Got the first run of peaches done today and another run of kraut. Gonna get the next run of peaches done on Tuesday. Had an entire cask of kraut go bad on me this year. Opened it up and 2-3 times the normal mold, and when I lifted the weights and then the cheesecloth, it just did not smell right, was mushy, and had a snotty like viscosity. I just chucked it all in the compost bin. No point taking any chances.
John Cole started Balloon Juice early in 2002. Those who have followed along know that this has been quite the journey.
What is happening right now in Afghanistan is horrifying. It’s awful. Tens of thousands of people will be slaughtered, the women and children of the area will be sent backwards in history hundreds of years, chaos and brutality and backwards ass theology will rule the day, and it will be awful for a long time to come. And it was all entirely predictable and completely inevitable:
Taliban fighters captured the major city of Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan on Saturday, sending Afghan forces fleeing, and drew closer to Kabul as Western countries scrambled to evacuate their citizens from the capital.
It was the latest important victory for the hardline militants, who have swept through the country in recent weeks as U.S.-led forces withdrew. Kabul and Jalalabad, in eastern Afghanistan, are now the only big cities not in Taliban hands.
U.S. President Joe Biden said on Saturday he was authorizing the deployment of 5,000 troops to help evacuate citizens and ensure an “orderly and safe” drawdown of U.S. military personnel. A U.S. defence official said that included 1,000 newly approved troops from the 82nd Airborne Division.
We’ll see a lot of blame thrown at Joe Biden over the next couple of months, and no doubt right-wingers will blame him for “losing” Afghanistan, but most of it is bullshit. Are there some things that could possibly have been done better? Sure. Much of the bitching by our warrior class is focused on the timing of the withdrawal (often ignoring the fact that it was Trump who set the original date), saying we should have waited until the winter when the majority of the Taliban will be at home and it won’t be “the fighting season,” the name for what you and I know as summer and fall. And I suppose he could have. And then we would be reading all of these headlines next spring and summer instead of right now. That’s the thing about delaying the inevitable, it is, in fact, just a delay. This was going to happen no matter when we left and there is nothing anyone can say that will convince me otherwise.
Just like every other empire that before us tried to go in and “fix” things in Afghanistan, we have cut and run and will get to live through the ignominy of gruesome pictures of fallen innocents and backwards goatherders driving around in our HMMW’s and other abandoned equipment, and we’ll hear about the damage to America’s image and reputation, and what not, but this was baked in from the moment we decided to go there and stay in the first place after failing to do the one thing we set out to do.
There is a reason terms like “mission creep” exist. There is a reason when I was a young E-3 my tank commander and Troop CO gave me reading lists, and included on those lists were books like Bernard Fall’s Street Without Joy and A Bright Shining Lie and All Quiet on the Western Front and About Face and so many others that sit on my bookshelf to this day. There were lessons to be learned. And we didn’t learn them, myself included. I will grapple with my own culpability the rest of my life.
And I know that my seeming nonchalant writing here about this can seem smarmy and irritating, and I hope that is not what you are taking from this. It’s horrible. I feel terrible for all those innocents. I feel terrible for all our guys who served there and are dealing with trauma and injuries, barely getting their lives back together finally, only to turn on the tv, stare at the horrible images unfolding while glancing at the scarred stumps where their legs and arms used to be, realizing everything they gave everything for has turned out to be nothing.
But while this horror is occurring right now, we can still take advantage of the opportunity to learn this lesson once more. Maybe this will save us a couple generations of needless military adventurism, like Vietnam did before we went and fucked up our memories in Gulf War I and thought war was easy again. Stop listening to the war pigs. Ignore them. Stop listening to the Kagans and Ledeens and the Cheneys and the Kristols and the Tom Cottons and the Friedmans and that one curly hair young twat name Michael something or other who was all over the tv in the late aughts. Don’t let this happen again.
The only people who benefited from the last twenty years were Haliburton and Lockheed Martin.
For the umpteenth time in the last few months, my power has been on and off all damned day because of the storms, which are not going to go away but just keep getting worse and worse over the years, and I have caught a case of the ass am officially fucking over it. You can’t do anything when it happens because it is either raining or snowing like hell out, or too dark, and sooner or later we’re gonna lose power for an extended period of time.
This didn’t use to be so annoying because I would just sit on the porch and drink. But, you know, that is not an option anymore.
So what do you know about them?
My new personal hero:
I was in a mood all day. I had a headache, it rained all day, and everything pissed me off. On the upside, as I noted elsewhere, I did learn how to tell the difference between male and female frogs, and it is not, as I guessed, little green balls, but that male frogs croak. Same with toads. So he is, in fact, Mr. Frog, and not Miss or Mrs. Frog.
Here is Mr. Frog, and my mom was quite excited about this one for whatever reason:
Be good to one another.
This really is going to become a thing, isn’t it?
At any rate, we had violent thunderstorms all day which means that both I and Mr. Frog took long naps, and mom could not find him, so here is a picture from another day:
Can you find him?
Oh, I think I missed my soberversary again. I think I am at 8 or 9 years.
I am so tired of these covidiots:
Hannah Lindeborg wanted to pull out all the stops for her daughter’s second birthday in July, especially after the pandemic derailed the family celebration for her first last year.
The second birthday would be the first big gathering with extended family since Covid-19 came into their lives, Ms. Lindeborg said, adding that she looked forward to hosting everybody over at her home in St. Paul, Minn.
When she learned some of her family members had chosen not to get vaccinated, “it was just kind of downhill from there,” she said.
From family gatherings to weddings to workplaces, vaccinated Americans are drawing new, sharper lines around who they choose to spend time with amid the rise of the highly-transmissible Delta variant. And the unvaccinated are growing testy over being excluded and feeling judged for exercising their right to make their own health choices. The divisions are straining relationships among families, neighbors and colleagues.
Ms. Lindeborg, 30 years old, is an attorney and mother of four, including a 5-year-old son with asthma. She and her husband tried to figure out how to host everyone while telling the unvaxxed ones to remain outside. They considered uninviting the unvaccinated. Ultimately, they canceled the party.
I hate how all these selfish pricks think they are the only ones who get to make choices. You chose to not get vaccinated, and others choose NOT TO BE AROUND YOU. If you want to die, fine, but you have no right to take me with you.
They really don’t want choices. They want to decide and then the rest of us has to deal with their decisions. That’s not how choices work, and you can just keep your selfish ass at home.