experience with RDBMS, this is not the right book for you.

Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945-1975 (Modern War Studies)
Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945-1975 (Modern War Studies)
by John Prados
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $23.92
43 used & new from $4.67

52 of 90 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unwinnable War ?, April 29, 2009
In recent years with an influx of de-classified information from the U.S, the Communists and memoirs from former S. Vietnamese soldiers and officials, we get a much better and clearer of the Vietnam War and its aftermath. This give rise to the "revisionist" historians who shows the Vietnam War in a much different light, dispelling many of the myths from the left. John Prados' "Vietnam: The History of an Unwindable War, 1945-1975" seems like an attempt to hold back the more accurate view of the Vietnam War and resuscitate the old leftist view of the Vietnam War.

Prados argues that America failure in Vietnam was due to the lack of understanding of the Vietnamese revolution. Prados portrayed Ho as a "nationalist", the George Washington of Vietnam. Yet Ho Chi Minh in his twelve volumes "Ho Chi Minh Toan Tap"[Ho Chi Minh Complete Works] documents Ho extensive works for the Third International and even how much Ho was paid each month by Moscow for his works. These documents made it clear that Ho was a devout Communist since the early 1920's and not a "nationalist" forced to allied himself with the Communist.

There were three major land reforms programs in Vietnamese history, conducted by Ho, Diem and Thieu. Diem and Thieu use foreign aids to buy land from land owners and give the land to poor, landless tenants for free. Diem program was smaller in scale and Thieu "Land to the Tiller" program in 1970 was the biggest land reform program in S. East Asia and no one was murdered or dispossess. On the hand, the Vietnamese Communist recently admit in the book "Lich Su Kinh Te Viet Nam 1945-2000" that 172,008 landowners were "punished" (i.e executed) by Ho's government. Bui Tin, a former Vice Editor of the Communist newspaper Nhan Dan and a participant in the Land Reform Program said that at least 500,000 North Vietnamese died during the land reform programs. Land confiscated from landowners were given to landless tenants but later Ho's government levied high taxes against the new landowners and the peasants often have to "donate" the land to the Hop Tac Xa [Cooperatives] because they could not afford to pay the taxes and peasants ended up working as landless tenant for the Cooperatives. According to Bui Tin, after the Land Reform Program up to 1985, many North Vietnamese were starving because of the low output from the Cooperatives. The private gardens in North Vietnam which comprise of only 5% of the total cultivated land produce as much food as the output from the Cooperatives (see Bui Tín, " Nhin Lai Cuoc Cai Cach Ruong Dat: Nhung Bai Hoc Con Nong Hoi" November, 11 2006 and Da''ng Phong, Lich Su Kinh Te Viet Nam 1945 - 2000. Ta'p II: 1955 - 1975 page 575-615).

Prados portrait the U.S and the South Vietnamese as incompetent fools who can do nothing right. Prados claim that in 1959, the Communist forces in South Vietnam total only 2,900 and that the ARVN outnumber the Communist 40 to 1, this is contrary to the official Communist books such as the National Liberation Front official history "Chung Mot Bong Co" where the Communists claim they have a presence in all 44 provinces of South Vietnam. In the Dong -Nam-Bo area consisting of 4 provinces like Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen alone, the Communist number over 150,000 during the war against the French and few repatriate North after 1954.

Prados claimed that the Tet offensive was a defeat for the U.S. The bombing of Cambodia was branded as secret and illegal and the U.S and ARVN incursion into Cambodia in 1970 to break up North Vietnamese sanctuaries was presented as a move that widened the war. Prados ignore the fact that the Sihanouk was openly helping the North Vietnamese, the Khmer army helps transport weapons and materials for the North Vietnamese. Sihanouk were pay for his "cooperation" of up to 10% of the values of the materials shipped to the Vietnamese Communist forces in Kampuchea. If anyone is to blame for the Kampuchea debacle it's Sihanouk, who thought he could "play" his enemies not knowing it was he who was being play (see "Conversations Between Chinese and Foreign Leaders on the Wars in Indochina, 1964-1967" and Truo''ng S'on, "Cuo'c Hanh Trinh Nam Ngan Ngay Dem Duong Ho Chi Minh" page 145. Truong Son is the pen name of North Vietnamese Colonel Pham Te).

During the Vietnam War, Communist laws required that each able body men and women in North Vietnam spend several months out of each year to work for free for the government to support the war effort. Those who do not are often labeled as reactionary, counter-revolutionary activists and sent to work as slaves in the Corrective Labor Re-Education camps. The use of civilians laborers have been use in the past in Viet Nam especially during the Ly and Tran dynasty. However, the feudal governments always pay and grant tax exemption to their civilian laborers unlike the Communist. The system of civilian slave laborers have been employed by the Communist since the war against the French and made into law in June 1967 with Nghi Quyet 161/NQ/TU. The Communists extensive use of civilians and POW to transport weapons and war materials is a blatant violation of the Geneva Conference, had the U.S and the South Vietnamese conduct war in such a fashion, Prados would probably be up in arm. For information regarding the North Vietnamese used of conscript civilian laborers see "Lich Su Doan Thanh Niên Cong San Ho Chi Minh T'ong K'et Cu'oc Khang Chien Thang Loi va Bai Hoc" published in Ha Noi in 1996 and "Van Kien Dang Toan Tap, Ta'p 28" published in Ha Noi in 2003.

Prados book contain a picture of a kid, a mascot of the in ARVN Rangers wearing an ARVN uniform uniform and Prados was quick to insinuate that the ARVN was drafting younger recruits although there is absolutely no evidence that the ARVN was using children as a tool of war. However, the North Vietnamese have no qualm in using children as part of their war effort with the creation of Doi Thieu Nhi Tien Phong Cuu Quoc in 1941 which later become Doi Thanh Nien Tien Phong. Children were used by the Communists to retrieved bombs and anti-personnel mines with their bared hands as well as combating American and ARVN troops. Communist documents such as the "Lich Su Doan Thanh Nien Ho Chi Minh Tong Ket Cuoc Khang Chien Chong My Cuu Nuoc Thang Loi Va Bai Hoc", "Van Kien Dang Toan Tap, Tap 28" and "Lich Su Doi Thanh Nien Tien Phong" all boast about the Communist use of children during the war. There were many famous Communist children combat groups such as the "Du Kich Tre Con Dieu Cai" [Children Guerrillas Group of Dieu CAI] and the famous " Du Kich Tre Con Phan Khu I" [Children Guerrillas Group of Zone 1]. For information about the North Vietnamese use of child soldiers see "L'ich Su Doi Thanh Niên Tie'n Phong" published in Ha Noi in 2004. Also check out Communist "children" books that glorified the exploit of child soldiers such as "Doi Du Kich Thieu Nhi Dinh Bang" or "Doi Du Kich Thieu Nhi Thanh Hue".

Mr. Prados ends his book in 1975, conveniently covering up and ignoring what happen to Vietnam after communists took over. Prados ignore the millions of Vietnamese were sent to work as slaves in the "Corrective Labor Re-Education" camps, the slave laborers in the New Economic Zone, the fate of children who were forbidden from attending schools because of their parents background. Massive confiscation of personal property and businesses through the "Danh Tu San,Mai Ban" [Smash the bourgeois] programs resulted in ten of thousands of people losing their homes and livelihood. Hundred of thousands of Vietnamese escape Vietnam by boats or by traveling through Cambodia and at least 1 million South Vietnamese out of a population of 18 millions died after the Communist takeover of South Vietnam. Vietnam could have become another South Korea or Taiwan with the huge number of Western trained professionals; intellectuals and merchants instead Ho and his descendants drove these people out to the sea and destroy Vietnam future for generations.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 15, 2014 8:11 AM PDT

Torchwood: Season 1
Torchwood: Season 1
DVD ~ John Barrowman
Price: $19.49
23 used & new from $13.54

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars more misses than hits, March 16, 2009
This review is from: Torchwood: Season 1 (DVD)
Torchwood was supposed to be the "adult" spin off of `Doctor Who' but apart from a few splatter of blood and gratuitous sex scenes (no nudity), it would have insulted the intelligence of a normal 10 year-old.

It seems as if the talented writer and producer Russell T Davies has taken the best ingredients from other shows and movies and combined them into Welsh's omelets.

We have a team of "specialists" investigating unexplained mysteries (this reminds me of Buffy, Angel, the X-Files, Fringe and even Scooby Do) Torchwood even has a black van/SUV that they travel around in. Torchwood has a charismatic leader just like CSIs. They're a top secret government agency ("We're separate from your Government, outside the police, beyond the United Nations," says team leader Captain Jack Harkness) and chase aliens (like the "Men in Black" - they even have a way of wiping people's memories).

The Torchwood team even has a row of prison cells identical to those in "Silence of the Lambs". However, probably due to the show low budget, the cells' Perspex windows are very thin and it keeps making me wonder why the dangerous aliens in the end cell couldn't escape from their flimsy cells. The Torchwood team also has a pet pterodactyl nesting in the roof yet the place isn't littered with pterodactyl wastes or whose job it is to clean it up. The Torchwood team also let pterodactyl out to fly around Cardiff where for some miraculous reasons the thing went unnoticed by the general population.

Imagine am omelets made from the best filet mignon, a spoon of caviar, a splash of Old Spiced, a grated David Bowey CD and one of Tom Brady dirty socks, would you eat such an omelets? It's all the more depressing since this comes from the talented Russell T Davies.
I watch many Sci-fi shows from Doctor Who to the new Battlestar Galactica and Fringe and the different between those shows and Torchwood is that the scripts from other shows work hard to create a plausible reality unlike Torchwood.

Accept for the character Captain Jack, the rest of the Torchwood team themselves is made up of stupid, ignorant, arrogant, selfish, unprofessional dolts who readily sacrifice the lives of innocent people and other team members for their own benefit. Gwen, the ex-policewoman new recruit and one of the main characters of the show have a dopey lived in boyfriend who does something boring. She professed to love him and promptly shag one of her male co-worker. Yet when the stupid boyfriend learns of his girlfriend betrayal, he quickly forgives her and continued to live with her.

In "Doctor Who", Captain Jack was the charismatic, flirtatious, try-sexual secret agent from the future who tries to have sex with male, female, she males (I'm not sure if your pets and farm animals is safe from the Captain). Yet in Torchwood he became a one dimensional character who dated his male subordinates, mopes about the place like a lovesick schoolgirl, his whole appeal stripped away. In another of the show's many visual non-sequiturs, Captain Jack stand on the tops of very tall buildings for no good reason, like Batman, broodingly staring into the distance. The many, many impressive aerial shots of the city that pad out the episodes must have cost lots of money but did nothing to enhance the plot.

Take the plot of the second episode, for example, which was lifted entirely from one of the episode of "Doctor Who". Except now the villain isn't an alien, trapped inside a television, that feeds on the electrical energy of the human brain, it's an alien trapped in the body of a jailbait teenage girl who shag people to death in order to absorb their `orgasmic energy'. Torchwood duly captures her and locks her up. Gwen goes down to the cells for a chat and, affected by the alluring pheromones the alien gives off to attract its prey, ends up in some hot lesbian action. The rest of the team just watches the whole thing on CCTV unconcerned that their colleague is playing "tongue hockey" with an alien parasite.

Torchwood season 1 is just plain awful, hopefully, season 2 and three will be much better and Russell T. Davies will make serious improvement on the characterization instead of beating the viewers on the head with his pro-Wales, pro-alternative lifestyle agenda. Torchwood is just entertainment, not a political broadcast. Keep it that way, Russell, and your message will get further.

Call of Duty: World at War - PC
Call of Duty: World at War - PC
Offered by Digitalville
Price: $11.49
69 used & new from $6.30

36 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The most buggy game ever release, December 2, 2008
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
I love Call of Duty 4 so when Activision releases Call of Duty World at War I went out and bought it. I wish that I had read reviews about this game before purchasing this junk. The game install fine but when I tried to start the game in the solo mode, the game crash and even after I had followed Activision Tech support advice to disable my modem, reset my sound card to Basie mode, even editing my registry to set Directsound to Emulated and installing a 300 MB patch, my game still would not work. Activision also has some of the rudest tech support in the industry at least in my experience.

When a software company like Activision have to put out a 300+ MB patch just a week after this game was release you know their product is a piece of junk. If your idea of fun is to throw away $50 and spending hours troubleshooting a crappy game for Activision then this game is for you. If you are like most normal people who expect a product to work when you bought it then stay away from this piece of trash. It's fitting that this game is called World at War, you will be at war trying to get this buggy product to work.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2009 4:57 PM PDT

MySQL Stored Procedure Programming
MySQL Stored Procedure Programming
by Steven Feuerstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: $32.62
61 used & new from $11.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the first and only Mysql stored procedure book, September 17, 2008
This is the first and only book about Mysql stored procedured and since it was written by the query tuning guru Guy Harrison, it also includes nice tips on query tuning. Highly recommended, just be forewarn that this is for advance Mysql developers or DBA only. Also, be aware that Mysql stored procedure as of release 5.0 and 5.1 won't buy you much performance since Mysql parse stored procedures scripts every time it run unlike other RDBMS like Oracle and MSSQL. If you want better performance, you should make use of prepared statements inside a stored procedure.

High Performance MySQL: Optimization, Backups, Replication, and More
High Performance MySQL: Optimization, Backups, Replication, and More
by Jon Warren Lentz
Edition: Paperback
48 used & new from $0.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, September 17, 2008
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This is a must have book for any Mysql DBA who want to learn more about performance tuning beyond reading the explain plan. The only gripe I have is that aside from the Query Performance Optimization and Optimizing Server Settings section, the authors should have another section dealing specifically with Tuning Writes and Tuning Reads other than that it's an excellent book, it even includes snippets on Prepared statements which I used often along with stored procedures to optimize performance.

The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq
The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq
by Francis J. West
Edition: Hardcover
171 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the real resons behind why the troop surged works, September 16, 2008
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Lately people from McCain to Obama as well as television commentators and talk show hosts have talk about "the Surged" and how it help improved the military situation in Iraq, yet listening to all these people I realized these people don't have a clue of what they are talking about, these people assumed that just increasing troops level in Iraq automatically causes the situation in that country to improved. Bing West is the only author who have the experience in dealing with insurgency and the intelligent to correctly analyze and report on the what went wrong in Iraq and why the troops surge is working.

One of the reason why the war against insurgency did not work under Westmoreland in Viet Nam and during the first few years during the Iraq war was due to the stupidity and ignorant of those in command from Lyndon Baines Johnson to the current Idiot-in-Chief George W. Bush. Both Westmoreland and those generals before General Petraeus failed to understand that you cannot defeat the guerrillas by hiding in the "Green Zone" or in your outposts. You have to be among the people, you have to show the indigenous people that you actually willing to live among them and is willing to protect them. Forget about the "Hearts and Mind" stuff, forget about bribing people with contracts and refrigerators. Protect people, give people the means to protect themselves, earn their trust and respect and they will co-operate with you and only then will you be able to defeat the insurgents.

This is an excellent book for those who want to understand what actually goes on in Iraq and why the surge is working. Of course Iraq is not the only was this country is currently fighting, the U.S and Nato is losing badly in Afghanistan because we are still using the "search and destroy" crap and prefer to hided in outposts instead of clearing and holding territories. I wish that Bing West would go to Afghanistan and teach the people over there how to fight a guerrilla war.

Decisive Encounters: The Chinese Civil War, 1946-1950
Decisive Encounters: The Chinese Civil War, 1946-1950
by Odd Arne Westad
Edition: Paperback
Price: $24.42
37 used & new from $12.48

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lacking good analysis and not very well written, June 2, 2008
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I purchase this book hoping to learn something new only to be disappointed. For one thing, the author did correctly note that the Chinese Communist contribution to the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945 was minimal and most of their "operations" were propaganda in nature. Unlike the opinion of some other reviewer, the CPC (Communist Party of China) hardly ever engaged the Japanese in major battles but did have some nominal guerrilla skirmish against the Japanese. The CPC mostly concentrate on building their army and political network after their disastrous Long March.

As such, out of 22 major engagements (battles involving 100,000 men or more), the CPC participate in only 2 of them and only as a minor player. The Japanese view the Kuomintang as their only enemy as such most of the Japanese operations were against the Kuomintang.

What this author fails to articulate was the real reason why the KMT (Kuomintang) lost to the CPC. In my opinion the KMT lost due to three reasons. One of the reasons was the rampant corruption of the KMT. The second have to do with the stupidity of the Americans in forcing the KMT to "make peace" at the time when the KMT forces was successful in their offense against the CPC in 1946.

The third reason was the U.S coercion of the KMT to get rid of the warlords and troops who have co-operated with the Japanese during WWII. The Nationalists sacked over 1.5 million troops who have ties with the pro-Japanese government to support the Marshall Mission; this turned out to be a fatal mistake for Chiang Kai-shek and Nationalists. Almost none of the 1.5 million troops discharged belonged to Chiang's own forces, most of them belonging to warlords most of whom had collaborated with the Japanese during the war and later pledged their allegiance to Chiang Kai-shek and Nationalists. This move alienated many within the Nationalists. Nothing was done to help them integrate the sacked troops to integrate back into civilian life. Many protests and riots by the discharged soldiers broke out.

Larger number of the sacked troops either became bandits or most join the Communists. The largest Nationalist defection to the Communists occurred in Manchuria, where over half a million discharged Nationalist soldiers who have co-operated with the Japanese joined the Communist force giving the CPC a 1000% boost in men power. Another problem is that the sacked troops and generals knows the location to the huge Japanese weapons stockpiles in Manchuria, this stockpiles was turned over to the Communist and it was huge enough to sustain more than 700,000 troops for several years.

These reasons helps cemented the CPC victory in China. Apparently knowledge in history was greatly lacking in the Bush administration and the same mistake was made by the Americans during the early period of the Iraq occupation by sacking over 400,000 Iraqis who have served under Saddam as part of the "de-bathification". These 400,000 jobless and humiliated Iraqis ex-soldiers and their families may have joins the Iraqis insurgents.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 29, 2009 10:36 PM PDT

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