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daily 08/30/2014

    • I have been shown Polish photographs from the beautiful summer of 1939: The children playing in the sunshine, the fashionable women on Krakow streets.
    • And now I have to ask: Should Ukrainians, in the summer of 2014, do the same? Should central Europeans join them?
    • Russian troops bearing the flag of a previously unknown country, Novorossiya, have marched across the border of southeastern Ukraine.
    • A far more serious person, the dissident Russian analyst Andrei Piontkovsky, has recently published an article arguing, along lines that echo Zhirinovsky’s threats, that Putin really is weighing the possibility of limited nuclear strikes—perhaps against one of the Baltic capitals, perhaps a Polish city—to prove that NATO is a hollow, meaningless entity that won’t dare strike back for fear of a greater catastrophe. Indeed, in military exercises in 2009 and 2013, the Russian army openly “practiced” a nuclear attack on Warsaw.
    • Germany was a latecomer to the world scene by the time the 19th century came to a close. The country only came into existence in 1871 when its various provinces were unified at the conclusion of the Franco-Prussian War.
    • Realpolitik
    • Weltpolitik
    • As noted by German Foreign Secretary Bernhard von Bulow in a statement to the Reichstag in 1897, “[In] one word: We wish to throw no one into the shade, but we demand our own place in the sun.” Indeed, the upstart nation was jealous at the success of its rivals, namely Britain, France, and the United States.
    • As for the USA, it had adopted the Monroe Doctrine some 50 years earlier — a policy aimed at curbing European colonial ambitions in North, Central, and South America.
    • The Kaiser, intent on defying the Monroe Doctrine, had plans to set up a major naval Caribbean base in Cuba or Puerto Rico.
    • The intent was never to take over the U.S., but rather to force the country’s leaders to bargain from a weak position.
    • Germany’s first plan, which was devised by Naval Lieutenant Eberhard von Mantey in 1898, was a scheme to attack U.S. naval power on its east coast in order to gain easy access to a planned German naval base in the Caribbean.
    • The Kaiser had von Mantey revise the scheme in 1899 — but this time he had to provision for a two-pronged land invasion of New York City and Boston.
    • By 1900, the Kaiser realized that an invasion force launched from Germany was unfeasible. He once again set his sights on a land base in Cuba from which such an invasion could be launched.
    • Seeking to gain a political advantage, they sought to establish a naval base in Culebra, Puerto Rico from where they could threaten the Panama Canal.
    • But world events would preclude Germany from ever embarking on such schemes. An invasion of the United States would have only been feasible if two conditions were met: (1) the absence of a major conflict in Europe and (2) an unprepared United States. By the first decade of the 20th century, these variables were withering away.
    • astute Big 12 fans can only shrug and laugh when they watch A&M and Auburn light up “a defensive league where that stuff won’t fly.”  
    • But the days of 11 defensive marionettes looking to the sideline for a brain transplant every thirty seconds are over.  The HUNH won’t allow it.
    • a product of a sophisticated HUNH spread system since he was a tween – now seemingly the default offense of Texas high school football) amassed 511 yards throwing to mostly wide open receivers in the middle of the field.  Frankly, it looked like a skeleton drill.
    • But the bigger realization could be that maybe they are pretty good – so long as their opponent will agree to play the game “properly.”
    • Why did South Carolina’s safeties keep looking to the sideline, imploring their coaches for guidance like a flopping Italian striker seeking a penalty kick?
    • Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin – like Auburn’s Gus Malzahan – isn’t very interested in honoring that implicit SEC agreement.
    • Malzahn’s masterful ability to pick apart schematic tendencies with simple alignment shifts.
    • There’s no doubt Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss wants to operate similarly, but the quality of the Rebel talent and the decision-making at QB is a natural governor on that engine.  For now.
    • Spurrier broke out of the doldrums of perennial 7-5 Gamecock seasons by – wait for it – recruiting really, really well.
    •  It has its pluses and minuses like any offense, but no offense flourishes more against a clueless opposition.
    • So here’s a bone, SEC coaches: start with some LSU film.  The Tiger roster isn’t exactly overrun with Rhodes Scholars, but John Chavis understands that complexity and pace is best dealt with stressing simplicity and assignment clarity.
    • Stressing broad applicable principles over specific play calls with good athletes is vastly preferable to a confused secondary staring to the sideline begging for their accustomed 30 second brain transplant and the perfect play call…that they won’t be able to execute in time.
    • “This post isn’t about the HUNH’s utter supremacy… In fact, some of the game plans executed against its best practitioners were done adeptly by SEC teams (Florida vs. OU, 2008).”

       

      When Florida beat OU in 2008, guess who was the DC for Florida? Answer: Charlie Strong

    • Congratulations, Buffalo. You get all the paranoia of Sean Payton with none of the playcalling acumen.
    • “If we just add marble countertops to the kitchen and redo the hardwood floors, we’ll be able to sell it for DOUBLE the asking price!”
    • There was only one piece of good news from the Bills offseason and that is that Jim Kelly says he is now cancer-free.
    • This was a team left to rot as Wilson grew older, and you can see it in both the roster and the fanbase. I can barely tell the difference between a Bills tailgate and a 1970s Manchester coal-plant union protest.
    • I watched a white trash couple down a multi-beer funnel being held up by their 8-year-old son while their infant roasted in the sun in a stroller surrounded by empty Bud Light cans. The whole time they were screaming “don’t call CPS!” at people who stopped to take pictures. Even if those kids survived that game, you know they have no chance.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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