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The August Surprise has arrived at last!

Stateside With Rosalea Barker

The August Surprise has arrived at last!

Friday night’s telly was just a little too much for my old brain to cope with. Flicking between ABC’s Movie of the Week and Russia Today on the MHz Channel, I was easily confused as to what I was watching. Death raining down from the skies, people running through fields, finding shelter in underground bunkers, cradling children in their arms. Was it unedited footage of events in South Ossetia or War of the Worlds?

RT coverage included comments from Russian authorities angry that the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, had given his press conference with both the Georgian and European Union flag in the background. Those comments weren’t shown on any network news bulletin I watched, despite the U.S. encouragement of Georgia’s push to join the European Union (and NATO) being the nub of the matter.

George What-me-worry? Bush, meanwhile was flitting around in Beijing. Not being up on so-called traditions in women’s volleyball, I’m hard-pressed to toe the AP line about his fun encounter with members of the U.S. women’s beach volleyball team:
Then May-Treanor turned her back to the president, offering her bikinied rear for one of the traditional slaps that volleyball players frequently give each other.

"Mr. President, want to?" she asked, repeating an offer she made when Bush gave a pep talk to the U.S. athletes before Friday's opening ceremonies.

Bush smilingly gave a flick with the back of his hand to the small of her back instead.

The incident was shown on network TV news as well, with the same commentary, but I could have sworn she was just asking the president for a kiss. Photo is here.

::Speaking of ARRSE::
Here are some interesting comments from a website called British Army Rumour Service, on its forum called War in Georgia?:

[Cynicism] There is always the possibility that State and the Russian foreign ministry have dug out the old Cold War manual and gone through it together...

1. Present resolution you know will be vetoed.
2. When veto used, turn to Allies and say 'look, we have tried to do something, but it didn't work, and we're not going to war over this'
3. Other side turns to population and says 'look how strong we are, we have defied the US
4. Behind scenes negotiations - US informs ally to stop taking the urine because US will be really, really annoyed if this leads to the need for raising DEFCON to alarming level (see Kissinger/Israel post Yom Kippur)
5. USS...sorry, Russia makes conciliatory noises
6. US makes proposals (already cleared via back channels) that are acceptable to Russians
7. Solution found
8. Russians happy since they have been treated as equals, US happy since able to demonstrate diplomatic skills
9. Georgians unhappy, but no-one really cares since they're a small nation who must learn their place.

Just can't justify the use of those cynicism tags Archimedes. Very Happy You forgot to mention 4b. Tell other ally to stop taking the urine selling top line defence kit to minor nation , which is winding up superpower you are trying to negotiate with.

Because any behind the scenes settlement with Russia, will include a clause "Lean on Israel to pack it in FFS"

[tinfoil on]
10. Sacrifice Georgian aspirations for the greater prize, Russian co-operation over Iran [/tinfoil off]

::U.S. media blacks out Olympic Opening Coverage::
It’s somewhat ironic that the U.S. media is constantly carping about how Chinese state-owned television blacks out world news, because here I was in the U.S. totally unable to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games because of a media black out.

It so happens that I live in an area that doesn’t get NBC’s television signals, and NBC bought exclusive rights to Olympics coverage. All that the other channels were able to carry was Getty still images. Well, that’s capitalism for you! Except... NBC gets the airwaves free of charge in exchange for providing free over-the-air signals to the entire country. So what right have they to tell the 11 percent of people who don’t have cable television to go to hell? Seemingly, NBC won’t front up the pittance it would cost them to use the same repeater station in San Francisco that beams all the other networks over to the East Bay.

::The Ugly New Zealander::
Oh, please! Who is that dickhead at the NZ Herald writing a blog about the Olympics? I’ve never read such offensive, racist, sexist crap in my life! And who’s the idiot who didn’t give the people going to the flag bearer party a freakin’ map to show to the taxi driver? Come on, Kiwis. Lift your game!

::Another August Surprise on the way?::
Reports in Aviation Week have it that NASA officials went to the White House just before the President left on his Asian trip. It’s dollars to donuts they weren’t searching for intelligent life, but sources have it that they reported to him about findings made by the Mars lander. Not water... everyone knew that was there. Something else. Which will be revealed, the report says, some time late in August or early September.

::Windy Welly takes a Live Leak::
Kiwi Adrian Schofield is senior air transport editor for Aviation Week, and he’s posted a link on his blog to this footage of a plane being blown away from the gate at Wellington Airport. Ahhh.... Windy Welly, you gotta luv it! I’ve never worried about flying in or out of there since the time a pilot told me that it has such a reputation for skirlish crosswinds that you’re guaranteed the flight crew isn’t asleep at the wheel. Or whatever that thingie is called.



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