Anything But Basic

It’s time to talk about Afghanistan. Quick history lesson: In 1996, the Taliban took control of Kabal, the capital of Afghanistan.  The Taliban in all their infinite wisdom crushed women’s rights and banned girls from going to school. They also prohibited TV and music. Then 911. After 911, the Taliban hid Osama bin Laden. Thus war. Twenty years later, tens of thousands lives, and millions displaced, we are still there and President Biden says enough is enough. He announced in July that US troops are leaving by the end of August.

It’s August and the Taliban decided to get a jump start on mayhem. The Taliban has staked claim to over at least 10 provincial capitol cities in rural parts of the country. This gives them control of over 65% of the country. Civilians are fleeing to Kabul. Reports say people are sleeping on the street and hungry. The fear is that the Taliban could take control within 90 days. The US has carried out airstrikes in the last few weeks. Yet, the US has also withdrawn almost 95% of our troops. Biden has said he doesn’t regret the decision to pull out and is urging Afghan leaders to fight for their nation. 

As of yesterday, two more major cities,  Kandahar, and Herat, were on the verge of Taliban control, with recents reports stating Kandahar has fallen. Only four major cities — including the capital, Kabul — remained under government control. Some American officials fear the Afghan government will implode within 30 days, and are preparing for an evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.  Afghans pouring into Kabul and those still in Taliban-held areas say they have witnessed unprovoked attacks on civilians and executions of captured soldiers. In addition, they say, Taliban commanders have demanded that communities turn over unmarried women to become “wives” for their fighters—a form of sexual violence, human-rights groups say. President Biden is now sending 3,000 fresh troops to the Kabul airport to help with a partial evacuation of the U.S. Embassy.

“This is not abandonment. This is not an evacuation. This is not a wholesale withdrawal,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said. “What this is is a reduction in the size of our civilian footprint.”

Associated Press: US sending 3K troops for partial Afghan embassy evacuation

The situation in Afghanistan is volatile and dangerous, to say the least. The civilians are the ones to watch, as their condition is declining fast. As of now though, it looks like the US is pulling out as planned.

Extra! Extra!

“U.S. regulators say transplant recipients and others with severely weakened immune systems can get an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to better protect them as the delta variant continues to surge. The late-night announcement by the Food and Drug Administration applies to several million Americans who are especially vulnerable because of organ transplants, certain cancers or other disorders. Several other countries, including France and Israel, have similar recommendations.” Associated Press: Extra COVID vaccine OK’d for those with weak immune systems

Might as well, we have a lot of unused ones. 

Minority Report

Hide yo wife, Hide yo kids! The Census just proved what many already knew: The US is more diverse than ever. 

The U.S. became more diverse and more urban over the past decade, and the non-Hispanic white population dropped for the first time on record, the Census Bureau reported Thursday as it released a trove of demographic data that will be used to redraw the nation’s political maps.

Americans continued to migrate to the South and West at the expense of the Midwest and Northeast, the figures showed. The share of the white population fell from 63.7% in 2010 to 57.8% in 2020, the lowest on record, driven by falling birthrates among white women compared with Hispanic and Asian women. The number of non-Hispanic white people shrank from 196 million in 2010 to 191 million.

Some demographers cautioned that the white population was not shrinking as much as shifting to multiracial identities. The number of people who identified as belonging to two or more races more than tripled from 9 million people in 2010 to 33.8 million in 2020. They now account for 10% of the U.S

Associated Press:  Census shows US is diversifying, white population shrinking

It is highly likely that the minority populations were undercounted, per usual. What the census does show is that the Black population grew over 5%, Asian and Hispanic populations grew 35% and 23% respectively. But, what does white population “shift” not decline mean? What happened to the one drop rule? I guess it doesn’t apply when the numbers are not on your side. Either way, I predict the next white flight will be to space. You heard it here first.

Change Time

It is time for the NCAA to do better. When it comes to women they have a history of epic fails. Here’s the latest: 

The NCAA said that its long investigation of the Baylor sexual assault scandal would result in nothing more than probation and other relatively minor sanctions because the egregious, “unacceptable” behavior at the heart of the case did not violate its rules.

The NCAA ruling came more than five years after the scandal rocked the world’s largest Baptist university, leading to the firing of successful football coach Art Briles and the departure of athletic director Ian McCaw and school president Ken Starr.

The panel said Baylor admitted to moral and ethical failings in its handling of violence on the Waco campus but argued “that those failings, however egregious, did not constitute violations of NCAA legislation.”

Associated Press: NCAA hands Baylor probation, fine in sex assault scandal

This sexual assault “scandal” involved 17 women and 19 former football players. So while the NCAA says Baylor’s actions were unacceptable they, also, in the same breath, said they didn’t break any rules. Why Not? Why is there no rule that says sexual misconduct must be reported. Their punishment, a $5000 fine and four years probation. Yea, that’ll show them.