Naval Activity in the Black Sea

This is ominous:

Apparently after returning to port on August 23rd, the Moskva went back to sea today sailing from Sevastopol to Novorossiisk. Why? The article details some new events off the coast of Georgia.

What events?

Navy Times is reporting that the USS McFaul (DDG 74) has dropped anchor in the Georgian port of Batumi.

Hat to Galrahn at Information Dissemination. Keep checking with him for the latest.

Hillary’s No PUMA

I think we’ll hear this in her prime-time speech. As David Byrne said in Stop Making Sense, does anyone have any questions?

Oh, and Steve Benen at Washington Monthly has only it partly right:

It’s almost as if the party “rift” has been exaggerated for effect by news outlets obsessed with the notion of drama, and desperate to find some kind of major conflict, whether it exists or not.

No, Steve, it’s a plant. And some people are dumb enough to fall for it.

UPDATE: They’re still at it. Let’s go to the tape, shall we?

Ivan, Meet Butch

Did the Russians blow up a train in Georgia this past Sunday?

Where the Troops Are

Mother Jones maps (roughly) the whereabouts of the US Army post-1950. Cool site. The interesting thing is the more-or-less-continuously-large presence of troops in Saudi Arabia. And here Bin Laden thought it was something new.

Dept. of Unfortunate Comparisons

Elp the blogger likens the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the old F-105. Ouch. For those not in the know, the F-105, aka the “Thud,” was part of the USAF stable of early- and mid-60s fighters that helped make the North Vietnamese look like the second coming of Oswald Boelcke’s Flying Circus.

Appealing No-Fly

The Ninth Circuit says a Malaysian woman can appeal her placement on the FBI’s no-fly list. Timothy Lee at Ars Technica applauds:

If the FBI or TSA genuinely suspected that Ibrahim was a terrorist, they should have been actively investigating her and preparing to arrest her; as a Stanford student, she can’t have been hard to track down. If she wasn’t a terrorist — and by all indications, she’s wasn’t — then harassing her at the airport is a gratuitous infringement of her civil liberties. The no-fly list allows federal officials to act like they’re “doing something” about terrorism without taking responsibility for actually investigating and charging terrorism suspects.

Sustain This

The Economist, talking about a controversy surrounding the development of tar sands in Canada, asks the right question about today’s most overused buzzword and comes up with the right answer:

Sustainability is a hopelessly subjective concept. The most widely accepted definition— “development which meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” — is little help, as need is also subjective, and the future unpredictable.

But that does not make sustainability meaningless, it just makes it a political battleground.

The standard definition is a non-sequitur because both the needs and abilities of future generations are unknowable.

Could Cyberwar Happen Here?

Ars Technica asks if the cyberwar tactics used on Georgia would work against the US. The answers are not particularly reassuring:

At present, technological dominance and superior infrastructure may give the United States a decisive edge, but history teaches that this edge will inevitably degrade as other countries either catch up or as the threats themselves evolve.

Thought for the Day

Luigi Colani, industrial designer:

It is very, very difficult nowadays to speak about modernism because this time we are living in is afraid — afraid of going ahead.