Daily Archives: June 23, 2011

Obama’s disappointing troops withdrawal plan. A closed restaurant makes me sad. And incredible photos of the sun

Tennis fans: Check out my Wimbledon blog here, featuring a soon-to-be infamous clip of Dick Enberg accidentally saying something dirty. Also, I played my last tennis match as a Floridian Wednesday night; pulled out a tight 7-6, 6-4 win. Was it important to me that I leave on a triumph? You bet your ass it was.

So President Barack Obama went on television Wednesday night, and said that we would withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2011, and that the rest of the 33,000 troops who went over there as part of the “surge” would be coming home by the end of next summer.

Great! Terrific! Fantastic! Except, you know, that means there will still be close to 70,000 troops in Afghanistan. They’ll be brought home, Obama said, sometime in 2014.
Which means by that point we’ll have been in Afghanistan for 12 years. TWELVE YEARS.
Sigh. This president has become a full-fledged war president, hasn’t he? Twelve years in Afghanistan, a place that has become the 21st century Vietnam.
Things ain’t changing over there. They’re not going to change no matter how many American troops are on the ground.
Once again, Barack Obama takes the slow, incremental approach. Once again, those of us who believe this war should end immediately are told to be patient, he’s doing the right thing, etc.
Wrong. Bring the damn troops home now. Enough is enough.

**So there’s a restaurant in Daytona Beach that I pass every day going to and from work.
It’s called Billy’s Tap Room, and in its heyday it was a pretty popular place. It was one of those pubs where regulars met to discuss their lives, have a few drinks, and eat some food.
Anyway, it went out of business last June, and people were sad, stories about it were written in the paper, the passing of a landmark, yada yada yada.
And yet, 12 months later, the sign for the place is still up. Every day, people are reminded that what used be a great place no longer exists.
Why is the sign still up? Who knows. Shouldn’t someone take it down? Probably. But it just makes me a little sad that people who loved the place have to constantly be reminded that it’s not there anymore.  It just lingers as a memory of better times.

**I think I’ve pimped the way-cool Boston Globe feature called The Big Picture before; they basically take an event, or series of events, and run some incredible, large photographs.
The latest installment is about the summer solstice, and other great photos of the sun setting since early June.
No. 7,  No. 23, and No. 26 are just breathtaking, but most of them are really beautiful.