The man being interviewed on the BBC was articulate. He wanted information about Saudi Arabia’s role in the 9/11 attacks to be declassified. He said at least three times, “We want President Biden to be at our side. He should have our backs.” And I wondered: “How can he be at your side and also have your back?” All I could imagine was an awkward sideways hug, but even that wouldn’t do both simultaneously.

The headline asked a question of no importance to me: Is Jeff Bezos an Astronaut?

I was mildly surprised when the woman of about my age and education asked, “What is hash?” I was more surprised, when her husband—the couple lived in San Antonio–pronounced Jose with a jay sound.

“Were it not for bunglers in the manner of doing it, hardly any would ever find out he was laughed at.” Marquis of Halifax.

It is fair and right to question how our Afghani withdrawal was carried out. But it is also clear that after twenty years and more than a trillion dollars, the United States has failed in Afghanistan. Even so, I see on TV people who were involved in our Afghan policies—diplomats, intelligence officials, military officers—opine on that failure but never on their own responsibility for the overall debacle. All of these people helped produce the disaster. Why should anyone listen to them? They have been consistently wrong, even though they don’t seem ever to tell us what fools they were.

 “If I blunder, everyone can notice it; not so, if I lie.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

The formulators of our Afghan policies fall into a group similar to those who believe Space Jam was a documentary.

“Two bears can’t live in one cave.” Old Russian proverb. Ben Mezrich, Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs—A True Story of Ambition, Wealth, Betrayal, and Murder.

How do those who believe in American exceptionalism explain our role in Afghanistan?

A recent Nova Scotia election was won by Progressive Conservatives. Again we should be mystified by Canada. How can there be a progressive conservative? Certainly none exist in the United States.

In August, a half hour after sundown, a cacophonous, stereophonic symphony of cicadas led by an invisible conductor breaks out. The spouse does not like this music. For me it is a sound of summer. When that music ends, summer is over.

“The amount of sleep required by the average person is about five minutes more.” Max Kauffmann

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