We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
For the left, it provided long-term goals, criteria for distinguishing progress from retreat in making short-term compromises, and a kind of definition of the just society. For the right, it was a foil to be combated and averted — an archetype of soulless, stifling bureaucratic hubris — and it helped put objections to seemingly modest individual leftward steps into a broader, more coherent context. But both ends of our politics seemed implicitly to agree that, left to its own momentum, this is where our country was headed — where history would take us if no one stood athwart it yelling stop.
Afghanistan reminds me of one of those wolf spider, the one that is carrying around all the babies. The one you step on and get the momma and maybe a few of the little ones, but suddenly there seem to be hundreds of little spiders scattering everywhere. Or maybe a fungus. It seems to me that has been the experience in Afghanistan. We stepped on a Taliban puffball but only managed to scatter Taliban spores everywhere.
A big problem with Afghanistan is our "ally" in Pakistan. Better to get out of both places and keep a blockade over both countries. No one in and no one out. No more madrassa training in Pakistan for inhabitants of Londonistan.