(How are these people so sweet to us?) I think Laotians love their children too

From 1964 to 1973, the U.S. dropped more than two million tons of ordnance on Laos during 580,000 bombing missions—equal to a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes, 24-hours a day, for 9 years – making Laos the most heavily bombed country per capita in history.

The bombings were part of the U.S. Secret War in Laos to support the Royal Lao Government against the Pathet Lao and to interdict traffic along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The bombings destroyed many villages and displaced hundreds of thousands of Lao civilians during the nine-year period.

Up to a third of the bombs dropped did not explode, leaving Laos contaminated with vast quantities of unexploded ordnance (UXO). Over 20,000 people have been killed or injured by UXO in Laos since the bombing ceased. The wounds of war are not only felt in Laos. When the Americans withdrew from Laos in 1973, hundreds of thousands of refugees fled the country, and many of them ultimately resettled in the United States.

Here are some other startling facts about the U.S. bombing of Laos and its tragic aftermath:

Over 270 million cluster bombs were dropped on Laos during the Vietnam War (210 million more bombs than were dropped on Iraq in 1991, 1998 and 2006 combined); up to 80 million did not detonate.
Nearly 40 years on, less than 1% of these munitions have been destroyed. More than half of all confirmed cluster munitions casualties in the world have occurred in Laos.
Each year there are now just under 50 new casualties in Laos, down from 310 in 2008. Close to 60% of the accidents result in death, and 40% of the victims are children.
Between 1993 and 2016, the U.S. contributed on average $4.9M per year for UXO clearance in Laos; the U.S. spent $13.3M per day (in 2013 dollars) for nine years bombing Laos.
In just ten days of bombing Laos, the U.S. spent $130M (in 2013 dollars), or more than it has spent in clean up over the past 24 years ($118M).


(There are no clean political hands or parties on this, anywhere)



Tomorrow and ongoing, a class question at Off Piste School.

“Indonesia’s central bank has issued a fresh warning about trading in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin because of the risk of losses to the public and even a potential threat to the stability of the financial system.

The ownership of virtual currencies is high risk and prone to speculation because there is no authority who takes responsibility, there is no official administrator and there is no underlying asset to be the basis for the price,” BI spokesman Agusman said in a statement issued late on Friday.”

I would like these fine folks at the central banks all over the world to explain to me why one piece of paper with a 100 written on it is worth more than the one with 20 written on it.

The fiat currency class @Off Piste School is on-going.

Question today: 8100 Lao Kip to the US dollar.

1. Explain  how? And why?
2. Explain fiat currency as myth, as artificial social construct.


Try to get to Laos before it’s ruined. LP is like Chiang Mai or Ubud Bali 20+ years ago.

Very sad what we did to these people.

Today we are off to the UXO museum (Unexploded Ordinance), then prosthetics museum. And we are watching the Ken Burns movies on Vietnam (ex Annika). But Vietnam is not simply Vietnam.

Our guide on the two day long boat drive down the Mekong River was very candid, used “what you did to my people”…then switched to “America”

Tough to swallow truth. Off Piste school rolls on. I sense the second semester are the graduate level classes.

How can these people be so sweet to us after what we’ve done here?

We prefer “cultural appreciation” to “cultural appropriation”.