Happy Fun Times in Sochi

sochi fun times sargent
(Ben Sargent via GoComics.com)

You know things are looking dicey for the Games when NBC mixes its uplifting celebration of feisty, spirited, advertiser-friendly (American) athletes with discussion of ‘delicate challenges’:

A catastrophic terrorist strike at the Sochi Winter Olympics would present the United States with a logistically mind-boggling and diplomatically delicate challenge: How to get more than 200 American athletes safely out of Russia.

U.S. military officials have described plans to use two warships in the Black Sea and planes already on standby in Europe to evacuate Americans if the worst fears of security experts come true…

But at least part of the American contingent for Sochi, the skiing and snowboard teams, is paying a private company, Global Rescue, for additional security.

The company promises communications help, “rally points” for athletes to shelter in place and ways to get them around, or out of, Sochi. Dan Richards, the CEO, said in an interview that Global Rescue has six aircraft that it could “utilize for rapid response.”…

Richards would not say what the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association is paying for the additional protection. The skiers and snowboarders are among the richer American teams…

A large-scale attack would trigger almost unimaginable complications, said Weiss, the Russia expert.

For example: At least 85 countries and 2,500 athletes are taking part in the games. Sochi has a fairly small airport, so who gets to fly out first? And why should the Americans be given priority?

“Something that looks like the U.S. cavalry riding to rescue Russia or Vladimir Putin from an attack seems — well, it’s just hard to imagine that happening,” he said. “Ultimately, it’s all on Russia.”

Russia, of course, is doing its best, per the Washington Post:

Putin has deployed up to 60,000 police personnel, troops and special forces to Sochi — double the number Britain enlisted in London for the 2012 Summer Games. The security services have the technology in place to monitor phone calls, e-mails and Internet activity in Sochi, among Russians and foreigners alike. In November, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave an order permitting the collection of telephone and e-mail metadata from foreign journalists, Olympic officials and athletes, according to journalists here. The Pentagon has offered air and sea support, including two Navy ships in the Black Sea, if needed….

“It’s a really tough gig,” said Mark Galeotti, a scholar of Russian crime and security at New York University who is in Moscow. “It’s not a particularly easy place to police and control. They are hoping quantity will substitute for quality. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn’t.”…

“They are sending the boys out to kick down doors of everyone who has ever been a friend of a terrorist,” Galeotti said, “on the theory that if people are afraid of being shot or arrested, they might not be talking about perpetrating dark deeds in Sochi.”…

Which hasn’t stopped some Highly Placed Sources from bitching in public, per the Guardian:

But some US politicians complained on Sunday that the Russians were not telling US intelligence enough about threats from militant groups operating in the region. “We don’t seem to be getting all of the information we need to protect our athletes in the games,” Mike Rogers, Republican chairman of the US House of Representatives intelligence committee, told CNN.

“They’re not giving us the full story about what are the threat streams, who do we need to worry about, are those groups – the terrorist groups who have had some success – are they still plotting?” Rogers said…

Of course, Mike Rogers had some other very strong opinions on those same Sunday shows:

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee on Sunday condemned former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden as a “thief” and said he may have had help from Russia.

“I believe there’s a reason he ended up in the hands, the loving arms, of an FSB agent in Moscow,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), referring to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, a former head of the Russian security service. “I don’t think that’s a coincidence.”…

The Norwegian men’s curling team are poised to show off a new round of crazy, funky pants… more outrageous than ever”, but there is no way our homegrown Republicans are going to let those Vikings steal the title of Biggest Clowns of the 2014 Games.

58 replies
  1. 1
    Culture of Truth says:

    If I didn’t know better I’d think the news media is practically hoping something happens.

  2. 2
    The Dangerman says:

    Didn’t Romney predict disaster in London? Of course, he strapped a dog to the roof of his car.

    ETA: But I bet he never shaved his cat’s ass.

  3. 3
    Alison says:

    @The Dangerman: I’d still probably rather be that dog than take my queer ass to Russia.

  4. 4
    Corner Stone says:

    I’ve been wondering how many US Olympic athletes Snowden will strangle to death with his bare hands. Or possibly use the torch to light on fire while they sleep.

  5. 5
    Culture of Truth says:

    Do not taunt Sochi Happy Fun Time

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    A journalist friend has been to Sochi recently, and is not returning — not because of any danger, but because he’s expecting it to be about as “Happy Fun Time” as Pyongyang.

  7. 7
    chopper says:

    Just wait til feline ass-shaving becomes an Olympic sport. talk about a bloodbath.

  8. 8
    Corner Stone says:

    “I just want you to know I love you, though, OK?”

  9. 9
    Jane2 says:

    @Culture of Truth: This. Screaming headlines of Black Widows, terrorist speculation, two toilets in a stall…it would be a terrible thing indeed if the Olympics went on with no event to feed the cable media maw.

  10. 10
    Ken says:

    So why did the IOC pick Sochi? Other than the bribes convincing presentations on the excellence of the site, I mean.

  11. 11
    mdblanche says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I understand Pyongyang tried to make a bid for the Olympics once but their offer of one turnip fell below the IOC’s minimum bribe level.

  12. 12
    Ash Can says:

    Republicans are clowns, all right, but I don’t know how clownish it is to be concerned about security in an evidently dicey area and to call a thief a thief. I’ve seen much better examples of Republican clownishness than this today.

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:


    Other than the bribes, I mean.

    What do you mean? “Other than” the bribes? I feel like the guy on the TV commercials asking the kids, “So is more better than less?”

  14. 14
    Kropadope says:

    Russia wouldn’t have all these terrorism concerns if their government weren’t so, how do I put this, awful and oppressive.

  15. 15
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ken: It’s always and only about the money. Why did FIFA award the World Cup to a place where daytime temps are in the 120’s?

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    So why did the IOC pick Sochi?

    The caviar and vodka at the Russian hospitality tent were superb! Also, too, the hookers flown in from Sochi to “entertain” the IOC were some hot babes, oh yes they were!

  17. 17
    Kropadope says:

    @Ash Can: While I don’t think his speculation is accurate, that’s still one of the most normal, plausible things I’ve heard out of a Republican’s mouth since (estimated) 1994.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave an order permitting the collection of telephone and e-mail metadata from foreign journalists,

    Hmmm…waiting for a comment on this from Snowden and Greenwald.

    Still waiting…

  19. 19
    Kropadope says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: IOKIYAR, in this case R can stand for Russian or Republican.

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I was talking to a friend of mine not too long ago who is from Turkey. We were talking about me visiting some areas and he was like, “Ok, let me know where you want to meet the Russian girls.”
    Umm, what?
    Yeah. Why else would you want to go there?

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Well, Romney did think things would go badly in London, mainly because the Brits didn’t sprinkle as much Freedumb around as the Marquis did in Salt Lake.

    The cronies of the Marquis made out very well indeed, particularly in increases in the value of their land holdings as taxpayer funded infrastructure was built in support of the games.

  22. 22
    eldorado says:

    to be fair, the hot russian girls are actually really hot.

  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Snowden is still looking for the right hiding place so he can sneak up on the Flying Tomato, and choke him to death.

  24. 24
    burnspbesq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Hmmm…waiting for a comment on this from Snowden and Greenwald

    I hope you’re not holding your breath. I don’t think you’d look good with a Carolina Blue face.

  25. 25
    Ken says:

    @Corner Stone:

    “Ok, let me know where you want to meet the Russian girls.”

    Yeah, you might not want to do that, unless you want to star in Hostel 3.

  26. 26
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I just hope people can visit that bastion of freedom and get out of this hellish police state for a while.

  27. 27
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You still waiting for someone to denounce Stalin?

  28. 28
    Mike in NC says:

    Looking forward to (1) moron Mitt Romney showing up at Sochi and being an attention whore, and (2) shirtless Vlad Putin taking part in the opening ceremony by wrestling a polar bear.

  29. 29
    Roger Moore says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    he’s expecting it to be about as “Happy Fun Time” as Pyongyang.

    It sounds like my memories of visiting an East German Youth Club (Freie Deutsche Jugend). We were watched over by dour East German youth who looked as if they would have fit in perfectly 50 years before if they just changed the symbol on their armbands. It almost expected one of them to come up to us and say, “We have ways of making you have fun, comrade.”

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Yeah, some Stalin denunciations would be nice. I’ll go for some Brezhnev bashing, with a side of Khrushchev kurly fries as well.

  31. 31
    Ash Can says:

    @Kropadope: I suppose it’s pretty silly of him to think that the Russian government is going to be forthcoming about anything that might give it a black eye on the world stage, such as terrorist groups threatening the security of a showcase event such as the Olympic games, or to expect the Russian intelligence apparatus to be willing to work very closely with its American counterpart. With every report of unrest out of that area, though, I think the Olympic Committee had more than the usual number of rocks in its collective head for awarding the games to Sochi.

  32. 32
    Hal says:

    Isn’t this the Olympics that Chicago bid on when Obama was first elected?

  33. 33
    Suzanne says:


    I’d still probably rather be that dog than take my queer ass to Russia.

    What if you shaved your ass?

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Surely there is some way for Trump and the animal that lives on his head to get their noses into the attention-whoring sweepstakes.

  35. 35
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    No, that was the 2016 summer games, which will be held in Rio.

    There’s no way Chicago could host a winter games. Oh, sure, they’ve got snow, but they’ve got nothing resembling a downhill run for hundreds of miles.

  36. 36
    Roger Moore says:


    So why did the IOC pick Sochi? Other than the bribes convincing presentations on the excellence of the site, I mean.

    “They drove a dump truck full of money up to my house! I’m not made of stone!” Also, too, there were the, um, negative bribes offered if they decided to give the Olympics to anyone else.

  37. 37
    Roger Moore says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You still waiting for someone to denounce Stalin?

    And the broccoli mandate!

  38. 38
    MomSense says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well wrap me in a blanket and shave my ass. Putin’s Russia is not the principled defender of freedom of the press?

    Apparently IOKIYARusski.

  39. 39
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    To be fair, it feels like things are intractably heading that way, so I’m not surprised. YMMV on the difference between ‘predicting’ and ‘hoping’, obviously.

  40. 40
    Yatsuno says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Seattle could, but no fucking way would I support it. Even if it meant we’d finally get some decent fucking light rail.

    Vancouver had a leg up because a lot of the transportation infrastructure was already in place. Still hell to drive there though.

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The closest thing is Granite Peak on Rib Mountain is Wausau, WI. It could probably handle SL and GS. Nothing long enough for a SG or DH. And that is literally hundreds of miles away.

  42. 42
    GregB says:

    In Russia ass shave you.

  43. 43
    Narcissus says:

    I’m in favor of shaved asses. Also bleached anuses. If you want me to come to your playground make the place presentable.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Narcissus: Perhaps this might be TMI? This place has (had, since your comment) pretensions to being a family blog what with the pet and garden shit being talked about ad nauseum.

  45. 45
    Narcissus says:

    TMI would be daily posts about how much you love your cat, not what makes for an attractive orifice

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Narcissus: Hmmmm. You make a good point. Are you saying that once the BlogHost posts a cat’s ass shaving post all bets are off? Honestly, I would have trouble countering that position.

  47. 47
    Narcissus says:

    I guess I just felt left out of all the asschat

  48. 48
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Narcissus: ‘Twere better, perhaps, had it not happened at all. ‘Tis true.

  49. 49
    Schlemizel says:

    We have friends who will be at the games to watch their daughters compete. They have not said anything about it but we are worried for them. I assume the area of the Games will be locked down tight but the getting to and hanging around areas not so much. The ‘best’ place to hit would be the huge lines waiting to get through security. It wold be nice to think the Russians have thought of that but I have no faith in their ability.

  50. 50
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Some silly people in Bend actually entertained the idea of an Olympic bid, but naturally, they wanted Salem to pony up a great deal of financial assistance. For one thing, they’d need an actual airport. The nearest one is probably here in Tracktown, on the wrong side of the mountains. For another thing, they’d need a lot more accommodations for visitors than they already have, no matter how awesome it would be to have Mt. Bachelor be where all the skiing events take place. Also, they’d need a figure skating/hockey/curling venue and a bobsled/luge facility.

  51. 51
    AxelFoley says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Hmmm…waiting for a comment on this from Snowden and Greenwald.

    Still waiting…


    Gonna be a long wait, Villago.

  52. 52
    daveNYC says:

    Awarding the Olympics to Russia because of bribes is something I can understand. Russia deciding to hold the damn things in Sochi is goofy.

  53. 53
    Tripod says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Still wouldn’t be as dumb as Sochi. Maybe it’s time to give up the idea of an Olympic Village and accept that they are running a winter X games, a hockey tourney, and a ice capades show without much but a tv studio tying them together.

  54. 54
    Tripod says:

    “richer” is still a broke ass federation. Travelling with security is certainly SOP for US Hockey. Nobody else has the Q ratings or money to bother with it on a team basis. Push the costs off on individual athletes who may need protection and can afford it.

  55. 55
    Cervantes says:


    Awarding the Olympics to Russia because of bribes is something I can understand. Russia deciding to hold the damn things in Sochi is goofy.

    Because of its relatively mild climate, Sochi is Russia’s largest resort city.

    (Not suggesting I think the IOC or Russia made the right decisions.)

  56. 56
    Mnemosyne says:

    I keep looking at the cartoon and wondering why that camel in sunglasses is walking on its hind legs.

  57. 57
    Paul in KY says:

    In the cartoon, wonder why the person who creates it makes all his women look like Dr. Suess characters?

  58. 58
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: I didn’t even see your post. Great minds…

Comments are closed.