Wednesday, July 28, 2021
I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness...The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark 1996
Not for me but for the blog.
You see, I have lost the ability to edit my sidebars. It just happened this morning.
When I wrote Google a few months ago with another similar issue they told me that the code and platform is hopelessly outdated and would not be repaired.
I have tried to restart, fix and solve the problem as best as I can and have tried it out in multiple browsers.
Maybe it is stuffed with rotten code at this point I don't know but I am going to attempt to change to a more modern theme and see what happens. Have backed up my content into an xml file just to be safe, not that I would know what to do with it after a system crash, mind you.
And if it all goes to hell, well, all things must come to an end and it has been a good ride.
Wish me luck!
postscript: I changed the theme, still can't edit my sidebar gadgets. But at least my blog content did not disappear!
I get an answer.
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
“Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures. You know, if you didn't know the TV footage was a video from January the sixth, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”Rep. Andrew Clyde (R) Georgia
Monday, July 26, 2021
Our national women's soccer team lost. Too bad. We usually win. Nobody wins all the time That is life. But a certain ex president is totally out of line for suggesting it is because the team is too "woke." The orange monster suggested that we boo them yesterday. What a wanker. This team has been woke for a long time and their winning average is way better than his is.
Speaking of the Olympics, I agree that it is sexist and ridiculous to make the woman's handball players wear bikinis instead of the shorts they would prefer to wear. Very bogus. They are there to play a sport, not titillate horny men.
Re: the Olympics did you know that from 1912 until 1948 there were medals for art? The art competitions were grouped into five broad categories: architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture. This went on until 1928 when several categories were eliminated.
I was having lunch with a very good friend who hales from the right wing of the spectrum the other day. He does not particularly enjoy wading into political discourse. He says that he really enjoys certain aspects of the blog like the music and photos but hates my political diatribes. Wishes there was a filter. I dig.
It is funny. I have friends on the left side of the ledger who want more politics. You can't please everybody, that is for sure. You are either too this or too that. The reality is that you have to be yourself. I hope that I have enough intellectual integrity to call them either way, fairly. At least that is what I try to do. But it will never be enough, certainly not enough for my cowardly anonymous trolls.
So my objective after all these years is kind of like this. I have an opinion. I am open with that opinion, even opinionated. I don't trust those that don't have an opinion. If you have an opinion and you are man or woman enough to state it publicly, support it with facts and not anonymously, I endeavor to share it no matter how far it is from my own.this sort of shit, although admittedly it happens very infrequently, considering this nasty world we live in.
So my internal rule is this; try not to alienate those that think differently and still want to enjoy the other parts of the blog and only go political when it feels like there is an imperative to do so. Don't jump at every low hanging fruit.
Having said all this in my lengthy preamble I would like to, once again, talk about January 6. It is obvious that the GOP does not want to talk about it. After all, was it not just a bunch of boisterous tourists, escorted in by police chaperones and antifa plants? Could you not feel all the love in the air as our ex President suggests?
No, the Republicans do not want to talk about motivation or about certain politicians and government officials pouring gasoline on the fire. They want to blame Nancy Pelosi for a lack of security. To me that is like having a burglar breaking into your front door and then blaming the door company rather than the perpetrator.
And I think it needs to be mentioned that both Senate and House Sergeant of arms were appointed by Republicans, not Nancy Pelosi. And that the cry for the National Guard and military assistance was deliberately slow played and went for naught.
If you want to have a hearing on leftwing political violence, Portland, Minneapolis and the Floyd riots, I say fine. Have another commission. But not at this hearing. This was a singular event that needs to be examined and not swept under the rug. People like Mo Brooks, Josh Hawley, Jim Banks, Jim Jordan, Marjorie Tayler Greene, Boebert, McCarthy and Trump need to be subpoenaed and on the witness stand, disclose their part in the mayhem.
You had your chance to have a fully bipartisan commission and you voted it down. Now you are whining because Pelosi won't let two guys at least partially responsible for the trainwreck, having decertified the Biden victory, drive the locomotive again. Did you know that Banks went to the southern border with one of the insurrectionists after January 6 went down, Anthony Aguero?
Everybody, from either side of the aisle, needs to be accountable. I can't wait to hear the hearing start and I want to hear from the Capitol police. They deserved better.
Sunday, July 25, 2021
I was going through some things in my files today when I came across this Gilbert Shelton drawn program for a show I had once attended. It was one of the most amazing concert experiences I have ever had. The statute of limitations on past psychonautry must be up by now for god's sake, I think I am safe to spill.
It was the fall of 1978. I was hanging out up in Bluebird Canyon in Laguna Beach with a bunch of kindred souls when one of my psychedelic rat pack at the time mentioned that there was going to be a great concert up in the Bay Area. The Legendary Tribal Stop. Hmmm, should we go?
We looked in the Laguna underground newspaper at the time and saw an ad for a limousine company, appropriately named Jeff's Starship. Perfect. We called him up and negotiated a price and things fell together seamlessly. Our little hippie family would travel north in style in a black limousine. And we did.
The cast of characters were loosely, as follows, Jack and E and their youngest daughter. They had lived in the Haight Ashbury in the glory years and were known as ma and pa gummy bear for their favored delivery method for the acid sacrament.
Our british expat pal Mina came along, fresh from Kathmandu. I think Lance took up the rear guard, but then again he and C. may have stayed home. In any case, a very seasoned cadre of tripsters. We whipped up a bunch of cubensis smoothies and made our way to the bay.
We got to the show and were warmly greeted by an old friend who was promoting the show, Chet Helms. Chet was a Texas classmate of Janis, a one time partner of Bill Graham and sort of an anti graham in his effusive hippie ethos and his approach to hippie music and promotion. More about the experience than the money. At some point that day, he signed my program. Later in life we met through the art business.
Saturday, July 24, 2021
Champion supposed freedom of speech but cancel athletes and tell them they have to shut up. Laura Ingraham is her own worst disease.
And re: the Cleveland Indians thing, isn't it the right of a private business to call their team whatever they want to? The new guardians name is taken from some stone figures that surround the city, I was hoping for the Shondors.
And if Ben and Jerry's wants to limit sales of its ice cream in the occupied territories, that is their right too.
Guess who is really behind the pandemic?
“I don’t want you here, in the room or in my country,” Clapton declared. “Listen to me, man! I think we should vote for Enoch Powell. Enoch’s our man. I think Enoch’s right, I think we should send them all back. Stop Britain from becoming a black colony. Get the foreigners out. Get the wogs out. Get the coons out. Keep Britain white. I used to be into dope, now I’m into racism. It’s much heavier, man. Fucking wogs, man. Fucking Saudis taking over London. Bastard wogs. Britain is becoming overcrowded and Enoch will stop it and send them all back. The black wogs and coons and Arabs and fucking Jamaicans and fucking… don’t belong here, we don’t want them here. This is England, this is a white country, we don’t want any black wogs and coons living here. We need to make clear to them they are not welcome. England is for white people, man. We are a white country. I don’t want fucking wogs living next to me with their standards. This is Great Britain, a white country. What is happening to us, for fuck’s sake?”
I love my country, salute my flag when appropriate and have never kneeled after a touchdown.
I have not given up on the good old U.S. of A. and never will although I hope that it, like its citizens, can be the best that it can aspire to be.
Still, I have noticed a strange phenomenon of late.
It seems that it is not enough to love and admire your country.
Now we must show the extent of that patriotism by the size of the flag in our pickup truck.
Woe to those that fail to make the grade and not show enough of Betsy Ross's canvas. And the truck has to be really loud!
Friday, July 23, 2021
My old kung fu teacher's sister texted me this morning. David was doing well, considering the circumstances, no longer eating but he was surrounded by flowers and seemed to be at peace in the hospital.
I had two meetings already scheduled in Escondido and I texted her back and asked if I could visit him at Palomar Hospital today. She said that she would check and get back to me. I was in the mood for Korean bibimbop and was meeting Ken at a place off Nordahl for lunch.
I got the text as I was walking in to the restaurant, there would be no physical goodbye, he had passed over the rainbow bridge this very morning.
Pancreatic cancer is such a tough enemy. I have lost several strong people I love to it, including David Willey and Garry Cohen. Not much I can say. May they rest in peace.
Thursday, July 22, 2021
I received this message from Google today. You blog followers who get the blast automatically will have to make different arrangements, you are not going to get the thing automatically anymore. It is out of my hands, I have nothing to do with it. Google giveth, Google taketh away...
Bookmark my blog on your browser and visit from time to time. Or copy www.blueheronblast.com and put the url in your address bar. Very simple.
You're still here? Really?
Okay, here goes. There are a lot of very strange people in this world of ours. You never really know until you know, you know? In my early twenties I was a call in meter reader for the local power company. I was at a read in Vista when one day, a man came up to me complaining about his bill.
He was a typical "normal" looking guy. I made a mistake. I pushed his front door in and said, "Let's take a look at that meter." Uninvited, not thinking. Going to cut through the house.
I heard a shriek and a woman's scream and was flabbergasted looking around. She darted into a back room, seeking immediate cover.
I quickly assayed the situation. The living room was a large open space, basically no furniture. The floor was bare concrete but there were small patches of avocado green carpet left extant in a few areas. These patches had withstood the droppings and urine of the hundreds of rabbits jumping around in every direction on the floor. The bunnies had destroyed the rest of the rug like it had been hit by a toxic spill. Like nothing you have ever seen or smelled before, never prior or since had I walked into something so bizarre.
These people were living like prehistoric cave people in a home that had been, I assume, voluntarily given up to the coneys. I will never forget the sight as long as I live. And you would never know how weird they were until you were inside their domicile. As I said, they looked so freaking normal.
Of course if any of you have a similar living arrangement inside your home with the barn animals of your choice, I say that is your business. We live in America, where freedom still rings, well supposedly anyway. Have at it. You can live in a pigsty for all I care, literally or figuratively.
A friend of mine called me a few weeks ago, said he had the weirdest estate ever. His name and general location are redacted. I queried him regarding the situation.
He gulped and swallowed and let me have it. "I am selling the estate of a fecalphiliac."
"What the hell is that?" I asked him.
He gave me the rundown. His client, who now has severe dementia, liked to be pooped on. Or maybe he was the pooper? I never really got it straight. Some people go through their lives trying not to get shit on, for this guy apparently the reverse was true, took to it like flies on stink.
A Trump supporting republican, not that his political persuasion matters one iota, the man seemed perfectly normal in real life. But he would record all of his scatological encounters with surgical precision and keep incredible detailed records.
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
article over at the Huffpo regarding the most popular baby names last year by individual state.
You don't have to be a genius to see that the country is being run over by an epidemic of Olivias, Olivers and Liams. Exactly how did this happen?
Now I have nothing against a Liam, even have one for a nephew (before it was so hip) but how do you account for the onslaught?
Are all the Emmas and Charlottes a signal that the womenfolk have been watching too many Downton Abbey reruns?
Are we going back to Jane Eyre?
And the Noah thing is interesting, both coasts now flooded with the moniker. Better grab an oar.
What is up with the old testament being now suddenly hip while Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, not to mention dare I say, Robert, get no love at all? Elijah is trending at number four. Who exactly are we cancelling here?
Mississippi is one of the few states that sported a favorite name that was loved in my ancient time, James. How delightfully old fashioned!
Definitely check out the map, soon we will be a land consisting entirely of Liams, Olivias, Noahs and Olivers and everybody else better damn well pick a side.
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
It was an interesting week, with normal ups and downs as usual but on balance, with more ups. As I wrote, I was knocked out and received a biopsy on Friday the 9th. This was to take some test samples of a strange bump in a diverticuli in my bladder and find out if it was cancerous or not.
Reality is I am awful lucky to have a bladder at this point, having undergone a stage four malignancy in the laminar wall, not even two years ago. Stage four in the wall, they replace all of your plumbing. If I had listened to the first three doctors I would be pissing through my belly button out of a neobladder constructed from my large intestine right now. I just couldn't do it.
Luckily I found a doctor who would listen and went through a BCG immunotherapy regimen that bought me at least another year. Pretty remarkable really. Never stop being your own fiercest medical advocate. You have more invested in you than anybody else does and you have to keep fighting for yourself or you can quickly become a statistic. Because it is your skin in the game.
Anyway, I had the procedure and the doctor said she would let me know when she got the biopsy results and no lifting (she was worried about bleeding) but I had a new van to pack and went ahead and gutted it out. Because I had a show in San Francisco and setup was Wednesday at noon. Didn't really have any choice with the grunt work, people offered to help but it doesn't really work. I have to pack a certain way.
I finished Monday night and took off for Monterey Tuesday morning. I stayed at Vlad and Natashas', he cooked us a nice meal and I was up at five and out the door. I planned on driving up the coast on the 1 to the 92, cut over at Half Moon Bay towards the South Bay.
You have to leave early to not get embroiled in Santa Cruz traffic and if you go this way, it takes a lot less time then it would on the 101 and is sure a lot prettier. You pass the Pigeon's Point lighthouse and Bean Hollow and all sorts of places I like to kick around in. I didn't take pictures this time but enjoyed mostly having the road to myself along with a few surfers in their vans.
I unloaded and was stunned to see that my long time associate Paul, the large Samoan who runs the parking and setup crew, had lost his leg. He had a leg infection and coupled with diabetes, the thing went septic. Poor Paul, great guy, longtime friend. Told him he needed a parrot. His sons, nephews and nieces packed me in and out.
Sunday, July 11, 2021
Funny Trump supporter sentencing memorandum.
Doug Manchester, pay to play?
CPAC attendees cheer the fact that U.S. has not met its vaccination goals.
Lauren Boebert accuses Dr. Fauci of "bullying" for telling people to get over the politics and get vaccinated.
Some think it is time for the government to step in and redress their pent up grievances and hormonal overload.
Face it fellows, they just don't dig you. Try to legislate your way out of this one.
Of course, conservatives have repeatedly shown a willingness to dispense with their core principles when market forces turn against them. And Ross Douthat and Robin Hanson prove that when access to sex is at stake, conservatives get downright socialist real fast.
Friday, July 9, 2021
Taught us a lot about becoming professional artists though and some of his lessons I will never forget. He was a very good teacher, no b.s..
Anyway one of the main things he tried to emphasize was the need to create your own reference library using your own source material so that you weren't stealing or appropriating other people's work. Take your own source pictures.
With a quarter million of my own images on my drives it is easier for me than some but there are admittedly times that I slip.
And this blogpost is such an occasion. I could run down to Hillcrest and covertly take some pictures but I won't, was there this morning and frankly I don't feel so hot. So I am doing a visual smash and grab off the net instead.
Anyhow, about two weeks ago I was awaiting a procedure and I was hungry and I slipped over to Einstein Bagels on Robinson for a cup of coffee and a nova on sesame, no onion, no capers, squeeze of lemon.
And I noticed that the large arty murals covering the walls all had a central theme, namely what I clearly perceived were old world Jews in bowler hats cavorting around in a fanciful Jewish like manner like they are wont to do. Happy, well fed Jews eating standard Jewish fare.
And I wish that I had taken pictures of the art because I was plainly getting pissed at them. Not that they were offensive, the graphics were actually quite well done and charming. It was instead the fact the knowledge that the founding owners of the people that now own Einstein Bagels were actually Nazi sympathizers.
And the Jews that they had working in forced labor for them were not quite so well fed. And now they were profiting from their pleasant caricature, not to mention a business name which hearkens to one of the most famous jews that has ever lived.
The German family whose holding company owns controlling stakes in companies such as Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Panera Bread, Pret a Manger and Einstein Bros. Bagels profited from the horrors of the Nazi regime, according to a bombshell report in a German newspaper.
The tabloid Bild, one of Germany’s most popular papers, reported that Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr., whose family backs JAB Holdings, had significant links to the Third Reich.
The company, which also owns Noah's (which has its own hebraic etymology) and Manhattan Bagel, got into the bagel game in 2014. Sort of like George Lincoln Rockwell buying Aunt Jemima.
The report found that Russian civilians and French prisoners of war were used as forced laborers in the family’s factories and private villas around World War II, when it was involved in chemicals-related manufacturing mostly for the food industry, according to Deutsche Welle.
I talk, somewhat dismissively, about people getting needlessly sore and oversensitive about cultural patrimony issues but it feels a little different when it is your tuchas being co-opted. I lost over 80% of my father's family at Auschwitz, after a last train ride from Wyszkove.
And I feel angry somehow that an advertising campaign, can obliquely portray and fetishize these happy and rotund quasi Jews as their totemic icons, when the founders of the company were complicit in a movement that placed my own family in the ovens.
Now don't get me wrong, I love the Germans today, seriously. I admire them and consider them fully contrite and repentant. I just think this advertising is too much. I will stop off at the next Einsteins I see and try to grab some shots. Tell me if I am off base here. But I personally find their advertising campaign a bit obscene. Make the bagels but don't sell them with cartoon Jews, the subtle shtick is a little too much.
Will give you better examples at a later date.
|Admitting photograph 6:30 a.m.|
On account of today's biopsy I had to cancel the Del Mar Antique Show, which opened this morning, runs through Sunday.
It was sad, several clients had written and called and wondered if I would exhibit? Unfortunately there are times in your life where you don't set the agenda and I had no room to negotiate on this one.
In any case, a small story.
I got a call last month from an antique dealer that I have probably known for over 25 years. She also wanted to talk about the show but made the point that she had read about my medical travails on the blog and was concerned.
"The blog?" I said. "You read the blog?"
"Every day," she answered.
Now it was not exactly earth shattering news but I had no clue. We have been friends and colleagues for many years, my life is an open book, not too outlandish that she is reading me. Lots of people read the blast, well over a thousand a day.
The point is, that I did not know and really have no idea just exactly who is digesting this fourteen year old rundown on my life. Many people never let on.
I had to make a delivery to the show yesterday to return some auction consignments and I ran into my lurker friend. I told her that I was taken aback that she was a long time blast reader and she said something rather interesting to me.
She said that I was much more sophisticated and intellectually focused in real life. Intimated that I dumbed down somewhat on the blog. Due to all sorts of laws of nature and physics, Heisenberg immediately comes to mind, I think she actually may have a point.
She watches me in action selling at the shows and seems to think there is more worldliness and nuance in the tangible Robert Sommers than the corporeal, virtual version that comes across on the printed page. Certainly less crudity and boorish humor.
She said that the depth or breadth that she purports to see does show up in my photography consistently, but in the writing, not so much.
It would be an indulgence in sesquipedalian snobbery for me to write solely for the eggheads in my world. I think that Joe Lunchpail would feel somewhat left out and I would end up feeling like an elitist swine, albeit a kosher one. And I certainly don't think people want a steady diet of heavy and certainly not politics at this point.
I guess I am flattered by her observation. Me, deep? Well, now... Is there more to me than meets the eye? Can anybody honestly ever get a correct read on themselves in this regard? Isn't that for others to discern? For the record, I think I am rather juvenile and am honestly surprised that anybody still wallows in this collective mud with me. Except for the pretty pictures of course.
For an antisocial cat, I do believe I have a quiver of pretty decent social skills. And there is a reason for that. I went to twelve schools growing up before college. Jack and Jill, Lemon Avenue, Lancaster, Mariposa in Las Cruces, MacCarthur Elementary in El Paso, Southwoods in Syosset, Hauppauge Middle School, Lewis Junior High, Desert Sun, Dwight York and Walden in New York and Oxnard High to finish it off. Did I forget any?
When you are moving nearly every year and sometimes every six months, you become a chameleon. You learn to not only adapt but to modify the persona as needed, depending on locale. I got really good at it. You stay in one place your whole life you get saddled with all sorts of past shit and history, when you are a gypsy you can start over and retool the narrative, with less fact checking and calls for consistency. Show the world whatever face you damn please!
Quite handy when you are traveling to a new town and don't want to be on the outs or get your ass kicked. And I lived in some rough places, believe me.
Not sure how to respond to such a broadside, not sure if it is true, hopefully if there is a real me, it manages to shine through on occasion like a sporadic ray of sunshine over the cloudy Oregon coast. I think I am still here and hope to be here for at least the immediate future, if not much, much, longer.
But copy all you can of this blog if you like it, as there are no guarantees, no hard copies and Google likes to instantly pull the plug on platforms like this. Before the blast, like me, is a faded memory and so much dust in the wind.
I leave for San Francisco early next week. Doctor says no lifting, could risk internal bleeding. Guess what? The heavy lifting starts tomorrow. I have no options and the show must go on. Wish me luck.
I had my cancer biopsy surgery this morning. Had some minor complications but got through it. Will know something in a week. When I came out of anesthesia I saw that I had a message on my phone from David Willey's sister.
He is a fabulous teacher and was particularly good with teaching children and young students, extremely patient and always imparting his wisdom and technique with the greatest warmth and understanding.
Absolutely brilliant at a variety of skills including forms, sparring and weapons. Could fight mantis and dragon as well as the five animals methods and Wing Chun. Great with a staff.
The nicest, most lovable and peaceful human being you could ever encounter in the world but he was an absolute terrifying monster on the mat and his technique was impeccable. Wednesday night "back to back" sparring sessions were particularly grueling when you were paired off with David, he was fierce and plainly loved his craft, would give or expect no quarter.
I competed in the 1989 World Championships in San Francisco and watched David become Seven Star Grand Champion that day, beating the heavily favored and brilliant martial artist Shane Lacey in a major upset.
The school had its ups and downs. Financial woes. Our Sifu, John Vihildal, came down with major heart issues that forced him to stop teaching. The school had several moves and name changes. I had to stop working out as my knees could no longer take getting swept. I got cancer, remember training the same day as chemo, if you can believe that? Finally had to call it quits.
Sort of lost touch with the old gang.
This was interesting to me because in martial arts we preached bilateral symmetry and fencers tend to get large lead legs.
I was saddened to hear today that David is now fighting pancreatic cancer. It doesn't sound too good. There is a Go Fund Me page.
Say a prayer for him, light a candle, make a donation, or think a good thought for a great human being, whatever is your custom or inclination. I hope that he can make a recovery but I recognize the enormous battle he is now fighting.
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
President Biden is “going to own” the “ugly images” resulting from the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) on Sunday.
“Everybody’s tired of war,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “It’s been a very long journey. It’s been a hard journey for everybody."
It's called intellectual integrity. You call them the same way from either side of the plate, not just when your team is leading the charge. Or you end up looking like hypocritical idiots.
|Getty - Time|
Western officials pointed to evidence that Ahmed Wali Karzai orchestrated the manufacture of hundreds of thousands of phony ballots for his brother’s re-election effort in August. He is also believed to have been responsible for setting up dozens of so-called ghost polling stations existing only on paper that were used to manufacture tens of thousands of phony ballots.
“The only way to clean up Chicago is to get rid of Capone,” General Flynn said.
In the interview in which he denied a role in the drug trade or taking money from the C.I.A., Ahmed Wali Karzai said he received regular payments from his brother, the president, for “expenses,” but said he did not know where the money came from. He has, among other things, introduced Americans to insurgents considering changing sides. And he has given the Americans intelligence, he said. But he said he was not compensated for that assistance.
These people are as dirty as sin, corrupt as hell. Follow the money.
If they want to blame somebody they need to look in the mirror. Twenty years in the Afghan hellhole is long enough. But tell me, why is it that the U.S. trained Afghani military forces have always been so inept, they can't seem to get out of their own way? Yet the Taliban are some of the most ruthless and efficient fighters on the planet. Something is wrong with this picture. The fault does not lie with the United States or the Western World. The fault rests solely with the afghanis, who are not sure if they want to join the 20th century yet, let alone the present.
How can these be the same people, that is unless they have been playing us the whole time. They played Obama, the played Trump, who believed that the Taliban would reform. The only person who has not been played is the current occupant of the White House. Time for the Afghanis to do their own dirty work.