America’s Old Man continues to let his imagination run wild

by lestro

According to the Caucus, at an event in Pennsy, Johnny Mac had this to say about his plan to go to as many small towns as possible :

“I’m going to tell them I think they are the heartland of America, that the values they hold dear are the strength and character of America,” Mr. McCain said.

“They’re the reason why the people in Georgia today are looking to America . . . a beacon of hope and liberty.”

Of course, that is NOT what the Georgians themselves are saying, just what Mac thinks they are saying (or at least what his top foreign policy adviser, a lobbyist who also works for Georgia, is telling him)…

Bitterly criticizing the United States and other Western countries for letting his country down, President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia said Russia had flagrantly defied the peace accord and effectively severed the country in two…

Mr. Saakashvili said Russian forces had all but established an economic blockade of Tbilisi and criticized Western countries, including the United States, suggesting that they had appeased Russia and let Georgia down.

“Today, the West’s very will is tested,” Mr. Saakashvili said in a telephone call with journalists. “The main thing is if the West fails now, then it will have tremendous consequences for the world for years to come.”

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“Strange game. The only winning move is not to play.”

by lestro

Apparently, the US and UK have decided to cancel scheduled war games with the Russians in light of their recent attacks on Georgia:

A senior US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity Tuesday, said that the August 15-23 exercises involving Russian, French, British and US warships in the Sea of Japan “have been scrapped.” The exercises were to involve an onshore component in the Russian port of Vladivostok.

“In the wake of this conflict, there is no way that we can proceed with this joint exercise at this time,” the official said.

I believe Russia’s response was something to the effect of “That’s okay with us, we don’t need the games anymore as we found a real war to practice in…”

Besides, the only good War Games are the ones that involve Matthew Broderick and the WOPR that just wants to play a nice game of chess.

However, given that Russia and the West are once again viewing each other suspiciously through figurative and literal gun sights, maybe we should not have canceled. It does always help to get a close-up view of what your enemy is up to…

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How do you say “Gulf of Tonkin” in Cyrillic?

by lestro

So it looks like Russia launched the first salvo in this war about a month ago.

Weeks before bombs started falling on Georgia, a security researcher in suburban Massachusetts was watching an attack against the country in cyberspace…

Jose Nazario of Arbor Networks in Lexington noticed a stream of data directed at Georgian government sites containing the message: “win+love+in+Rusia.”

Other Internet experts in the United States said the attacks against Georgia’s Internet infrastructure began as early as July 20, with coordinated barrages of millions of requests — known as distributed denial of service, or D.D.O.S., attacks — that overloaded and effectively shut down Georgian servers…

This, combined with reports that South Ossetians have been ethnically cleansing Georgians, leads me to believe that the Russians were hoping to provoke a response that would allow them to move their already-prepared-and-waiting military into their neighbor.

It also explains how they got in there so quickly.

But be prepared, this is what the future of war looks like:

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Russia is so much better at war

by twit

No wonder Kissinger looks so grumpy in this photo:

U.S. President George W. Bush with first lady Laura Bush, left, and daughter, Barbara, right, cheer on the United States' swimmers on Sunday, August 10, 2008, in the games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing, China. (Michael Goulding/Orange County Register/MC

Michael Goulding/Orange County Register/MCT via McClatchy

From The Guardian on August 10, 2008:

Moscow appears to have calculated that the west, tied up in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and dependent on Russia for oil and gas, will do nothing to support Georgia beyond expressing impotent concern.

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Goodbye Blue Sky (or: The Democrats Eat Their Young)

by lestro

Just before Pink fully bricks himself in behind his wall at the end of the first act of Pink Floyd’s epic of isolation “The Wall,” the band kicks into the hauntingly beautiful “Goodbye Blue Sky,” which contains the following passage:

Did you see the frightened ones
Did you hear the falling bombs
The flames are all long gone
But the pain lingers on

It’s a song about the mental scarring left over from Pink’s father’s death in the war and it is another mental brick that Pink uses to complete his Wall after he starts to go mad.

Unfortunately, it could also be used to describe the current situation in the Democratic Party as the psychological and financial wounds of the relatively bitter primary campaign continue to haunt the party in a year that should be a grand triumph and victory over the opposition, which has systematically run just about every aspect of our government into the ground, while shitting on our ideals and principles as a nation.

But instead of being able to capitalize fully on the obvious national desire for change, the Democrats are doing everything they can to shoot themselves in the foot again. The flames from the campaign battle may be long gone, but the pain certainly lingers on.

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Third graders are smarter than me

by twit

It never would have occurred to me to cover the windows if I was planning a murder. I’m fairly impressed by the foresight demonstrated by this alleged conspiracy of third graders to tie up and messily slaughter their teacher.

WAYCROSS, Ga. (AP) – A group of third-graders plotted to attack their teacher, bringing a broken steak knife, handcuffs, duct tape and other items for the job and assigning children tasks including covering the windows and cleaning up afterward, police said Tuesday.

… The children, ages 8 and 9, were apparently mad at the teacher because she had scolded one of them for standing on a chair, Tanner said. A prosecutor said they are too young to be charged with a crime under Georgia law.

… Police seized a broken steak knife, handcuffs, duct tape, electrical and transparent tape, ribbons and a crystal paperweight from the students, who apparently intended to use them against the teacher, Tanner said.

Nine children have been given discipline up to and including long-term suspension, said Theresa Martin, spokeswoman for the Ware County school system.

Impressed, in a completely terrified what-is-this-world-coming-to kind of way. Cleaning up afterwards? What are kids watching these days?

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