Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

America’s longest war is officially over. The last plane left Afghanistan leaving behind a little over 100 Americans, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The current belief is that they should still be able to leave the country. But that of course is up to the Taliban at this point, which seems a little precarious to me. The Taliban is, however claiming victory. The New York Times reports, Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesman, congratulated Afghans as he toured the airport. “This victory belongs to us all.”  Ummm, OK.

America’s longest war was messy from start to finish and claimed more than 2,400 American lives. The exit was abysmal and added 13 to our loss count. The original plan was to leave the US Embassy open and give billions of dollars of support to the now non-existent Afghan government, but of course that plan went to hell in a handbasket. We now will shift our U.S. diplomatic presence to Doha, Qatar. But, the war is over and we will continue to hear about this for years to come. Prepare yourselves.

In other news, New Orleans and the Gulf Coast’s history with powerful hurricanes continues, with Ida. The first death was reported Sunday and the total stands at 4 as of now, but that is likely to change. The storm also brought major floods, downed trees, and power outages for a million homes and businesses. It will take weeks to restore power to everyone. FEMA has been deployed to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. As the storm is underway, everyone’s eyes are on the levees, which were upgraded following Hurricane Katrina. Keep all those in Ida’s path in your prayers.

War on Games

Do you like video games? Play them all the time? Could you cut your game playing time down to 1 hour per day on the weekends and holidays? China thinks their people can. The China National Press and Publication Administration passed a law limiting video games to 3 hours per week. It states there will be no online videogames during the school week, and one hour a day on Fridays, weekends and public holidays. In other words minors, those under 18 years of age, are only permitted to play between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday – Sunday and public holidays. These rules cover all devices, including cell phones. 

I’m sure you’re wondering, how will this be enforced? All online games must connect to an “anti-addiction” system operated by the National Press and Publication Administration. And all users have to register with their legal names and government-issued ID. This is the latest attempt by China to curb their “youth video game addiction.”  Previously, Tencent Holdings, Ltd, the world’s largest video game company tried limiting game time for China’s youth by automatically booting players off after a certain time and using facial-recognition to ensure registered users were the ones playing. 

This attack on the gaming industry is part of a broader initiative by Beijing to curb tech growth. State media has described the growth of China’s tech giants, such as Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings as  “savage.”  Beijing’s goal is “the prevention of disorderly expansion of capital,” and to curb the monopolistic and unfair competition of the big companies. 

I mean that’s one way to do it.

Give Me Liberty Or . . .

Liberty University has had it. They issued a campus-wide quarantine because of their rise in COVID-19 cases. As of this weeked they had 159 active cases on campus. This number includes students and teachers alike. For reference, there are 15K students and 5K faculty. The quarantine period is from Aug. 30 to Sept 10. All classes will be virtual and large indoor events are cancelled. But don’t worry football will continue as usual. 

“We are taking the necessary steps and actions to lighten the burden to our medical service providers, the local hospital resources, and to do our part to keep our community safe,” said Keith Anderson, executive director of Liberty’s Student Health Center and Wellness Initiatives. “We understand the severity of the pandemic and desire to act swiftly to ensure the health and safety of our campus.”

People: Virginia’s Liberty University Announces Campus-Wide Quarantine amid Rise in COVID Cases

Liberty encourages but does not require masks and vaccines. I think history has shown that not requiring this of people means they won’t do it. But having your school quarantined might get some people to take precautions; others will not and they may have to do this again. Good luck Liberty!