TOP OF THE TOWN – I never supported us going to war in Afghanistan and I’m glad we are pulling out. This 20-year war started to punish the Taliban for hosting al-Quaida, the group mostly responsible for September 11, 2001 and the toppling of the Twin Towers. The war then transition into nation-building, a terrible idea since our culture is so different than what is deeply rooted there. The Soviets tried to tame the Afghans and failed. So did the British. Now it’s our turn to fail, after over 100,000 Afghan deaths (both civilian and military), almost 3 million forced to flee to other countries and another four million displaced. Almost 2,500 American soldiers have been killed and nearly 21,000 wounded. Another 3,800 private security contractors have been killed and about 1,200 from a NATO coalition have been killed. A total of $2.6 trillion of our taxpayer money has been spent. That’s a heavy cost for losing. That money would have done wonders for fixing our much-needed infrastructure problems. We can’t be the world’s policeman. If the Taliban want to put chains  around its population and stop girls from being educated and being used for nothing more than domestic slaves we can’t do much about it. We have enough problems in our own country as pro-authoritarian figures gain more and more power. I’m not a pacifist. I believe in Teddy Roosevelt’s policy of speak softly and carry a big stick. I would not be afraid to use a “big stick” if our security was directly threatened. But I don’t think we should be nation-building. We should keep our enemies close, which means having the ability to talk to them constantly so we understand each other and know where the red lines are positioned. But we had no business being in Afghanistan. There are other ways to combat the Taliban other than bullets and bombs. We can limit their poppy harvest for one, which tops their economic growth. Speak softly to them but wield a big stick. … Okay, enough of that. How about the Seattle Storm? They ripped the Connecticut Sun in the first Commissioner’s Cup 79-57 to earn each Storm player an additional $30,000, which means a lot to those players who aren’t making a lot to begin with. Breanna Stewart made another $5,000 for being the MVP. I love watching the Storm. They play the game of basketball the right way. They don’t care who gets the credit, they are all in as teammates. One for all, all for one, type of thing. And watching Sue Bird, the ageless wonder, and Stewart play together on the court is something wonderful to behold. It’s poetry in motion. You need to watch them play. This may be the last WNBA season for Bird, who turns 41 on Oct. 16, so this may be your last chance. … You know, NFL is a violent sport (maybe not as bad as UFC) and one can expect injuries.  But reading about the Seahawks’ fall camp I realize there are a dozen or so players that didn’t play the other day because of injuries. They may be small injuries, but I’m thinking if that is the way their season goes they are going to be in trouble.  If the Seahawks can go through the 17-game season without too many major injuries they have a chance to be really good. But the big IF is the injury bug. If they get bitten too much by it than all bets are off. … I can’t figure out the Mariners. They are 61-55 as I write this and based on how they hit the ball should probably have a lot worse won-lost record. They are currently 29th out of 30 teams with a .222 batting average. Only Texas is worse at .221.They are 11th in home runs with 143, but other than that they at best are average in other statistics. Pitching is more positive. The Mariners rank right in the middle of 30 teams in ERA at 15th with a 4.33. What I see is their manager, Scott Servais, is really good. He’s a calming influence in the middle of a storm. Sometimes, I guess, it’s best just to sit back and enjoy. I can’t guess why they are doing as well as they are, but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts. That’s it. Stay safe.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.