HAPPY BIRTHDAY AFGHANISTAN

Yes, it is Happy Birthday Afghanistan! Sixteen years ago, the United States invaded Afghanistan. The war has turned out to be the longest in U.S. history.

No end in sight. Getting worse.

Thousands of American dead. Thousands more maimed.

Civilian deaths increasing.

Death rate of children is up 9 percent from 2016. Women, 23 percent.

From 2015-2016, opium production up 43 percent. The war, graft, and money responsible.

Sixteen years ago, the number of opium poppy fields was low. The Taliban were anti-opium production and had forced production to be dramatically reduced.

Then came the U.S. invasion. The invasion the major reason for the substantial rise in production. The Taliban were defeated. Today, Afghanistan provides 90 percent of the world’s opium supply.

I have written and said the past few years how interesting it is that with all the warring and battles going on in Afghanistan, not one poppy field has been destroyed. Our people die. Afghans, also. The poppy fields and those working them, not.

The reason is simple. Washington mandates their protection. Called politics. Our Marines serving in Afghanistan are guarding the poppy fields.

Many Afghans are dependent on poppy work for their livelihoods. They live better than those not involved who are indiscriminately being killed.

There is a fear in Washington that if the poppy fields were destroyed, the people supporting the U.S. would turn against us. Instead of eradication, the U.S. supports a change in what is grown. The U.S. has a program of teaching Afghans how to grow other things such as wheat and corn.

Not smart. For one simple reason. There is not the same monies to be made off wheat and corn. Poppy much more profitable. Significantly so.

The Marines know it. They take their orders from Washington, however. No matter how you view it, Washington is pursuing a path that will not lead to eliminating the poppy fields.

With all the money being made, there has to be some changing hands. Who, how, when, where, I do not know. However you do not have to be a genius to recognize it has to be a fact.

Poppy becomes opium. Opium, heroin. Heroin rampant on the streets of the United States. Killing many every day.

Overdosing has resulted in a tsunami of bodies. Opioids a crisis. Trump campaigned that opioids were a crisis and he would deal with it as such when elected. He appointed a Commission immediately to study and report back with recommendations for him. The Commission did. It said opioids were a crisis and the U.S. should pursue it as such.

Trump declined to do so. He changed his position. He claimed it was not a crisis and could be dealt with effectively on a non-crisis basis.

In the meantime, the medical field claims opioids constitute the worst epidemic in drug history. Medical examiners/coroners cannot keep up with the number of bodies to be autopsied. Many are leaving the field.

In 2016, there were 64,000 overdose deaths. Bodies awaiting autopsy are backing up. Cold storage trailers are being used to hold bodies awaiting autopsy. Some medical examiners are requiring those delivering the bodies to find another place for them till they are ready to perform the autopsy.

Such is the story of Afghanistan on this the 16th year of the war. A terrible evolution. No resolution in sight.

I wanted to watch Syracuse/Pitt yesterday afternoon. Stayed home to watch it from the comfort of the couch. The game was not available via Comcast on any channel. Sad because Syracuse won. 27-24. I would have enjoyed watching my team win.

The Chart Room first last night. David, Shaun, and Kevin. Met Ray. Visiting from Cape Coral. Comes down several times a year.

NRA and politics topics of discussion. No one yelled at anyone. Kevin behaved himself.

Stopped at La Te Da for a bite to eat afterwards.

A post Irma report.

Progress being made. However, slowly. Too much debris and too much damage. Everyone busting their ass. Recovery will take time.

Some places not open yet. Others advising they will not be open for Fantasy Fest. The list long of those who will be open by Fantasy fest and those that will not. Included are 2 Cents, Virgilio’s, Better Than Sex, Regal Cinema, Burger King, and the Yamaha dealership.

Molly died. Molly the dolphin. Fifty plus years old. The matriarch at the Dolphin Research Center.

Molly is believed to have been the oldest living dolphin in captivity.

In her senior years, Molly took to watching over the new born. In grandmotherly fashion. Helping to raise them, teaching them.

Happy birthday to William Hackley. He turned 50 on October 7, 1856.

Robots keep coming! Used in one business today, another the next.

The newest robot is Sally the Salad Robot. Sally’s┬ásole function is to serve as a salad bar of sorts. Apparently, a Sally is needed. Salad bars are magnets for bacteria and viruses.

A Silicon Valley company called Chowbotics manufacturing Sally robots.

Neo-Nazis have returned to Charlottesville for the third time since the August 12 confrontation. Quick visits by a small group. In and out. Led by Richard Spencer, an alt-right leader and founder.

The Mayor said, “You’re not welcome here! Go home!”

The neo-Nazis chant during their visits: “You will not replace us. You will not erase us. / “We’re back and we’re going to keep coming back.” / “Get used to the alt-right. You’re going to have to get used to white identity.”

Enjoy your Sunday!